Rafael Nadal will regain the world No. 1 spot next Monday when the ranking is updated with Miami results. On April 2, the 31-year-old will reclaim the spot he had lost earlier this year in February when Roger Federer got things right in Rotterdam.

A short glance at Rafael Nadal's official stats for this year may raise an eyebrow or two. Having played a single tournament this year, Nadal holds a 4-1 win/loss record in 2018. But he will cash in another chance at the top before the clay court season starts, a place where he has thousands of points to defend.

The same injury that forced him to abandon the 2018 Australian Open quarterfinals further prevented him from defending his points in Acapulco, Indian Wells, and Miami.

Rafael Nadal has a long history as the world No. 1

It's been almost a decade since Rafael Nadal first saw his name on top of the rankings. He ascended to the summit for the first time back in 2008 after winning Wimbledon over Federer. His previous stint at the top started in August 2017, when he surpassed Andy Murray.

With a total of 167 weeks at the summit, Rafael Nadal ranks seventh in the all-time rankings. He lands in-between two tennis legends, namely John McEnroe (sixth with 170 weeks) and Bjorn Borg (eighth with 109).

There are many voices who tend to agree that Nadal's legacy on this particular matter would have been way bigger if injuries would have allowed for it.

What's truly impressive is the Spaniard's ability to always recover after a long struggle.

Now, the clay-court season is knocking on the door and the Spaniard is expected to bounce back. His top game, which often tends to occur on clay, is something that most of us will be dreaming about for the upcoming weeks.

The Spaniard and the mystery around his schedule

Back in 2017, Nadal opted for an all-around journey during the European season on clay. He won three tournaments in a row, (Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid) and the cherry on top was his tenth French Open. He competed in Rome too, just before the French Open, but he suffered a small setback and went on to lose to Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals.

But the context is different this time as Rafael Nadal will play his first match since January. There should be some time for last-minute adjustments.

But the most important part is that Nadal will be back on the tennis courts. It's been a tough year for the ATP circuit, especially with so many big names out with injuries. Thankfully, Nadal is back and ready to compete.