Is Roger Federer using Rafael Nadal to get to Novak Djokovic’s head? The Swiss states Spaniard still the ‘King of Clay’ despite Serbian being the favorite at the 2016 French Open, the next Grand Slam tournament in tennis.
Roger Federer stated in a recent interview that he sees Rafael Nadal as the player to beat in the clay court championship later this year despite World No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s recent domination of the tennis scene.
The Swiss Maestro said that Djokovic, who has yet to won a clay court majors championship, remains the “favorite” but believes that Nadal is still the “King of Clay” and will be a formidable competitor in the Spaniard’s favorite surface at the 2016 French Open later this year.
“The king of the clay is Rafa. The tennis player is to beat him. Novak never won in Paris. It may now be the favorite but Nadal is Nadal. I am glad that it has been shown that not to believe in him that he can win in Monaco and more,” Roger Federer said when asked about his rivals, particularly of Nadal, who has struggled with injuries but won his first ATP tournament since 2014.
“I was not surprised. What happens is that we used to see Rafa, after a long injury, and was quickly back to his best. And that was amazing to me. It is not normal as much as he had done many times. What I was surprised is how spoke openly about their fears,” Federer added about Nadal’s comeback in tennis.
“Perhaps it was the way to take pressure or simply tell the truth of what was happening. Although it is amazing that people would think that there could again be competitive. It’s who just won his ninth title in Monte Carlo.”
Rafael Nadal won his ninth Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters title last week beating Gael Monfils, 7-5 5-7 6-0 in the championship round.
“The victory here confirms that I am better and I am very happy… It’s been a very, very emotional week for me, a very important event,” Nadal said post-game via the ATP’s official website. “Monte-Carlo is one of the most important places in my career without any doubt. To win again here after three years is so special for me.”
Roger Federer’s statement can be considered as a slight jab at Djokovic, who is one of the players who is pegged to break the Swiss’ Grand Slam record wins of 17. Djokovic currently has 11 majors titles but has won much of it the last two seasons. If the Serbian continues his tennis success on the court he is expected to challenge the world record of Roger Federer in the next few years.