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Djokovic Challenges Federer For No. 1

Cincinnati, U.S.A.

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer could come under pressure from Novak Djokovic in the battle for No. 1 this week.

Novak Djokovic will challenge Roger Federer for the No. 1 South African Airways ATP Ranking this week at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. If Federer reaches the final, he will retain the No. 1 spot regardless, but anything less, and he will find himself under pressure from the No. 2-ranked Djokovic.

Federer retook No. 1 from Djokovic after winning his 17th major title at The Championships, Wimbledon. A week later, he broke Pete Sampras’ record for most weeks at No. 1 with 287 weeks. However, the Swiss was forced to withdraw from the Rogers Cup last week and, following Djokovic’s success over Richard Gasquet in the Toronto final, Federer now finds himself just 75 points ahead of the Serb.

Nevertheless, with Djokovic dropping 600 points this week, having reached the Cincinnati final last year (l. to Murray), Federer does still hold the advantage. After bowing out in the quarter-finals last year (l. to Berdych), the Basel native is only dropping 180 points from his total.

If Djokovic is to re-ascend to No. 1, he must reach the final and hope four-time former champion Federer loses before the quarter-finals. If Federer were to reach the quarter or semi-finals, Djokovic could overtake the Swiss by winning the title.

Federer and Djokovic are the Top 2 seeds at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 hard-court tournament in Cincinnati. Djokovic finds himself in the same half of the draw as defending champion Andy Murray, Juan Martin del Potro and Janko Tipsarevic, while Federer could come up against David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych or Mardy Fish on his route to the final. Both players have first-round byes.

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