World number three tennis player Roger Federer said he hopes Rafael Nadal regains the number one ranking in Montreal this week.
Nadal will return to the top of the ATP world rankings for the first time in three years if he reaches the semi-finals at this week’s Rogers Cup.
The 31-year-old Spaniard, a top seed in Canada in the absence of current world number one Andy Murray, ended last year ranked nine after taking time off to recover from a wrist injury.
Federer, ranked number two at the tournament, said Nadal deserves to be world number one again.
Nadal said it is not something he is thinking about, but said if it happens it would be welcome.
“It would be absolutely massive. I remember when he was injured at the end of the last year and here he is a few matches away from clinching world number one.
“In a way, it seems very far yet it’s very near so he’s just got to stay focused and I hope for his sake he’s going to make it. If not, I’m happy for Andy (Murray) to get another week at number one because of the run that he showed as well last year was tremendous.
“I have unbelievable respect for Andy that he was able to do it and get to world number one and finish the year at world number one. That was nice to see. Now there’s probably going to be a changing of the guard at world number one level in the near future and I hope for Rafa he can get there again. He would absolutely deserve it after his 10th French Open win in the summer here,” Federer said.
Nadal opens in Montreal against either Croatia’s Borna Coric or Russian Mikhail Youzhny on Wednesday.
Federer opens up against Canadian Peter Polansky also on Wednesday.