Rogers Cup: Prelude to a Roger Federal-Rafael Nadal Showdown at the US Open?

Francois GendronSenior Writer IJuly 25, 2008

The 2008 Rogers Cup played at York University in Toronto is to be concluded this weekend. Roger Federer and a few other seeded players slipped in the early rounds.

Federer lost his first match at the Rogers Cup to Gilles Simon of France in three sets. Simon is having a great run. Inspired by this victory, he will now play Marin Cilic in his quarterfinal match. Yesterday, Cilic defeated Andy Roddick in 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to advance.

Federer's lead over Rafael Nadal has never been that slim. Before the beginning of the competition, Federer had just over 700 points on his closest rival.

That advantage will diminish even more after this week. Rafael Nadal is still in the draw, and plays Richard Gasquet in quarterfinals.

With such a close race for the No. 1 spot, the U.S. Open tournament coming up later this summer will decide of the order of things. Each match and each round, especially for Federer's matches, will bear an extra suspense that has not been common for the last Grand Slam tournament of the season in recent years.

All the pressure to perform will be on Federer again.

Will Federer manage to keep his No. 1 rank again this year? Will Nadal beat him in 2008 once the race is over? We are in for a treat at Flushing Meadows.

(Picture: Andy Roddick, Getty Images.)