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The surface, the rankings

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Switzerland’s Roger Federer returns the ball to Canada’s Milos Raonic during the final match at the ATP Mercedes Cup tennis tournament in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on June 17, 2018. THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP

It is the tale of two pals with one common letter starting their first names, just as in rankings.

As the tennis circuit moved from clay to grass surface, Rafael and Roger exchanged the top spot in rankings.

In April and May, the Swiss maestro skipped the red dirt while the Spanish Matador toiled through an arduous schedule.

By winning his eleventh title on the Grand Plaza of clay, Nadal surpassed Roger for the top spot by only 100 points.

Nadal skipped the grass-court warm-up events to rest his body.

The grass-court tournaments leading to the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon are being staged in continental Europe. Federer returned to action in Stuttgart where he only needed to reach the final to reclaim the top spot by 25 points.

In the semi-finals, the Australian Nick Kyrgios was just two points from stopping Roger’s quest but lost the tie break in the third set by seven points to five.

Roger proceeded to defeat Canadian Milos Raonic in the final and extended his lead over Nadal by 125 points.

The traditional last tournament leading to Wimbledon is played at the Queen’s Club, Palliser Road in Barons Court, London where the defending champion Feliciano Lopez of Spain is the top seed.

And Murray had won the tournament four times in the past and decided to make his come-back bid there but was defeated by a hot Nick Kyrgios in three sets. The results of the Queens event will not affect the top two slots in the rankings.

During this week, Federer is defending his title at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle in Germany, as the top seed.

In the first round, he defeated Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6/3; 6/4. If he wins the title, he would be 625 points ahead of Nadal as Wimbledon flags off on July 2.

Clearly, the two champions had picked the surface to earn the points for their rankings.


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