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ATP Rankings: Roger Federer begins his sixth stint at the top spot

FEATURED COLUMNIST
News
563   //    18 Jun 2018, 16:32 IST

TENNIS-ATP-GER-2018
Roger Federer celebrates his win at Stuttgart in Germany on Sunday

What’s the story?

Roger Federer dethroned his biggest nemesis, Rafael Nadal to occupy the top spot as the new ATP World Rankings got released on Monday, June 18, 2018. This will be the sixth stint at the pinnacle for the 20-time Grand Slam champion, who became No. 1 for the first time in his career on February 2. 2004.

By climbing to the summit, Federer began his 310th week at No. 1, extending his own record.

In case you didn’t know

The Swiss began his 2018 grasscourt season on a triumphant note, winning his 98th Tour level title at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany. He needed to reach the final to assure himself of a return to the coveted ranking, being just 100 points behind Nadal at the start of the week.

Federer had to work hard to do that as Nick Kyrgios pushed him hard in the semi-finals before the eight-time Wimbledon winner eked out a 6-7(2), 6-2, 7-6(5) win.

The heart of the matter

The numero uno ranking has switched hands between only Federer and Nadal in the first six months of the year. The Spaniard began the 2018 season with seven weeks at the top of the world. Federer then wrested away the ranking from him when he made it to the quarter-finals in Rotterdam and reigned there for six weeks until Nadal took it away again for another six weeks.

Federer briefly interrupted Rafa’s hold on the ranking when he climbed to No. 1 for just a solitary week in May, after which the southpaw successfully defended all his 2017 clay points to remain at the top for the rest of the clay season this year.

Federer now needs to win the Gerry Weber Open in Halle as well to get a chance to head to Wimbledon as the World No. 1.

What’s next?

Federer will look to successfully defend his title at Halle this week. The nine-time champion faces World No. 49 Aljaz Bedene, whom he beat in the first round at the Australian Open this year.

Do you think Federer can reign at the top until the end of Wimbledon? Have your say in the comments.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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