Nadal collected his record 26th Master-level championship Sunday with a 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-3) decision Sunday over John Isner at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Nadal missed the second half of the 2012 tennis season due to a knee injury, meaning he isn't protecting ranking points, merely racking them up. He picked up 1,000 last week.
Nadal is 48-3 this year overall with eight titles and two runner-up finishes. His move up to second assures that he won't face No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic until the finals -- if then -- of the U.S. Open, which begins next week.
Nadal is back at No. 2 in the rankings for the first time since June 25, 2012. He was last atop the rankings in June 20, 2011.
Federer, who lost to Nadal in the quarterfinals in Cincinnati, drops two places to seventh in the rankings. It's his lowest ranking since Oct. 14, 2002.
Federer lost in the quarterfinals of last year's U.S. Open, a tournament won by Andy Murray. Nadal's move up pushes Murray to third in the rankings.
This is the last ranking update before Thursday's draw for the U.S. Open and it will be interesting to see where Federer ends up. He could potentially have to play three higher ranked players over the last three rounds of the tournament to win.
Tomas Berdych improves to a career-high No. 5 in the rankings while Juan Marin del Porto is sixth.
Berdych is the only Top 10 player entered into this week's Winston-Salem Open.
The ATP tennis Top 10 with player's name, home country and rankings points average:
1. Novak Djokovic, Serbia, 10,980
2. Rafael Nadal, Spain, 8,860
3. Andy Murray, Great Britain, 8,700
4. David Ferrer, Spain, 7,210
5. Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic, 5,135
6. Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina, 4,740
7. Roger Federer, Switzerland, 4,695
8. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France, 3,470
9. Richard Gasquet, France, 2,625
10. Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland, 2,610