Sunday, November 10, 2013
Rafael Nadal crowned year-end No. 1 in special ceremony
The reception Rafael Nadal received at the O2 told a story on Saturday after the Spaniard collected his awards for ending the season as the world No. 1 and being named Comeback Player of the Year.
Before Roger Federer's clash against Juan Martin del Potro at the ATP World Tour Finals, Nadal was honoured in a special on-court ceremony to celebrate his achievements for 2013.
En route to qualifying for the semi-finals of the tournament, Nadal clinched the year-end world No. 1, and has also been voted by his fellow players for making the best comeback of the season.
After returning to the circuit in February following more than seven months on the sidelines with a career-threatening knee injury, Nadal bounced back in tremendous style, winning a total of 10 titles, including two grand slams and a record-equalling five Masters 1000 crowns.
"One year ago, if you had told me I would have come back to be here... it's been an amazing year," he said when receiving the awards after becoming the first player to reclaim the year-end top spot in the rankings three times.
"I just thank my family. Without their support, this wouldn't have been possible. It's been a very emotional year and ending here with so much support at the O2. It's fantastic after what happened last year.
"I never had the feeling [that I am the best player in the world]. Being No. 1 is one of the most difficult things to do in our sport. You have to play well from the beginning to the end and there are lot of fantastic players. For most of this year, I played the best tennis of my career. It was a big surprise for me and I'm very happy."