What Roger Federer has said of possible Rafael Nadal showdown in Madrid is unmissable

by Ajit Singh Khanna | Posted on Thursday, May 9th, 2019 | 0

It hasn’t looked like Roger Federer is playing his first tournament on clay in three years. The Swiss ace has looked fluent in the Mutua Madrid Open opener, losing just five games against Richard Gasquet to set up a date with Gael Monfils.

Naturally, talks of a duel with top rival Rafael Nadal have already begun, even as the duo will not face each other before the final. Highlighting the very fact, Federer shrugged off looking that far ahead.

“Yeah, that means I’m in the finals,” he said when asked of a potential clash with Nadal. “And I didn’t have many chances to beat him the last three years on clay, so years go by quickly.

“Sure I remember back to the finals here in Madrid as one of my good matches on clay, no doubt about it. I think he was pretty tired as well. I played solid.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion didn’t shy away from praising his opponent, labelling the Spaniard a yardstick for all the others on clay.

“Yeah, of course, I would love to play on clay against him again, even though I know it’s a tough challenge and all that. But again it would be nice to have played him at the beginning of his career on clay and also at the very end and see how it all plays out.

“And if I said I don’t want to play him on clay, I think then I would have made a mistake to be on the clay in the first place because he is the measuring stick for all us players.”

Nadal, who beat Felix Auger Aliassime in straight sets first up, is scheduled to face another young gun in Frances Taifoe.

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