Rafael Nadal cruised past Andrey Rublev losing just five games to reach a sixth US Open semifinal. After the easy win over the Russian 19-year-old, the focus was of course on his potential match-up with Roger Federer on Friday, which would be their first at the US Open. When asked of his admiration for the Swiss, Rafa had some fun.
“I don’t want to look like I gonna be his boyfriend, no?” Nadal joked. “We don’t want to talk these kind of things before important match.
“Well, we have a lot of respect for each other, no? We played a lot of times. I think we did important things for tennis. We appreciate that. We always had a good relationship. We played for our foundations.
I think he always have been a great ambassador for tennis and for our sport, with good image, of course, and representing, I think, good values.
“One important thing that is a great example for kids, no, after a lot of years and winning more than nobody, he still have the passion to keep doing what he did during all his career, no? And doing unbelievable well and doing with the right attitude and with the right passion and love for the sport, no?
“So that’s something important for me and something that I admire him, and inside the court, I admire of him the same, as you can admire, because everybody knows how complete is him, and he’s able to produce all the shots.
So let’s see. Of course I think I answered already.”
On the matchup itself, Nadal was just happy to playing in a semifinal at the US Open again.
“I’m excited to be in semifinal, most of anything,” Nadal said. “Happy the way I played today, and let’s see what’s gonna happen tonight and let’s see which opponent I have in that semifinals.
“If it’s Roger Federer, of course I am excited to play that match, and of course is special to play against him here in New York for the first time in our career. That’s something that didn’t happen before and is something strange, because we played couple of times in all the important events of the world, so will be excited and I will be very excited to play that match, of course.”
Nadal will await tonight’s Federer-Juan Martin del Potro battle.
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