Wed, May 14, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Federer and Nadal monopolies under threat from Djokovic

AFP , HAMBURG, GERMANY

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns the ball to Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka duaring their ATP Rome Master men's singles tennis final match at Rome's Foro Italico, Italy, on Sunday.

PHOTO: EPA

Having dominated men's tennis for nearly three years, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal's monopoly is under threat, with Novak Djokovic admitting he is playing the best tennis of his life.

After his early exit from Rome last week and with Djokovic snapping at his heels in the ATP rankings, world No. 2 Nadal admits he is feeling the pressure this week at the Hamburg Masters Series.

Nadal has been second to Federer in the ATP rankings since July 25, 2005, and the Swiss master has been world No. 1 since Feb. 2, 2004.

But Djokovic, this year's Australian Open winner, has added the Indian Wells and Rome Master Series titles to the Grand Slam crown he won in Melbourne and Nadal says in terms of form the Serb is the world's best player.

Djokovic has moved to within 310 points of Nadal in the ATP Rankings after the Serbian world number three captured his fourth ATP Masters Series title, defeating Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in Sunday's final in Rome.

Federer has a points tally of 6,825 in the ATP rankings, while Nadal is second on 5,435 with Djokovic closing in with 5,125.

With 100 points available to the winner in Hamburg and 200 for a Grand Slam win, Nadal says it is just a matter of time before the Serb breaks into the top two.

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