Rafael Nadal has returned to number one in the World, a feat he was not sure was possible after knee surgery derailed his career in 2012.

By reaching the Finals of the China Open, Nadal secured the spot passing Novak Djokovic, who ironically defeated him in the Finals of the event. It was Nadal's first loss on hard courts in 2013.

“I thought that I would never have the chance to be back there", confessed Nadal. The Spaniard did not compete after his Wimbledon loss to Lukas Rosol in June of 2012 until his return at Vina del Mar in Chile, April of 2013. The absence included missing two Grand Slam events.

But, despite some doubters, Nadal has put together a spectacular 2013, playing a lot of tennis at a high level. Nadal took two of the four Majors in 2013 (French Open, U.S. Open) in route to his return to tennis' top spot.

During the comeback, Nadal battled rival Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros and in New York with the French Open semifinal an instant classic, five set victory.

Nadal last held the number one spot in June of 2011. He put things into perspective by simply stating, “Being No. 1 again is special". Now that he has accomplished this goal, is a run at catching Roger Federer's career Grand Slam victory total next?