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Spain’s Rafael Nadal is all set to clinch the world number one ranking at the upcoming 2013 China Open which starts on September 30 in Beijing, China. This ATP World Tour hardcourt event is classified as ATP 500 which means the winner will get 500 ranking points.

As of the ATP World Tour Rankings released this week (September 16), Novak Djokovic is still the world number one with 11,120 while Nadal is second with 10,860. There’s only a 260-ranking point difference between the two.

Why Nadal is slated to reclaim the top ranking:

Both Nadal and Djokovic are scheduled to play in Beijing and there’s a difference as to how things will work out there. For Novak Djokovic, he needs to win the title in order to defend the 500 ranking points he received for winning the title a year ago. Rafael Nadal, on the other hand, has no ranking points to defend as he missed the second half of the season a year ago. This means that the Spaniard will continually earn ranking points until the end of the season.

Djokovic can still retain the number one ranking after the China Open if he defends the title and Nadal is eliminated in the earlier rounds of the tournament, a scenario that is unlikely considering Nadal’s unbeaten streak at hardcourt matches this year. However, there can always be that possibility that he’ll pull out of the tournament to prepare for the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

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