Despite winning only four titles in 2019, Rafael Nadal finished the season as the year-end no. 1 player for the fifth time in his career. In December that year, Nadal shared a court from his museum with six notable trophies he claimed, including two Majors, two Masters 1000 trophies and two team events.
The Spaniard kicked off the season ranked 2nd behind Novak Djokovic, who defeated him in the Australian Open final. Nadal squandered match points against Nick Kyrgios in Acapulco and withdrew ahead of the Indian Wells semi-final against Roger Federer with a knee injury.
Struggling a bit on his favorite surface, Rafa experienced three semi-final losses in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid to Fabio Fognini, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas, desperate to raise his level in Rome and Paris.
Nadal went all the way at Foro Italico, toppling Novak Djokovic in the title clash and lifting the 12th Roland Garros crown for a massive boost and 3000 points on his tally from just two events.
Rafael Nadal claimed the 2019 year-end no.
1 spot after two Major titles.
The Spaniard lost to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semi-final before combining another Masters 1000-Major success in Montreal and New York to improve his year-end no. 1 chances. Reducing his schedule, Nadal played one match at the Laver Cup and beat Milos Raonic to celebrate the title with the rest of Team Europe.
Giving his best to remain ahead of Novak Djokovic in the ranking battle, Rafa reached the semi-final at Paris Masters and withdrew ahead of Denis Shapovalov clash due to an injury, heading to the ATP Finals with 640 points more than the Paris champion Djokovic.
After a tough loss to Alexander Zverev in the first round-robin encounter, Nadal found the necessary strength to overpower Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final sets' closing stages and almost six hours spent on the court.
Despite not reaching the semis, Rafa claimed 400 points for those two wins and defended the top spot in the rankings, as Djokovic also failed to pass the group stage. Two Major crowns and a couple of Masters 1000 trophies were enough for Rafa to conquer the ATP throne, losing before the semi-final only twice that season and turning his consistency into another notable year at 33.
Carried by this momentum, Nadal led Spain at the Davis Cup Finals at home in Madrid, delivering eight victories from as many rubbers to secure the title for the host nation and wrap up the season on a high note.