Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz made history last month when the Spanish duo held the top two places in the ATP rankings. Carlos Alcaraz became the youngest World No. 1 after winning the US Open title, while Nadal climbed the No. 2 spot after Casper Rudd lost Nishioka in the ATP 250 event in Seoul. Rafael Nadal returned to the top two for the first time since the week of May 3, 2021. He was ranked as low as World No. 6 this January. The ATP Finals in Turin is just around the corner and both the Spaniards are looking will be competing for the top honours. However, the question is who will come out on the top by the end of the year.
Alcaraz had the chance to seal the No. 1 ranking in Basel but a loss in the semi-final made things appear interesting. On the other hand, Rafael Nadal's bid to reclaim the No. 1 ranking lasted only till the first round of the Paris Masters. The Spaniard crashed out in the first round after losing to American Tommy Paul. Paul won the match 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 denying Nadal the chance to return to the top of the ATP rankings. The Spaniard can hope for another shot during ATP masters in Turin but for that to happen, Alcaraz needs to make a third-round exit at Paris Masters.
On the other hand, Carlos Alcaraz began his Paris Masters campaign with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Yoshihito Nishioka. The Spaniard must reach the quarter-finals to guarantee his stay as World No. 1. Alcaraz could be the first player to achieve the World No. 1 ranking outside tennis' 'Big Four' of Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Andy Murray since Andy Roddick in 2003.
The ATP Finals in Turin will have 1500 points on offer. After an early exit from the Paris Masters, Nadal will need to win the ATP finals title and also hope that the results of Carlos Alcaraz go in his favour to become the new World No. 1. Nadal has achieved the coveted year-end No. 1 ranking a total of five times, having been tied with Roger Federer, and trailing only Novak Djokovic (7) and Pete Sampras (6).