Federer 'would love to play' Nadal at US Open, Rafa hoping for 'easier' opponent | Zagsblog
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Wednesday / October 27.
  • Federer ‘would love to play’ Nadal at US Open, Rafa hoping for ‘easier’ opponent

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    NEW YORK — Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal can’t meet in a dream final at the US Open, but the two longtime rivals have very different feelings about a potential semifinal showdown in two weeks.

    “I’d love to play Rafa here in New York,” Federer, the five-time US Open champion who last won here in 2008, said on Saturday. “Hopefully it will be a night session. Hopefully that would be a great atmosphere and one again where we play great like at the Australian Open.

    “I don’t think we are both thinking that far ahead. I’m sure it will be a nice prospect.”

    Nadal, on the other hand, said he hopes it doesn’t happen.

    “If I am in semifinals, no,” said Nadal, who won here in 2010 and ’13. “I prefer to play against another one. Is obvious, no? I am not that way. Sounds very good, but the real thing, I prefer to play against another player, an easier one if it’s possible.

    “I know you want to hear the other way, that I would love to play with him. No, of course I understand that gonna be great for our history. Is true that we played in all Grand Slam finals. We never played here and for sure this year we are not going to play in finals. Finals are more special than semifinals, in that case.

    “But anyway, meeting him here in semifinals with Roger, if that happens that will be something great and amazing, but as I say before, we made a lot.”

    Nadal is 23-14 all-time against Federer but has lost the last four, including three in 2017: a five-set loss in the Australian Open final and two beatdowns at the hands of Federer on outdoor hardcourts at Indian Wells and in Miami.

    Ahead of Friday’s draw, there was hope that the two legends would be placed on opposite sides of the draw, setting up the potential dream final on Sept. 10. But the tennis Gods placed No. 1 Nadal and No. 3 Federer in the same half, setting up a potential semifinal on Sept. 8. No. 2 Andy Murray could face No. 4 Alexander Zverev in the other semifinal.

    Federer, 36, and Nadal, 31, have squared off five times at the French Open, four times at the Australian Open and three times at Wimbledon, but never in New York.

    They enter having won all three of the Grand Slams this year, Federer winning his 18th and 19th majors at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and Nadal winning his 15th at the French Open.

    Asked what it would be like to finally play Federer here, Nadal said:

    “I cannot tell you because I never played. Remain five matches so 10 victories to have that match so a lot of points and games to play so now is not the moment.”

    Added Federer: “We never played here in New York, so I think that would be fun for everybody involved. I mean, there is, like, I don’t know, 60-plus players in between us that don’t agree in our section that we should make it to the semis. We have our work cut out there.”

     



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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.