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Nadal ends year as No. 1

cricket Updated: Oct 20, 2008 00:02 IST

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Rafael Nadal became the first Spaniard to secure the men's year-end number one ranking on Saturday despite losing in the Madrid Masters semifinals.

Nadal toppled Roger Federer from the top spot in August and after the Swiss also perished in the last four in Madrid, the five times Grand Slam champion was guaranteed to finish the season on top of the ATP rankings.

Saturday's defeat meant it would be the first time since 2003 that Federer, who won his fifth successive U.S. Open crown last month, would not end the year as world number one.

"To become number one during the year was one of my goals and it is important to have achieved it," said Nadal.

Bhupathi-Knowles in final

Mahesh Bhupathi and his Bahamian partner Mark Knowles sailed into the finals with a straight-set win over Swede-Zimbabwean pair of Jonas Bjorkman and Kevin Ullyett in Madrid.

The fourth seeded Indo-Bahamian pair beat their fifth seeded rivals 6-2, 6-4.

Somdev-Healey eye title

Calabasas: India's Somdev Devvarman and Australia's Nathan Healey beat American Danny and Brian Battistone 2-6, 6-4, 10-8 to advance to the finals of the Mercedes Benz Challenger.

Venus beats Pennetta

Zurich: Venus Williams beat Flavia Pennetta 7-6 (1), 6-2 in the final to win the Zurich Open for her second singles title of the season after a victory at Wimbledon in July. The win should seal Williams' place at the season-ending WTA Tour Ch’ship in Doha next month.