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Advantage Federer as Nadal leaves Wimbledon

Roger Federer suddenly has the advantage once again as rival tennis champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Wimbledon because of tendinitis in his knees.

Federer’s agent, Tony Godstick, said Federer was reserving comment until a news conference on Saturday. The grass-court tournament begins on Monday.

The announcement opens the door for Federer, the world’s number two tennis player, to reclaim the number-one slot he held for a record 237 weeks before Nadal seized the throne last August. The Swiss has lost 13 of the past 20 matches against the Spaniard.

Last year Nadal prevented Federer from claiming his sixth Wimbledon title in a five-set epic that enthusiasts say ranks among the sport’s most thrilling contests.

This is the second time in recent weeks that Federer has not had to worry about the prospect of battling Nadal in a Grand Slam championship match. Nadal was the favourite going into the French Open but was knocked out before reaching the final, which Federer won.

Nadal has appeared ragged on the court in recent days and lost a match against Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets on Thursday.

“I’m just not 100 per cent,” Nadal said, adding the decision was the hardest of his career. “One of the big problems is, when I’m playing, I’m thinking more about my knees than about the game. It’s not chronic. I can recover for sure.” and agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR