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Date set for Federer to lose crown

Rafael Nadal will replace Roger Federer at the top of the world tennis rankings on August 18.

It was always just a question of time – had the Spaniard beaten Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the Cincinnati Masters on Saturday night, the Swiss would have had to say goodbye to the top spot on August 11.

As it was, weary from two months of nonstop winning, Nadal got run around the court and Djokovic reached the final with a 6-1, 7-5 victory.

“I feel happy because for sure to be No. 1 is hard work from a long, long time ago,” Nadal said. “But there’s no time to be excited and enjoy.”

Federer has been No. 1 for a record 235 consecutive weeks. He and Nadal have been ranked first and second since July 25, 2005.

Pete Sampras holds the record for the total number of weeks at No.1: 286.

Nadal will become the third Spaniard to hold the No. 1 spot, joining Carlos Moya (1999) and Juan Carlos Ferrero (2003).

The third-seeded Djokovic will play Andy Murray for the title on Sunday. Murray reached his first Masters series final by beating Ivo Karlovic, who knocked out Federer in three sets on Thursday, 6-4, 6-4.

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