I missed you, Roger tells Rafa

Roger Federer is looking forward to facing his great rival for the French Open crown a year after Rafael Nadal missed their rendezvous in the final.

With usual contenders Nikolay Davydenko of Russia and Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro having pulled out injured, the road looks clearer for another Roger versus Rafa classic.

“It is hard to pick anybody to say if Roger and Rafa are not going to win who else will it be,” Federer, wearing a blue polo shirt and looking calm, told reporters on Friday.

“We’ll see how we play. I hope we can play again in the future, because a year away from each other was maybe a bit long,” he added.

“I think anywhere we play is special”, said Federer.

“It’s always a big match regardless of where it is, how it is. It’s one of the great rivalries in sports right now, and obviously in our game the biggest one.”

Neither was keen to jump the gun and anticipate a fourth final showdown on the Paris clay, although the temptation was greater for Federer who made the draw at Roland Garros.

“When you’re sitting in that room, you feel like, ah, if only I could have picked maybe (…) Oh, no. You don’t even want to start thinking that way,” he said with a smile.

“It was a bit nerve-wrecking in some ways. But I’m used to pressure situations, so it was moderate. It was fine.”

The pressure will get stronger by the day for the defending champion, who could meet France’s Gael Monfils in the fourth round before a possible quarter-final clash with Swede Robin Soderling who he beat in last year’s final.

“Fourteen days down the road and six matches for each of (us) to get into the final. (It) is not my priority to play Rafa,” said Federer.

Date: 21.05.2010, Source: Reuters


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