World number two Nadal has won his last 29 matches
Rafael Nadal continued his seemingly unstoppable march towards the world number one spot by capturing the Toronto Masters title.
The Spaniard brushed aside Nicolas Kiefer 6-3 6-2 to clinch his fifth straight tournament and take his winning streak to 29 matches.
Nadal is now only 300 points behind Roger Federer in the world rankings.
The 22-year-old has a chance of ending the Swiss star's reign at the Cincinnati Masters this week.
"I think I have to be happy, very happy if I am number one or number two," said Nadal, the French Open and Wimbledon champion.
"If I am number two it's because in front of me there is an amazing player like Roger.
"Every player wants to be number one. I would love to be. But I'm number two now. I'm very happy for that."
Nadal will become number one if he wins the Cincinnati title and Federer loses before the semi-finals.
If not, Federer's four-and-a-half year stint at the top of the rankings seems likely to end on 18 August when he loses the 850 points he gained for reaching last year's Toronto final and winning in Cincinnati.
Nadal, by contrast, will only lose 230 points.
The Toronto title was Nadal's 30th, making him the third youngest player after Bjorn Borg and Jimmy Connors to reach that landmark
"I'll think about the record when my career is over," said the 22-year-old.
"Right now, my most important goal was to win Toronto."
Unseeded German Kiefer was playing in his first Masters Series final at the age of 31 - but he was no match for an in-form Nadal.
The Spaniard broke serve for the first time to go 3-2 up and took the first set when Kiefer double-faulted.
And once Nadal had come through an epic game at 2-2 in the second, he proved unstoppable.