Rafael Nadal will replace Andy Murray at the top of the ATP rankings should he reach the semi-finals of the ongoing Rogers Cup, and Roger Federer hopes it happens.
The current number one, Murray, has not played since his quarter-final exit from Wimbledon as he continues to recover from a hip injury.
The Scot is expected to return for the US Open, which starts later in August, but the top spot is up for grabs as Nadal only needs a last-four finish in Montreal to do so.
“It would be absolutely massive,” said Federer, who is also competing in the tournament.
‘I remember when he was injured last year, and here he is a few matches away from clinching world No.1. It seems very far, yet it’s very near so he just has to stay focused.’
While Federer, who himself has spent a record 302 weeks at the top of the ATP rankings, would be happy to see Murray remain at the top he wants to see his great rival replace him.
‘I hope for him that he makes it, and if not I’m happy for Andy to get another week at No.1 because the run that he showed was tremendous – I have unbelievable respect for Andy. There will be a changing of the guard at world No.1 level, and I hope for Rafa he can get there.’
If the Spaniard makes it to the top this week, it would be the first time he’s been No.1 since June 2014 and would be a remarkable achievement considering his persistent battles with injury.