While taking home his 24th Masters 1000 is an important achievement (it improves the record he currently holds for most ATP Masters 1000 titles), what was very key is that this win allows Rafa to move ahead of David Ferrer in the rankings. This means he goes into the French Open ranked 4 which also means he will be seeded #4. Implication: he won't meet Novak Djokovic until the semis (if Rafa stayed at the #5 ranking, there was a 1 in 4 chance of him running into Novak in the quarterfinals). Of all the players in the tour right now, it's Novak who really worries me as Nadal still seems to have some difficulty beating his recent nemesis. Nevertheless, no one has had better results this year than Rafa so he has to be going into the French Open very confident, no matter who he plays.
Here's Rafa by the numbers:
- 1 - Current ranking based on the 2013 ATP Race to London, which means that Rafa has won more points this year so far than anyone else
- 2 - the number of times Rafa has lost this year. Of the 40 matches Rafa has played since he came back from his knee injury from last year, he has so far lost only twice. This is also the number of sets he lost in the entire Rome Masters tournament.
- 3 - the number of ATP Masters 1000 titles Rafa has won this year
- 4 - what Rafa will be ranked tomorrow. This also means that he will be seeded #4 at the French Open.
- 5 - the number of wins Rafa has had over top 4 players this year. He has now beaten David Ferrer (#4 as of today) three times and Roger Federer (ranked #2 as of their match in Indian Wells and #3 in Rome).
- 6 - the number of titles Rafa has won in 2013, the most of any player so far.
- 7 - the number of Italian Open titles Nadal now has. This is amazing because Rafa is the only male player to have won 7 or more titles in four different events: Roland Garros, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and now Rome.
- 8 - tournaments that Rafa has played this year. Also the number of finals he reached. This means that Rafa has gotten to the finals in all tournaments he played. Incredible.
- 20 - wins over Roger Federer, more than anyone in history. Their current head-to-head record is now 20-10 in favor of Nadal.
- 24 - number of Masters 1000 titles that Rafa has won in his career so far.