Lawn Tennis
Rafael Nadal Signals Possible Beginning Of The End
By Anton Lagani, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Monday, July 28, 2008 9:15pm CST USA
Rafael Nadal Signals Possible Beginning Of The End
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
CINCINNATI (—World number two Rafael Nadal of Spain won his 29th match in a row Sunday as he defeated Nicolas Kiefer of Germany 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the Rogers Cup at Toronto.

Nadal has not lost a match since a right foot blister and tournament scheduling on May 7th contributed to a 7-5, 6-1 second round loss at Rome to 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero also of Spain.

“Every player wants to be number one, I would love to be number one."

Sunday's championship win capped off a remarkable run by Nadal which has seen him take titles on three different playing surfaces, a feat accomplished more often on the WTA Tour than the ATP Tour. Nadal's 29 match winning streak includes two claycourt championship wins at Hamburg and Paris, two titles in London on grass and one hardcourt title at Toronto.

“I win on every surface,” Nadal said Sunday. “I win on grass, on hard, on indoor, and on clay, too. So if I am playing my best tennis, I can win on every surface.”

The lefthander claimed his first Wimbledon crown by beating world number one Roger Federer of Switzerland 6–4, 6–4, 6–7(5-7), 6–7(8-10), 9–7, in the longest Wimbledon final in history, playing for 4 hours and 48 minutes. Nadal also became the first male player to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year since Bjorn Borg of Sweden in 1980.

Federer has held the number one ranking for a record 235 consecutive weeks. But he trails Nadal head to head 6-12 and has lost all four of their meetings this year. Nadal's victory Sunday cut Federer's lead in the rankings to only 300 points as Federer now stands at 6605 points with Nadal at 6305 points.

Nadal and Federer could only meet in the final at this week’s Western & Southern Financial Group Masters at Cincinnati.

A title this week from Nadal and a loss by defending champion Federer before the semifinals would make Nadal the new world number one player.

“Every player wants to be number one, I would love to be number one, but I am number two right now,” Nadal said. “I’m very happy to be number two, because with my titles, with my points, in a normal situation I would have been number one before.

“So I think I have to be happy, very happy anyway, if I am number one or number two. Because if I am number two, it’s because in front of me there is amazing player like Roger.”

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