Federer returns to top of tour rankings

WIMBLEDON, England --- Roger Federer is back at No. 1.


Federer returned to the top of the ATP rankings Monday, a day after winning Wimbledon by edging Andy Roddick 16-14 in the longest fifth set in Grand Slam final history.

Federer moves up from No. 2, switching places with former No. 1 Rafael Nadal .

"It's fantastic, because definitely, when you lose No. 1, you never know if you're ever going to return to it," Federer said Monday at the All England Club. "I always thought it was easier staying No. 1 than getting there."

A year ago at Wimbledon, Nadal beat Federer in the final and overtook him atop the rankings in August. That ended Federer's record stay of 237 consecutive weeks at No. 1, a streak that began Feb. 2, 2004, after his first Australian Open title.

Nadal did not defend his Wimbledon title, citing sore knees. His lead over Federer had taken a big hit when Nadal lost in the fourth round at the French Open this year. Nadal had won that major title four consecutive years.

Sunday's title was Federer's sixth at Wimbledon and record-breaking 15th major overall.

The rest of the men's top 10 was mostly unchanged, with Roddick remaining at No. 6.

Dinara Safina kept her hold on No. 1 in the WTA rankings, ahead of Wimbledon champion Serena Williams , who stayed at No. 2, and runner-up Venus Williams , still No. 3.

Safina -- No. 1 since April -- hasn't won a Grand Slam title, going 0-3 in major finals.

"I'd rather definitely be No. 2 and hold three Grand Slams in the past year than be No. 1 and not have any," Serena said Saturday.

TV RATINGS UP: The marathon Wimbledon final between Federer and Roddick has the second- highest television ratings for a tennis match since 2000.

NBC said Monday that the match drew a 4.2 overnight rating and a 12 share. Only 2008's epic Federer-Nadal final had a higher rating in the past eight years. That one got a 4.6/12 after rain caused it to run later into the day, when more people are watching.

RODDICK TO MISS DAVIS CUP: Roddick withdrew Monday from the U.S. Davis Cup team's quarterfinal at Croatia, citing a right hip flexor injury.

The U.S. Tennis Association announced that Roddick wouldn't participate because he was hurt during Sunday's loss at the All England Club.

Roddick slipped and tumbled to the grass in the eighth game of the fourth set. He stayed down for a few moments, then rose, grimacing, and toweled off. The 26-year-old American would go on to play for more than another 11/2 hours.

After the match, Roddick was asked whether he hurt himself, and he replied, "No. It was OK."

He was replaced on the U.S. Davis Cup team by Mardy Fish , who reached the third round at Wimbledon. Roddick is ranked No. 6, while Fish is No. 23.

Roddick had played in 18 consecutive Davis Cup matches for the United States, helping the country with the 2007 title.

When he was asked to play in the Davis Cup, Fish pulled out of this week's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I., where he was the top-seeded player.

Croatia plays host to the U.S. on clay at Porec, Croatia, starting Friday.

AGASSI PLANS RETURN: Andre Agassi is coming back to the U.S. Open.

The two-time champion will headline the Grand Slam tournament's opening night ceremony Aug. 31, celebrating athletes' charity work.

He began the Andre Agassi Foundation in 1994, the year of his first title at Flushing Meadows. He also won the 1999 U.S. Open for the fifth of his eight Grand Slam titles. Agassi ended his 21-year career there when he retired after the 2006 tournament.

Among his foundation's main efforts is the charter school in Las Vegas named for the tennis star. It graduated its first senior class in June, sending all 34 students to college.



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