Roger Federer: 'I hope Rafael Nadal plays again this year'

Roger Federer said he is not surprised by recent reports that Rafael Nadal may be out for the rest of the season with knee problems, but is not ruling out a return by the Spaniard this year.

"It's obviously not great news but one that was a possibility," said world number one Federer when told that Nadal could be forced to delay his return to the tour until 2013.

He was forced to sit out the Olympics to recover from more problems with his knees, a requirement which also forced him to miss the ongoing US Open where he was champion in 2010 and runner-up last year.

That would also rule him out of the Davis Cup semifinal against the United States in Gijon from September 14-16 as well as a potential final date in November.

Nadal's name is already absent from the team list published on the official Davis Cup website for the semifinal.

"I'm not shocked about the news. I'm still hopeful that he'll be okay for the rest of the year," added the world number one.

Federer and Nadal have developed a close bond despite their eight-year rivalry which has seen them battle for the world number one ranking as well as Grand Slam titles.

Between them they have won 24 of the last 30 majors.

Federer said that he and Nadal had never discussed injury problems and that even if they did, their conversations would remain strictly confidential.

"I think it's quite personal except if one guy goes up to the other. But we're both very open and honest. When I ask him how he's feeling, he's not feeling well, he'll tell me, I'm tired, a little injured," said Federer.

"There's no real secrets out there because he knows and I know when we tell each other that stuff it doesn't leave the room."

"That's a nice relationship I have with Rafa. It's based on a lot of trust."

Date: 2nd September 2012, Source: AFP


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