A year and a half after the season, Rafael Nadal received the ITF World Champion Men’s Singles award for the best player in 2019. Thus, Rafa secured the fourth ITF singles award, claiming the previous three in 2008, 2010 and 2017. Nadal claimed four ATP titles in 2019, adding two Masters 1000 crowns to his tally and conquering two Majors to stand on 19, just one short of Roger Federer’s record. It was enough for Rafa to secure the fifth year-end no. 1, crowning the season with the Davis Cup Finals title for Spain at home at Caja Magica. Sidelined from the court since the US Open 2018, Rafa had to miss the season opener in Brisbane, making a return at the Australian Open where he reached the final without losing a set and suffered a severe defeat against Novak Djokovic to finish runner-up. Nadal had to deal with injuries in Acapulco (wasted match points against Nick Kyrgios) and Indian Wells (withdrawal before the Roger Federer clash), heading to beloved clay with no form after skipping Miami.
Fabio Fognini, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Nadal in the semi-final in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, with time running away from Rafa ahead of Rome and Roland Garros. With no room for errors, the Spaniard claimed both titles, earning 3000 points and extending his reign in Paris to unmatched 12 years. Rafa gathered momentum and advanced into the semi-final at Wimbledon for the second straight year. Roger Federer toppled him in four sets, and Nadal was back at his best in Montreal and the US Open, adding more significant titles to his tally and becoming the favorite for the year-end no. 1 position.
Rafael Nadal received the 2019 ITF World Champion Men’s Singles award.
Nadal skipped Shanghai Masters and returned in Paris, desperate to earn points and stay ahead of Novak in the year’s closing stages. An injury forced the Spaniard to withdraw before the semi-final clash with Denis Shapovalov, heading to the ATP Finals with 640 points advantage over the Serb, who conquered the Parisian crown.
In London, Rafa played one of the worst matches of the year against Alexander Zverev at the start of the event and worked hard to overcome a massive deficit against Daniil Medvedev. After the Russian, Nadal ousted Stefanos Tsitsipas to earn 400 points and remain ahead of Novak, who also failed to pass the round-robin stage. Securing the year-end no. 1 honor, Nadal was the leader of the pack in Madrid at the Davis Cup Finals, scoring eight victories to lead Spain towards the title and dropping only two matches after the Madrid Open in May to conquer the ATP throne. The Spaniard closed the year on a high note, beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in an epic final to grab the record-breaking fifth Mubadala World Tennis Championship crown, traveling back home to Mallorca and getting ready for the upcoming ATP Cup.