Federer loses again and opens door for Nadal

Swiss number one tennis player Roger Federer has crashed out of the third round of the Cincinnati Masters, putting his top world position in doubt.

This content was published on August 1, 2008 - 10:25

Spain's Rafael Nadal, who beat Federer in this year's French Open and Wimbledon finals, will take over from the Swiss as the tennis number one if he wins the tournament on Sunday.

Federer, who has held the top spot for a record four and a half years, was beaten by Croatian Ivo Karlovic on Thursday: 7-6, 4-6, 7-6.

Current number two Rafael Nadal stayed on course by beating German Tommy Haas to reach the quarterfinals with his 31st consecutive win.

Even if he does not win in Cincinnati, the Spaniard can accumulate enough points to overtake Federer in the next few weeks.

Federer has been struggling to regain his domination since he started the year with glandular fever.

"Look, he's doing well and I have done well in the past," Federer said of his rival. "This year was hard, I guess, with the start of the year. But nevertheless, I still think it's been a good year."

Federer will have the honour of carrying the Swiss national flag during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on August 8, which is also his 27th birthday.

"It's well known that I still have a score to settle with the Olympics and being handed this honour for a second time will give me extra motivation," he said.

Federer went into the Athens 2004 Games as gold medal favourite but suffered an upset against Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych early in the tournament.

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