Rafael Nadal to end year as world number one after Paris win

Rafael Nadal and Hyeon Chung at the Paris Masters

Rafael Nadal could not hide his delight at confirming his status as the best player in 2017, after beating Hyeon Chung 7-5 6-3 at the Paris Masters.

The 31-year-old is the oldest year-end No. 1 since the ATP Rankings were established in 1973.

Speaking after victory on Wednesday, the Spaniard said: "I'm very, very happy for everything".

"It's something that means a lot to me, but the season is not over". I'm very happy, but the season is not over.

Roger Federer's withdrawal from the Paris tournament in order to rest ahead of the ATP Finals meant Nadal needed only one win to guarantee his great rival could not catch him and he avoided any slip-ups against 54th-ranked Chung, although the 21-year-old did cause Nadal problems. It's been an fantastic year, ' he said after the match.

Nadal, who has never won the tournament, was a break behind in the opening set before stepping up a gear to win four games in a row.

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He will next face Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, who ended a 10-match losing streak in round one and backed that up with a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (1), 6-2 victory over the 15th seed Albert Ramos-Viñolas.

A raft of injuries had left many thinking that Nadal was a spent force at the end of previous year, but he stormed back to prominence by claiming six titles ahead of Paris and the season-ending ATP Finals in London.

Also, fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev lost to Robin Haase 3-6 6-2 6-2, and ninth seed John Isner beat Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (13-11) 6-3.

Nadal has enjoyed repeated success in Paris, winning the French Open 10 times at Roland Garros, but he has never won the title at Bercy.

The South Korean world No 55 has enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2017 and will play at the inaugural Next-Gen Finals in Milan later this month and although he levelled for 5-5 he paid the price for his efforts as Nadal sealed the set with two successive games.

Home hope Lucas Pouille kept his slim hopes of qualifying for the World Tour Finals alive by seeing off Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4.

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