Roger Federer: We Hope Rafa Feels Better Quickly, But His Absence Gives Me An Opportunity
by Tom Gainey | August 23rd, 2014, 11:23 pm

Roger Federer said Saturday that he’ll miss rival Rafael Nadal at the US Open, but admitted that the Spaniard’s absence does open for players like himself with the defending champion out.

“I’m more disappointed for the fans, his fans, and the tournament,” Federer said of Nadal’s withdrawal. “It’s more exciting with him.

“For us, the players, I mean, we hope he gets well and he feels better quickly and all these things and he’s back on tour soon. But at the same time, I think what stands out is the opportunity, to try to take advantage of him, the fact that he’s not here. It’s one less really difficult player to beat maybe.

“I mean, maybe he was not going to be in my section. Maybe I wouldn’t have played him at all, like I have never played him here in the last ten years anyways. I mean, it’s just that the focus is more on you or other players rather than him. Yeah, we, the players, don’t wish injuries to anyone, you know. So you just hope he recovers quickly.”

Federer and Nadal have never played at the US Open, the only same they’ve never faced each in their historic rivalry.

The Swiss, who is playing in his 60th straight Grand Slam, then went about how he has remained largely injury-free during his career compared to Rafa.

“I can’t talk for him,” Federer said. “I don’t know what he really does in terms of his fitness, in terms of his training when he’s home in Mallorca, how much he trains, how little he trains. It’s all, I’d say 50%, you know, next to the schedule what you play and how you play. So I feel like I have managed my career well in the sense that I believe in rest in a huge way.

“Whenever I get a chance to rest, I do. Whenever I can go on vacation, I do. I don’t want to keep on playing all the time and feel like I’m always doing something, because I think the body and mind, they need time to heal. Especially if you have inflammations and so forth. I’d rather skip a tournament here and there rather than missing three or six months, which has never happened to me.”

Federer opens his bid for a 6th US Open title on Tuesday night or Wednesday afternoon against Marinko Matosevic.

“I’m looking forward to this tournament, because I really feel like I can play a great tournament,” he said. “I hope I can show that on the court this year.”

You Might Like:
Novak Djokovic: It Feels Like A New Chapter, It Feels Exciting
Fedal Wars: Federer Admits Nadal Could Catch His Grand Slam Total “Quickly”
Nadal Crushes Medvedev For 5th Canadian Title
What Do We Read Into Rafa’s Return After One Week? It Is Time To Panic Or Time To Chill?
Exhausted Rafael Nadal Withdraws From Basel

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

19 Comments for Roger Federer: We Hope Rafa Feels Better Quickly, But His Absence Gives Me An Opportunity

leo Says:

Aah, Rog. Always so classy!


skeezer Says:

Fed…always the class act. Way to take the high road, glad you don’t have an Uncle Toni. Best of luck at USO.

Humble Rafa Says:

Sugarpova makes more money than Humble Highness in endorsements.

Sad truth. Short skirts sell well. Goats don’t.

Humble Rafa Says:

Fed…always the class act. Way to take the high road, glad you don’t have an Uncle Toni. Best of luck at USO.

Thank you for your unbiased, fair, neutral, no non-sense, balanced, totally unexpected (from you), open minded, generous comment.

The world is better off because of your words.

Steve 27 Says:

The awful truth!

roy Says:

i guess this is basically djoker’s tournament to lose.

though the murray qf makes me wonder. may well decide the tournament winner.
i haven’t written off murray. i think he’s not too far from his top form. he may well get back there this tournament. if he does he is capable of beating djoker and fed or anyone on the other side.

Brando Says:

Major props to RF for not shying away and speaking the truth. Of course Rafa being out is a bummer for the event. Of course it’s a major obstacle out of the way for the top players. And of course it’s arguably a case that has Fed as the biggest beneficiary. Fed cutting to the chase and calling it like it is was a class move: shows he aint afraid to say it like it is regardless of how some may perceive it looks for him. Good luck in the tourney Fed!

Michael Says:

By putting across that Rafa’s absence is a blessing in disguise for him in no uncertain terms, Roger has expressed himself quite candidly. By such outspoken statements, he is proving that he is not submissive to his ego. The Tennis World knows that Roger has a problem in handling Rafa’s game and that has been a major black mark in his otherwise glorious career. All credit to Rafa that he has dominated the Tennis World like no other Tennis player has by comprehensively managing to get the better of his best competitors. But still you have to give it to Roger who despite his Championship status is not afraid to speak the truth although it might sound bitter. Similarly, I have heard Rafa too being quite blunt outspoken and frank when he is posed with a question of whether he wishes to face Novak in a final. He has put in no uncertain terms that he definitely doesn’t relish such a prospect and would prefer the easy way out to win a tournament. That is human psychology in general and to camoflauge this with positioning yourself at the media interviews ready to face challenges and relishing the prospect blah blah are all just sugar coated statements not reflecting truth.

Brando Says:

@Michael: Spot on and brilliant post (as always). Fed has shown real character here by speaking honestly and truthfully regarding this matter. The truth is: Fed has actually always had Rafa’s back and backed him. 2009: I remember he even acknowledged getting to number one had a fair bit to do with Rafa’s injury at the time. 2010: he said he was not surprised at Rafa storming back since he always backed him to do so with his talent when others were writing him off. 2012: at the year end he said you could even say Rafa had the best yea since he was dominating and leading the YE race until his injury. Even this year post RG: he talked of how inspiring it is to see Rafa do what he does there. So he’s always backed Rafa and actually stood up for him in the media. Likewise Rafa has been the same refusing to write Fed off as a contender and even saying the h2h means nothing in his matchups with Fed since he fully knows his hands are full when facing Fed and that talent. He even considers him the GOAT. So whilst the fans trade barbs these 2 actually have ALOT of respect and high regard for one another (Fed- surprisingly- even said both their families are actually familiar with one another, although I recall Rafa’s family congratulating Fed when he beat Rafa at the WTF 10′ final).

Michael Says:

Thank you Brando !! I wholeheartedly share your thoughts.

Gordon Says:


You are so correct. Fed and Rafa have had their differences on how the ATP or the ITF runs professional tennis, but for the most part these were minor professional disagreements.

These two guys do get along and really respect each other. Their families get along and I think most people they are the best thing to happen to tennis since the invention of the racquet.

I mean honestly – would two guys who didn’t like each other go through something like this? –

(I still crack up each time I watch it)

Hippy Chic Says:

Gordon many thanks for that video,i laugh soooo much every time i watch it,Roger says so Rafa,and Rafas eyebrows arch priceless love it hilarious lol, and Rafas family actually send Roger birthday and christmas cards,Rafas parents went into the dressing room of Rogers at the WTF in 2010,his mum kissed Roger on the cheek,and his dad shook Rogers hand….

Dan Martin Says:

I have some US Open content and Day 1 picks up at and will have more up as the day continues. With Rafa out and Murray’s ranking having dropped, it was possible that a lopsided draw could benefit someone and Roger is benefitting so long as he wins matches.

metan Says:

Honesty is so rare nowadays. One of many qualities, a king should have. Tennis after all. Roger is the Ruler😍

RZ Says:

We’ve seen similar statements in the past. I remember when Pete Sampras chose to skip the Australian Open, and Yevgeny Kafelnikov said early on in the tournament that it opened the door for him, and then when he won, publicly thanked Pete for not playing that year.

I also remember Li Na making a similar statement when Serena had to miss the Australian Open a few years ago – that it was an opportunity for her to win the tournament since she wouldn’t have to play Serena.

Okiegal Says:

As Milos said concerning Rafa being out of Toronto…players were licking their chops at the prospect of getting farther because of the absence of Rafa. He too was being honest.

I believe that Roger and Rafa have always had a good rapport and great admiration for each other.
Maybe a tiff or two, but nothing too serious. Roger got a little testy with him the last time they played (AO) and fussed about the time and his grunting. The time issue I get, but the grunting issue was a new one. I watched that entire match last week and the commentators made comments about Roger being a little out of sorts about it. They also said it could have been because he was losing……

Humble Rafa Says:

Honesty is so rare nowadays. One of many qualities, a king should have. Tennis after all. Roger is the Ruler😍

I provide honest opinion about other players. It seems you believe in “selective honesty”.

Hippy Chic Says:

Giles nice article thankyou :))….

Top story: 9 Things I Think I Thought About Novak Djokovic's French Open Win And The GOAT Debate