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Federer on a high

Federer (left) reached the fourth round at the US Open before losing to Andre Agassi

(Keystone)

While Martina Hingis was left fighting for the world number one spot on Monday, Swiss men's number one Roger Federer was celebrating a further climb up the rankings to 12th - his best position to date.

The 20-year-old from Basel went up one place in the ATP entry rankings (which measure a player's performances at all tournaments over the space of 12 months) after reaching the fourth round at the US Open for the first time in his career.

Federer's achievements in New York (where he was eventually beaten by Andre Agassi) followed on from his quarter-final appearances at both the French Open and at Wimbledon.

Masters Cup challenge

The Swiss star still faces a tough challenge, though, if he wishes to qualify for the prestigious Masters Cup tournament at the end of the season. To make it to the Sydney competition Federer must finish in the top eight of the ATP's Champions Race. He is currently tenth in the alternative standings system which only considers results from the sport's top events.

Swiss number two Michel Kratochvil climbed two places to 66th in the men's rankings on Monday, despite crashing out in the first round of the US Open.

Kratochvil's five-set defeat at the hands of world number seven Yevgeny Kafelnikov marked his fourth first round in succession, but the Bernese player didn't have to wait long for his fifth.

Just hours after the latest rankings were published, Kratochvil was knocked out of the ATP tournament in Tashkent by a less illustrious opponent, Slovakian qualifier Jan Kroslak.

ATP Rankings (Entry System):

1. Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil); 2. Andre Agassi (USA); 3. Lleyton Hewitt (Australia); 4. Patrick Rafter (Australia); 5. Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spain); 6. Yevgeny Kafelnikov (Russia); 7. Marat Safin (Russia); 8. Tim Henman (Britain) ; 9. Sébastien Grosjean (France) ; 10. Pete Sampras (USA)... 12. Roger Federer (Switzerland)... 66. Michel Kratochvil... 100. Marc Rosset... 107. George Bastl... 126. Ivo Heuberger... 262. Lorenzo Manta.

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