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Stefanos Tsitsipas unseats Rafael Nadal as World No. 3

Jul 27, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) plays Frances Tiafoe (USA) in the mens tennis first round singles during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Ariake Tennis Park. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 27, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) plays Frances Tiafoe (USA) in the mens tennis first round singles during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Ariake Tennis Park. Mandatory Credit: Yukihito Taguchi-USA TODAY Sports

Stefanos Tsitsipas reached No. 3 in the ATP rankings released Monday, with 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal falling to No. 4.

For Tsitsipas, a Greek who turns 23 on Thursday, it is the highest ranking of his career. For Nadal, 35, this marks the first time since May 29, 2017, that he hasn’t been ranked in the top three.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Daniil Medvedev of Russia remain 1-2 in the rankings.

Tsitsipas talked Sunday about what it would mean to him when the computer rankings showing him as the new No. 3 came out.

“Being at the ranking that I will be tomorrow, it is a huge motivation and a very good indication that I’ve done great so far,” Tsitsipas said from Toronto, where he is playing this week at the National Bank Open.

He continued: “I wake up every single day with a goal: to get better. To get better with my tennis, to get better in the sport that I chose to follow in my life. “I’m very happy I get to play that sport. I’m very happy that I get to inspire people doing what I do.”

On the year, Tsitsipas is 42-12 and has won twice — in Lyon and at the ATP Masters 1000 Monte Carlo. He lost a heartbreaking final to Djokovic in the French Open after taking the first two sets.

As for Nadal, the Spaniard has played a limited schedule in 2021 as he copes with a recurring foot injury that kept him out of Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics. He is 24-5 in 2021 with titles at the ATP Masters 1000 Rome and in Barcelona.

“I need to find again the positive feelings with my foot,” Nadal said in advance of the Toronto tournament. “I really need to have a couple of weeks with less pain to have the confidence again on my movements, knowing that I will be able to go out and compete for a long time … that’s something that I am looking for in this tournament.”

–Field Level Media