Nadal Says He Is Okay With His French Open Seeding
epa03689552 Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal returns the ball during a training session during the Madrid Open tennis tournament at the Caja Magica tennis center in Madrid, central Spain, 06 May 2013. EPA/CHEMA MOYA |
Rafael Nadal is taking his fall to the ATP fifth ranking in his stride, concentrating only his upcoming opening match at the Madrid Masters. With the pre-French Open event back to red clay after the 2012 blue experiment, the Spaniard has enough on his plate as he prepares to face a second-round starting opponent to be determined.
The former No. 1 and king of clay for the last half-decade or more has lost two of three Madrid finals, with the 800-metre altitude of the Spanish capital not entirely suited to his game. Since coming back from his seven months of knee injury idleness, the 26-year-old has won four of the six tournaments he has entered and is looking again like a major title threat for the French Open starting in just over a fortnight.
Even with Roland Garros unwilling to boost his ranking from fifth so as to avoid a possible Paris quarter-final with No. 1 Novak Djokovic, that doesn’t bother Nadal at all. “The seeded players historically have been there to protect the tournament, to protect the players, that they’re going to be fights against the best players on the first rounds.
“The players that are in front of me are there because they have been playing better than me. I haven’t played; I haven’t trained either.
“If they were not injured and I have been injured, well, with the format of the rankings that we have currently, good for them for not being injured. The problem is mine.”
And so they meet again.
Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will collide for the fourth time in their careers at the World Tour Finals in an appropriate end to the 2014 ATP season with the world No. 1 and world No. 2 facing each other in the title match of the year-end championship. It will reach a climax on Sunday evening at London's O2 Arena.
It will be fascinating to see how the two warriors fare in the title match for the Barclays World Tour Finals. First in was Novak Djokovic, tested by an albeit crocked Kei Nishikori, and pushed to three sets. Even though the final set was a romp according to the score-line as the Serb advanced 6-1 3-6 6-0, ...
It will be Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer in the World Tour Finals championship match, but not before some serious drama took place on Saturday at the O2. After Novak Djokovic held off Kei Nishikori 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 in the first semifinal, the nightcap saw Federer survive four match points to outlast Swiss Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(6).
The watching crowds have been willing the tournament to catch light, and for the briefest of moments, the clouds that have settled on the East of London this week lifted momentarily to bring a three-set semi-final that had promise.