I think he needs to reach the final at least to be #1, I'm not sure though.
No, check Judio's comments in the ranking thread. A win in Cinci would give Rafa the ranking on August 4th, a finals loss on August 11th and a semis loss on August 18th.
Yeeeeah, but...it would be great to have it on Monday. It would also be sort of symbolic if he won Cincy and took it that way-for Nadal and for Fed.
You see, as magnificent as Federer and his accomplishments are, it is only fitting that to finally be displaced would require 34 consecutive matches won, 6 straight tournament victories, the rare FO/Wimbledon combo, and Masters Series titles ranging from slow clay to ice-fast hardcourts.
This streak is already historic, whether he wins Cincy or not, but if he does it would be a storybook ending...This will be the toughest title for him too, so for all of these reasons a victory here and the resulting #1 ranking would be incredible... oh yeah, Nadal in two routine sets
I agree, I'd love it to happen here. Cinci is in my opinion the hardest tournament of the year for Rafa, right after Canada, on super fast hard courts, and best of three so he can't wear opponents down like he can at the US Open. But he has already matched his best result ever here, and already score a major hardcourt title as part of this streak, so all I really care about now is that he wins his match tonight and secures #1, then he can get some well deserved rest. 32 is a nice number