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Yes, Roger Federer lost in the quarterfinals of Cincinnati's Southern and Western Open to archnemesis Rafael Nadal.
He lost 820 points in the ATP Rankings because he was unable to defend his title. He has slid to No. 7 in the world, his lowest place on the totem pole since October 2002 just after Pete Sampras had captured the U.S. Open.
There is plenty of sunshine, however, that makes Federer one of the biggest winners of the week:
He is using his old racket, which will at least simplify things for now in his stretch to win the U.S. Open. He was able to get in three good matches of work.
His back seems to have healed, and his serving was much better against Nadal. A few inches on some of his shots and perhaps he would have pulled off a major confidence booster. He gave Nadal one of his four toughest matches of the year on hard courts.
The odds seemed long that Federer could legitimately contend at the U.S. Open, but he has shown that he has a chance. He is a contender as long as the back holds up.
Federer told Oliver Brown of The Telegraph that "I know that my body’s fine and my mind’s OK, and I can definitely take more from this week than I could for the last three months."
The U.S. Open could not be happier, and tennis fans concur.