Nadal defeated Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 Sunday in the final at the BNP Paribas Open in California. It was his 600th match win and 53rd championship overall. That figure is 10th most all time.
Nadal missed about seven months of play due to a knee injury but is 17-1 since returning, with the only loss coming in the finals of a tournament in Chile. Since then, Nadal has won in Brazil, Mexico and Indian Wells, Calif.
He moves past David Ferrer for fourth in the rankings by 115 points.
Novak Djokovic, who lost to del Potro in the semifinals, has a huge lead in the rankings. His 13,280 points is 4,565 more than second-ranked Roger Federer. Djokovic is the defending champion at this week's Sony Open in Miami, another ATP Masters event.
Andy Murray, who lost to Djokovic in the 2012 Miami final, is third with 8,350 points while Nadal has 6,745 and Ferrer 6,630.
Tomas Berdych remains sixth with 5,010 points followed by del Potro in seventh with 4,830 points. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has 3,750 points for the No. 8 ranking while Janko Tipsarevic (3,090) comes in ninth and Richard Gasquet (2,960) is 10th.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]