Rafael Nadal accuses Roger Federer of being scared of facing him on clay
Rafael Nadal has taken aim at absentee Roger Federer, essentially accusing him of avoiding facing him on clay.
Federer recently announced he’d be missing clay court season to give his body a break in an attempt to prolong his career. It didn’t go down well with Nadal.
“He said a couple of days ago that he would love to play against me again on clay, best of five sets, so I thought he would play Roland Garros,” said Nadal before he started his defence of the Monte Carlo Masters, which he is bidding to win for the 11th time.
“Then a few days later he says he will not play. A little bit of a contradiction.”
And, following his comfortable win over Aljaz Bedene in the first round of the tournament, Nadal once again targeted long-term rival Federer, saying he couldn’t see himself ever deciding to deliberately miss chunks of the season, especially those containing Grand Slams.
“It is not in my plan, but I can’t say ‘never’ because I cannot predict what’s going to be in the future,” the ten-time French Open champion added.
“When you get older, you need to adjust a little bit more the efforts and the calendar.
“But for me it is difficult to say I’m not going to play, for example, grass, or I’m not going to play hard.
“There are tournaments that I can’t imagine missing on purpose, because it is the tournaments that I love to play. So I don’t see myself missing Monte Carlo on purpose.
“I don’t see myself missing Wimbledon on purpose, or the US Open, or the Australian, or Rome.”
Jannik Sinner still in the mix for ATP Finals qualification after making progress in Antwerp
Sinner stayed on course for the end-of-season Nitto ATP Finals with a straights-sets win over Rinderknech.
Exclusive – Revealing the Mouratoglou coaching methods that took Serena Williams to a new level
What has made Patrick Mouratoglou the go-to guru for the game’s biggest names?
Daniil Medvedev refuses to confirm vaccine status as he backs Novak Djokovic
Medvedev has leapt to the defence of world No.1 Djokovic amid the ongoing debate over Covid vaccinations
Andy Murray fails to back up epic Antwerp win as he bows out in second round to Diego Schwartzman
The Scot was unable to take advantage of an early lead.
WATCH: Emma Raducanu ‘very excited’ about Upper Austria Ladies Linz as she releases new video
The 18-year-old pulled out of this week’s VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
WATCH: Serena Williams and Venus Williams joined by Will Smith as they reveal new King Richard trailer, and song by Beyonce
Grab the popcorn for the new King Richard trailer.
Andy Murray not a fan of changes to Wimbledon mixed doubles schedule as he suggests further tweaks
Andy Murray believes changes will have a knock on-effect on quality of the field.
Flavia Pennetta on Emma Raducanu winning US Open as a qualifier: ‘In my day it would never have happened’
“In my opinion it is not good for tennis,” says Flavia Pennetta.
Cameron Norrie on Emma Raducanu’s ‘utterly incredible’ US Open win: ‘It will inspire the next generation’
“It’s huge for British tennis,” says Cameron Norrie.
Officials at odds over whether or not rules should be tweaked to allow Novak Djokovic to compete at Australian Open
Should rules change to allow Novak Djokovic to compete?