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ATP World Tour Finals: Rafa Nadal secures year-end #1

Rafael Nadal defeated Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) on Wednesday in round-robin play at the ATP World Tour Finals, securing his spot in the semifinals and locking up the year-end No. 1 ranking for the third time in his career.

The Spaniard is the first player to hold, lose and regain the year-end No. 1 ranking two different times.

The 27-year-old former Tour Finals runner-up Nadal was also a year-end No. 1 in 2008 and 2010.

Nadal was ranked fifth when he made his 2013 debut at the VTR Open, where he lost in the finals. The following week, he won the Brasil Open, jump-starting his incredible season. In 16 completed tournaments, Nadal has made 13 finals and won 10 titles.

He stormed to his eighth French Open title this year and won his second U.S. Open title, defeating then-No. 1 Novak Djokovic along the way each time. With Wednesday’s victory, Nadal improved to 73-6 in 2013 and inched closer to his first World Tour Finals title.

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Wednesday's round-robin nightcap saw fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych douse last week's Paris Masters runner-up David Ferrer, this week's third seed, 6-4, 6-4, in 83 minutes. Berdych swatted 10 aces and broke serve twice while holding his big serve throughout.

Ferrer beat Berdych in a quarterfinal in Paris last week.

This week's four-player Group A features the U.S. and French Open champion Nadal (2-0), the Roland Garros runner-up Ferrer (0-2), Berdych (1-1), and Wawrinka (1-1).

Group B is comprised of Australian Open titlist Novak Djokovic (1-0), fourth-seeded former U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro (1-0), the 17-time Grand Slam winner and six-time Tour Finals king Federer (0-1), and eighth-seeded Richard Gasquet (0-1).

On Thursday, the second-seeded two-time Tour Finals winner Djokovic will battle the fourth-seeded del Potro and the sixth-seeded Federer will take on Gasquet.


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