By Chris Oddo/ Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Roger Federer had nothing but kind words to say about newly minted world No. 1 Rafael Nadal before beginning play at the Shanghai Rolex Masters this week.
Photo Source: AP
Roger Federer spoke candidly about his arch nemesis Rafael Nadal prior to the start of the Shanghai Rolex Masters in China, and he had nothing but kind words for the world No. 1, saying that Rafa has basically proved the naysayers wrong and cryptically sending a message to the media that they shouldn't be hastily writing him off either.
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“I mean, first about Rafa, I think an unbelievable comeback,” said 32-year-old Federer. “No doubt about it. I mean, one year ago people were saying he might never play tennis again. One year later he's world No.1. That's how quick things can go in tennis, which is great. On the other hand, you know, you got also the other extreme the other way sometimes. You write off a player a little bit too fast.
“I'm really happy that Rafa's proven himself, for himself personally clearly, but also to the rest of the world that you never write off someone like him. I'm very happy for him. I mean, the US Open was an unbelievable victory, getting that done. Early on you just thought things went well for him. But he proved himself so many times this year that he deserves to be world No.1. Nobody is arguing with it.”
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Federer also spoke about his own game, and his chances of qualifying for the ATP World Tour finals, a tournament that he has won a record six times since his first qualification in 2002.
“I'm really just focused on my own game, my first-round opponent,” Federer said (update: Federer defeated Italian Andreas Seppi for the 10th consecutive time in Shanghai on Wednesday, 6-4, 6-3). “That's all I really need to do. If you focus on another player, like back in the day when they say, You're going to play Rafa in the finals, it was nice to talk about these things, but it was so far away. It's the same with the World Tour Finals. It was the goal at the beginning of the season to qualify for it. I consider it the absolute best of the best tournament out there, so I want to be part of that. So it's extra motivation for me to play well and be part of that great tournament.”
Federer owns a career record of 42-9 at the World Tour finals, and he has amassed over $11 million in prize money at the event. He also owns a 4-0 edge in matches and an 8-1 edged in sets against Nadal at the event.