Spaniard's triumph in the third round ensures he cannot lose the position to Roger Federer at the grand slam
Rafael Nadal retains world No 1 status with victory over Alex de Minaur at Wimbledon
Rafael Nadal charged through to the fourth round at Wimbledon on Saturday and guaranteed in the process that he will remain as world No 1 when the tournament ends.
The Spaniard, the 2008 and 2010 champion at Wimbledon, defeated Australian Alex de Minaur 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 on Centre Court to reach the last 16.
That matches his performance at Wimbledon 12 months ago when he lost in the fourth round to Gilles Muller.
Beating De Minaur means that even if Nadal loses on Monday when he plays his fourth round clash against either Jiri Vesely or Fabio Fognini, his current ranking points of 8,770 cannot go down now that he is matched his previous performance.
Nearest rival Roger Federer is only 50 points behind Nadal, but as defending champion he cannot gain points on his ranking as he has the maximum 2,000 points from last year to defend.
Juan Martin del Potro, a possible quarter-final opponent for Nadal, was another early winner on Saturday.
The 2009 US Open champion defeated Benoit Paire 6-4, 7-6, 6-3.