After today’s title in Shanghai, Roger Federer has now won five straight matches over rival Rafael Nadal. But Federer acknowledges, he’ll never catch Nadal in their head-to-head which the Spaniard leads now 23-15.
“It’s not going to happen,” said Federer of levelling his series with Rafa. “We don’t have enough years left on the tour, and we’re ranked too good that we play each other only in finals at the moment. It looks like that’s going to stay like this for a few months more. So can’t win them all against Rafa, to be honest. He’s too good of a player.
“I’m just excited I’m on a good stretch right now. Head-to-heads? Yeah, sure, I would like it to be different, but I have utmost respect for Rafa. It’s been a tough matchup for me, and I tried my best. I have played him a lot on clay in the beginning of my career. No problem. I tried. I was close on many occasions, but he’s better on clay. I try to win the other ones that I can, and this year has been great so I’m happy about it.”
Federer also explained why he’s suddenly able to beat Rafa, and he’s done so convincingly of late winning the seven sets without Nadal reaching five games in any of them. But, he revealed, tough losses would linger in the past.
“I just think I’m not so scarred like maybe I have been in the past, not that I was horribly scarred in any way, but I did lose against him sometimes, a lot of the times especially on the clay courts,” Federer said. “I do believe I still lost that Wimbledon final in ’08 because of the French Open beatdown he gave me. It just affected my first two sets when I played him at Wimbledon.
“But, yeah, I think I have also played him well. Clearly avoiding him – not playing him on clay has helped,” he said. “So I’m able to stay on the hard courts or on faster courts against him, but I have been playing very well when I have faced off against him.”
Federer and Nadal could meet again in just a few weeks in Basel, then in Paris and also at the ATP Finals.
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