Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 | Last Update : 05:13 AM IST
15-time Grand Slam champion would return to the number one spot in the ATP Rankings for the first time in three years.
Johannesburg: 15-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal is thrilled to learn that he would return to the number one spot in the ATP Rankings for the first time in three years.
Swiss maestro Roger Federer on Monday withdrew from this week's ATP Cincinnati Masters tournament, thus paving way for Nadal to climb to the number one spot for the first time since July 2014.
Federer, who lost to Alexander Zverev in the finals of Montreal Masters, said that a back injury will force him to miss the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament.
"For me to be in that position is something very special," Sport24 quoted Nadal as saying. "I have the passion and love for the game. That's why I'm able to be back in that position again," he added.
Nadal will overtake Britain's top-ranked Andy Murray, who withdrew from Montreal and Cincinnati with a hip injury.
The 31-year-old has won four tournaments this year, including historic 10th titles at Roland Garros, Monte-Carlo and Barcelona. He has also reached three other finals, including the Australian Open and Miami.
The Spaniard has struggled with knee injuries since first becoming world number one in August 2008 after a Cincinnati semi-final run.
He admitted doubting he could ever regain the top spot after so many years."If you don't have doubts, it's because you are very arrogant and I'm not very arrogant," Nadal said. "There's a young generation up and coming. It's very tough to come back and be number one," he added.
Federer, however, could yet move into the world number one spot at the US Open which begins August 28 in New York.