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By Chris Oddo | Tuesday April 3, 2018

Rafael Nadal has risen to No.1 in the world for the fifth time on Monday, but the Spaniard will have to run the table on the red clay for the next month to stay there. Nadal begins his 168th week at No.1, which ranks him 7th on the ATP’s all-time list, and he will tie John McEnroe for 6th on the week beginning April 16.

But once Monte-Carlo starts things will become more complicated for Nadal. He will have to claim titles at Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid to avoid dropping to No.2 behind Roger Federer again.

Nadal currently has a lead of 100 points on Federer in an extremely tight race. Even if Nadal falters at one of the three aforementioned events, he’ll have a chance to win some points back at Rome. He reached the quarterfinals at Foro Italico last year and could potentially pick up 820 points with a title there.

In other news, Nadal appears to be close to 100 percent with regard to the injury to his Iliopsoas (an inner hip muscle) that he suffered at the Australian Open and which recurred at Acapulco, where he withdrew before the tournament started.

Nadal is currently training in Valencia ahead of this weekend’s Davis Cup tie between Germany and Spain, and he may play for Spain.


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