Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal will play for the first time after winning the French Open at Wimbledon. In this picture, Nadal gestures before he waves the starters flag for the 86th edition of the 24-Hour endurance race at the Le Mans circuit, France, June 16, 2018. JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal returned to the top of the ATP men’s singles ranking when it was recalibrated Monday despite not having played since winning the French Open earlier in the month.

The Spaniard lost his place at the top briefly after Roger Federer won the Mercedes Cup a week after the conclusion of the second Grand Slam of the year at Roland Garros. But the Swiss ace’s failure to defend his title at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle the week after saw him drop back to number two in the world.

Nadal and Federer have been alternating the top spot in men’s tennis between them since the start of the 2018 campaign and it is now the sixth time the ranking has switched hands. They are well ahead of number three Alexander Zverev, who is unlikely to challenge the top two any time soon.

The 32-year-old is a mere 50-points ahead of his long-time rival and it could again change hands before the end of July if Federer defends his title at Wimbledon and Nadal loses before the fourth round.

Despite returning to the summit in the ATP men’s singles ranking, Nadal will be seeded two at the upcoming Wimbledon Championships with Federer getting the number one slot. The All England Club has its own formula to work out the seedings for their top 32 players.

The 11-time French Open winner recently admitted the draw is an important aspect of Wimbledon, as a number of players tend to struggle in the earlier rounds as they adapt to the surface. However, Nadal, is not too concerned about the seeding and made it clear Federer is deserving of the number one seed owing to his past achievements on hallowed grass of SW19.

The Swiss tennis legend has won the event a record eight times and is the overwhelming favorite to win the title in 2018. He won the Mercedes Cup, the first grass court tournament of the season and made the final in Halle — and there are very few who will bet against him lifting the prestigious trophy when the tournament concludes July 15.

“Yes for winning so many times here and having so much success on grass,” Nadal said, when asked about Federer being seeded number one at Wimbledon, as quoted by the Express.

“He deserves to be the number one seed for everything he has achieved here,” the Spaniard added, referring to the Swiss ace’s eight Wimbledon titles.

Nadal and Federer along with Marin Cilic, meanwhile, have been nominated for the 2018 ESPY Awards under the Best Men’s Player category with the former two having dominated men’s tennis over the last 15 months. The Swiss maestro has also been nominated for Best Performance record of the year alongside Tom Brady, Diana Taurasi and Aaron Judge.