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Rafael Nadal reaches quarter-finals of Paris Masters
June 21 2018, 12:43 | Irvin Gilbert
He is the oldest player to end a season as number one and the first over the age of 30, despite starting 2017 ranked ninth after two years plagued by problems with form and fitness.
This is not the first time Nadal has struggled with a knee injury in his career but he remains optimistic about playing in the ATP finals in London.
Nadal said after his win: "I am very happy for everything, it has been an incredible year".
"One year ago, for sure I never dreamed about being No. 1 again at the end of the season", said Nadal, who missed large parts of 2016 because of a wrist injury.
Nadal is also the oldest, testimony to his relentless determination. "It means a lot". I did one treatment last night [Thursday] to try to play today [Friday], but it's impossible to go on court like yesterday.
'Only thing I'm going to say, I'm going to do my treatment, do my best to be playing in London, but I can not talk about that now because it's a day that is tough enough for me to pull out from here'.
"If you look at any other male tennis player who has ended the year at least four times as number 1, they do so in patches of three of more years". But Nadal then broke Chung to love to clinch the first set. But Nadal accelerated away after that and served out the victory on his second match point when Chung hit a forehand long. "For me it's not about London, it's about the longer term".
After saving three match points in the tiebreaker, Schwartzman leveled the match when Isner made a forehand error.
In 2015, Nadal won just three singles titles and failed to make it past the quarterfinals at any of the four Grand Slam tournaments during the season.
Isner, who lost last year's final to Murray, next plays either No. 6 Grigor Dimitrov or Richard Gasquet.
The last spot is now held by Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta but Juan Martin Del Potro, Roberto Bautista Agut, John Isner and Sock still have a chance to qualify depending on results in Paris.