TENNIS

Nadal regains number-two ranking

Spaniard has won more Masters 1000 titles than any other player

Rafael Nadal celebrates his 7-6, 7-6 win over John Isner.
Rafael Nadal celebrates his 7-6, 7-6 win over John Isner.Mark Lyons / EFE

Rafael Nadal took the title at the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday, beating John Isner 7-6, 7-6 to extend his winning run to nine triumphs in the 12 tournaments he has contested so far this year.

The victory was Nadal's 26th Masters 1000 title, more than any other player has amassed in history, and was sufficient for the Spaniard to reclaim the number-two spot in the ATP ranking, and therefore second seeding at the upcoming US Open, meaning he will avoid world number one Novak Djokovic until a potential final meeting.

Nadal, who spent seven months on the sidelines with a knee injury, returned to action in February and swiftly won titles in São Paulo and Acapulco, having reached the final of his comeback tournament in Viña del Mar.

He has since won Masters titles in Indian Wells, Madrid, Rome and Montreal, as well as adding a record eighth Roland Garros crown on the Parisian clay in June.

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