If Roger Federer’s not around to answer questions about his state of mind, why not make Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic do it for him?
From the AP (click here for the original):
Nadal not worried about Federer rebounding
BENIDORM, Spain (AP)—Top-ranked Rafael Nadal isn’t worried about Roger Federer’s ability to bounce back from an Australian Open defeat that left him in tears during the trophy presentation.
“I don’t think there is too much to analyze. I’m not going to turn the whole thing into a movie just because of a single moment of emotion,” Nadal said Sunday after beating third-ranked Novak Djokovic to help defending champion Spain eliminate Serbia 4-1 in Davis Cup play.
Nadal said the two tennis stars haven’t spoken since that emotional—and slightly awkward—moment following Nadal’s victory last month over the second-ranked Swiss player.
With Rod Laver about to present the cup to Nadal, Federer stood on the court shedding tears after having missed his first chance to equal Pete Sampras’ record 14 Grand Slam singles titles.
“I haven’t spoken with him because I haven’t seen him,” Nadal said.
After Federer choked up at the microphone at the Rod Laver Arena, Nadal told Federer he was the best player in history and that he would catch Sampras’ record. Nadal said he didn’t think his compliments had sounded condescending.
“Could they upset him? I sincerely don’t think so. With all of the titles he’s won over the years and all of those years at No. 1, can you say something else? I don’t think so,” Nadal said. “I believe I’m sincere and in the end we have a sufficiently good relationship that we don’t get upset with each other when things come out in the press. If Federer told me I was the best, I would love it, I would be happy.”
Nadal, who is 5-2 against Federer in championship matches at the majors, ended Federer’s five-year reign at Wimbledon last year. Nadal then overtook Federer for the No. 1 ranking, which he had occupied for a record 237 weeks, before becoming the first Spanish man to win at Australia.
Djokovic also believed Federer would bounce back to challenge Nadal for tennis’ top ranking.
“For Federer it’s a very big task because he’s not used to having somebody else in front of him,” Djokovic said through a translator. “And Rafa is in excellent form so it will be difficult with some of the other players like (Jo-Wilfred) Tsonga, (Andy) Murray and me also challenging.”
I wonder how Djokovic and Federer will match up against one another this year? The Serb certainly hasn’t made good on “the King is dead” predictions that his mother made after the Australian Open two years ago. Of course Novak is always a threat – but does he belong on that list with Murray and Nadal?