Nadal Cherishes "Special" Federer Rivalry
Cincinnati, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff | 13.08.2013
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One of the most significant match-ups to emerge from the Western & Southern Open draw is a possible quarter-final clash between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Should it come to pass, it would be their 31st meeting and Nadal revealed on Tuesday in Cincinnati that his rivalry with Federer has yielded some of the most celebrated moments of his career.

“I think matches against Roger have always had special feelings,” said the Spaniard, who is coming off his 25th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Montreal. “We played all of the important matches in our careers, and the combination of styles makes the match-up interesting. One player finding one thing, another one trying to find solutions to not let him play as he was. And it's a little bit more of a strategic match. And playing for big titles, that match-up made me feel very special every time.”

Read: Roger & Rafa The Rivalry

The 27-year-old Nadal is bidding to win his ninth title of the season in what has been a remarkable comeback from the left-knee injury that sidelined him for seven months. Mardy Fish, who has endured his own health problems in the past 18 months, remarked on Monday that Nadal’s comeback had been “amazing”, and the Spaniard revealed his renewed passion for tennis after the enforced lay-off.

“I think [I have found] that motivation, the excitement to be back on the tour, the spirit and the passion for the sport,” said Nadal, who is looking to win in Cincinnati for the first time. “After a period of time when you were not allowed to do what you really wanted to do, you are able to come back with a very, very fresh mentality knowing what you have to try to do to be competitive, and that's what I tried. 

“When I come back, go outside in every court around the world and see the stadium full, a big crowd supporting, it is more and more special than before the injury happened. Because before it was completely normal to have that every week. But after seven, eight months without enjoying that feeling, you come back and feel that, and that gives you a lot of positive energy.”

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