Jul 28, 2008

Rafael Nadal keeps closing in on No. 1

Rafael Nadal saw off Nicolas Kiefer 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday to win the Rogers Cup, his fifth straight tournament victory.

Nadal has won a total of 29 consecutive matches and seven tournaments so far—including the French Open and Wimbledon—this year! This was his first win on hard court this season.

“I win on every surface, no? I win on grass, on hard, on indoor, and on clay, too,” Nadal said. “So if I am playing my best tennis I can win on every surface, no?”

Kiefer was unseeded and ranks 37th in the world. He has been playing magnificent tennis for the past week beating Nikolay Davydenko, Mikhail Youzhny and Gilles Simon. However his chance to beat Nadal in the final fell short.

“I don’t know—I mean, if I would have the solution, I would change it, but so far I didn’t find a little thing,” Kiefer said.

When the men’s tennis rankings are updated, Federer will still retain his No. 1 spot, which he has held since February 2004. With the win at Toronto Masters, Nadal is now only 275 points behind Federer, with a chance to claim the top spot next week in Cincinnati.

For that to happen, Nadal would have to win and Federer would have to lose before the semifinals, according to the ATP Tour Web site. Whatever happens, it could set up a potentially dramatic showdown at the United States Open in August, right after the Beijing Olympics.

(Image by AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

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