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Top 3 seal spots for Shanghai Masters
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Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal is among a trio of stars who have qualified for the 2008 Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.

The Spaniard joins four-time champion Roger Federer of Switzerland and Serbia's Novak Djokovic for the season-ending event to be held for the fourth straight year at the Qizhong Tennis Center from November 9-16.

"I have just been informed that I have qualified for the Masters in Shanghai," said Nadal, a semifinalist in his two TMC appearances. "I am very happy about this fact since it will be my fourth consecutive. I couldn't play on the first one and I have never managed to win it, so I am really looking forward for this year's event."

The top-ranked American pairing of Bob and Mike Bryan and newly crowned Wimbledon doubles champions Daniel Nestor of Canada and Serbian Nenad Zimonjic have also clinched the first two doubles places in the elite eight-team field.

World No. 1 and defending TMC champion Federer is set to return to the circuit finale for the seventh straight year. The Swiss has compiled a 43-9 season record, winning his 55th career ATP title in April at Estoril. He has reached the TMC final the past five years. He won back-to-back titles in 2003-04 and again in 2006-07.

World No. 2 Nadal, who became the first player since Sweden's Bjorn Borg in 1980 to capture Roland Garros and Wimbledon title back-to-back has held down the top spot in the ATP 2008 Race standings since clinching his fourth straight Roland Garros title in June, and currently leads the ATP circuit with a 56-7 match record and five titles this season.

Djokovic, 21, earned his second straight TMC berth, having compiled a 38-9 record and three titles through the first half of the season.

(Shanghai Daily July 10, 2008)

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