Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are now the leading violins entering the US Open Series. The mere fact that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are sharing the battlefield alone amplifies the illusion that some sort of time travel device might be out there in the world. As they went on winning the biggest ATP events of the ongoing season, the current situation might not change by the end of the year. The Canadian Masters held in Montreal will have Nadal and Federer as its first two seeded players. Their potential duel will only be eligible if they'll make it to the final.

The stake is huge for both as the world No. 1 slot is within range.

Djokovic and Wawrinka are done for 2017, Murray struggling with a hip injury

The Masters 1000 event in Monreal has recently lost three of its pillars as Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and even Marin Cilic decided to skip the event. In Wawrinka's case, the decision had further implications as the No. 2 Swiss decided to call an end to this season ( as Djokovic did). Thus, he will skip the entire US Open Series and won't be there defending 2016 US Open title. Marin Cilic is still recovering from that injury from Wimbledon final while the current world No.1 Andy Murray is not ready to compete after suffering a hip injury back at Wimbledon.

With Djokovic also out for the remaining part of the season, it became clear that Federer and Nadal are likely to dominate the men's tennis during the upcoming months.

Montreal may be just the opening episodes of a full season of clashes between these two. The Spaniard must reach the semis in Canada in order to surpass Murray in the ranking.

On the other side, Federer made his intentions quite clear by signing in for two Masters event prior to US Open. In his case, the world No. 1 spot will be within range in Cincinnati but Rogers Cup could help him on closing the gap.

Two different trends

In Federer's case, the situation presents itself in a simpler fashion as he would love to keep up the momentum.

He hasn't dropped a set since that match with Tommy Haas in Stuttgart and his level of confidence should be near the ceiling. And the transition from grass to cement has never been a problem for Federer. On the other side, Rafael Nadal fell short at Wimbledon and he must try regaining the momentum that guided him through the clay court swing. It was one of the most dominant displays of tennis in years and it also coincided with Federer being outside the bubble. It seems an imminent match-up for the upcoming weeks, but Federer vs Nadal match -ups have always been a source of intrigue and irrational passion.