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Nadal is world number one: Becker

July 22, 2008 10:05 IST

The ATP computer says otherwise but Boris Becker believes Rafael Nadal has already replaced Roger Federer as the world number one.

Despite losing to Nadal in both the French Open and Wimbledon finals, Federer has yet to be evicted from top spot, arriving at the Toronto Masters for the start of his hardcourt campaign having held the ATP's number one ranking for 234 weeks.

But Becker, who was in Toronto on Monday to play an exhibition match ahead of his induction into the tournament's Hall of Fame, declared that he and the rest of the tennis world were in agreement on who was the true number one.

"If you watched the French Open and Wimbledon, there was a lot of talk about Federer going into the history books as the first man to win six Wimbledons in a row or Nadal being the first since Bjorn Borg to win the French Open and Wimbledon in the same year.

"The winner is known now and you have to give credit," said Becker, winner of six Grand Slam tournaments, including three at Wimbledon.

"In the world rankings there is still a number one called Federer but if you ask anyone in the world of tennis, who is considered the number one player in the world it is the winner of the French Open and Wimbledon.

DWINDLING ADVANTAGE

"There is a change in position at the moment."

Becker's ranking and the official standings could fall into line before the end of the season.

Twice a winner on the Canadian hardcourts, Federer faces a challenging summer trying to protect a dwindling lead atop the ranking, now a mere 770 points above Nadal, while winning a gold medal at the Beijing Olympic Games.

It is almost certain the muscular Spaniard will continue to eat away at Federer's advantage with the Swiss having to defend a truck load of points earned from reaching the Canadian final at Montreal last year which was followed by wins at the Cincinnati Masters and US Open.

While Nadal's durability on the unforgiving hardcourts remains suspect, he has already demonstrated he is capable of winning on the surface, taking the Canadian title in 2005 and reaching the semi-finals last year.

"I am happy how I am playing but I am still number two and have the same motivation to improve my tennis," said Nadal.

"I want to be number one for sure but right now all I want is to play a good tournament here in Toronto.

"It's nothing new for him to defend a lot of points."

Source:
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