Nadal Wins Rogers Cup for Fifth Straight Title

by John on July 28, 2008

Rafael Nadal, edging ever closer to No. 1, trounced unseeded Nicolas Kiefer 6-3, 6-2 yesterday in the final of the Rogers Cup in Toronto. The title was the No. 2-ranked Spaniard’s fifth straight and seventh overall of the year. During this incredible run, Nadal has won 29 matches in a row and taken two grand slam championships. The streak includes two titles on clay, two on grass and now Sunday’s hard-court championship. World No. 1 Roger Federer’s record 235 consecutive weeks at the top of the ATP rankings is in serious jeopardy. If Nadal wins this week’s Masters Series tournament in Cincinnati and Federer loses before the semifinals, the Mallorcan will assume the No. 1 ranking. Nadal has been ranked No. 2 since July 25, 2005. “I win on every surface, no?” said Nadal. “I win on grass, on hard, on indoor, and on clay, too. So if I’m playing my best tennis I can win on every surface, no?” Indeed. No argument there, Rafa. Kiefer upset No. 15-seeded Mikhail Youzhny, No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko and No. 7 James Blake en route to the final. The German, however, had little left in the tank yesterday to seriously challenge Nadal, who dropped but one set in the tournament. The Rogers Cup, a Masters Series event, was the first tournament since Wimbledon with all the big guns entered. Federer lost in the second round to red-hot Gilles Simon, the winner last week at Indianapolis and a losing semifinalist Saturday to Kiefer. No. 3 Novak Djokovic was knocked out Friday in a quarterfinal match by Andy Murray. Nadal? He just keeps pounding opponents with his relentless ground game and improved serve. The Spaniard has an astounding 61-7 record this year and is showing no signs of fatigue. He is, as he was dubbed at the French Open in June, la bete sauvage. That’s on the court, of course.

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