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Spanish Supremacy: Alcaraz and Nadal Top World Rankings

By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, September 30, 2022

The Spanish Armada sails to the top of the world.

Grand Slam king Rafael Nadal has surpassed Casper Ruud and regained the No. 2 spot in the rankings behind world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz. Nadal is already world No. 2 in the ATP live rankings.

Watch: Moutet and Andreev Nearly Come to Blows

The 22-time Grand Slam champion's rise stamps Spain as ATP superpower with the top two spots in the rankings.

It marks the first time in 22 years compatriots occupy the top two spots in the ATP rankings. The last time it happened, Americans Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi topped the rankings back in 2000.

In a recent Instagram live interview he did with his racquet sponsor, Babolat, Alcaraz said his goal is to achieve Big 3-level longevity at the top of the game.

“I want to be No. 1 a long time,” Alcaraz said in his Babolat interview. “I want to be like the Big 3—I want to be there as much time as I can.”

Toni Nadal, Rafa Nadal's uncle and original coach, predicted last year Alcaraz would someday succeed the Big 3 at the top of tennis.

Prior to Rafael Nadal's gripping victory over Alcaraz at Indian Wells last March he hit with the teenager and praised his potential as a future champion.

Rafa Nadal says he's an Alcaraz fan too.

"Well, he's playing very aggressive. He has a lot of potential," Nadal said of Alcaraz last spring. "He's a young and good guy, so, I mean, he already has a great level of tennis today, but I really believe that he gonna be a fantastic player in the near future, no?

"Yeah, I wish him all the very best. I mean, like Spanish player and like in Spanish fan, I really believe that we need somebody like him, and it's great to have him here."

Photo credit: Getty