Roger Federer’s reign as the world’s number one player is looking as perilous as ever following his shock first round defeat in the Toronto Masters.
The Swiss star crashed in three sets to unseeded Frenchman Gilles Simon and is now in danger of being overtaken at the top of the ATP rankings by his Wimbledon final conqueror Rafael Nadal.
Just six months ago, before the start of the Australian Open, Federer led the rankings by 1,445 points and looked certain to add to his record stretch at the top.
But after a disappointing year by his standards, which has seen him fail to win a Grand Slam event, Nadal is within touching distance.
The Spaniard eased through to round three of the Rogers Cup with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Jesse Levine, and knows if he was to win in Toronto, he would reduce the gap to under 300 points. The hard court season just started so it is not the end of the world but I wish I could have started better,” Federer said.
“I like this surface, I like this tournament, I have done well in the past here so it definitely hurts. “I have to regroup and look forward. The bigger picture is the Olympic Games and the US Open and those are the places I really want to win so I have to make sure I am ready for that.”
Federer and Nadal have been No1 and No2 in the rankings every week since 25 July, 2005 when Nadal rose to No2.
Federer has been No1 for a record 234 weeks, since 2 February, 2004, while Nadal has trailed him for 157 straight weeks. Serbian No3 Novak Djokovic is a further 885 points behind.