Roger Federer calls Rafael Nadal’s 11th title win at French Open ‘unimaginable’
What’s the story?
Roger Federer heaped praise on his greatest nemesis, Rafael Nadal after his monumental 11th title win at the French Open, calling the Spaniard's feat ‘unimaginable’. The 20-time Grand Slam champion returns to action at this week’s Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, that marks the first of his three grasscoourt tournaments this season.
Ahead of his first competitive match in three months, the 36-year-old met the press and talked at length about his return and about Nadal’s triumph as well.
The World No. 2 said only ‘superlatives’ would do justice to describe the profundity of the southpaw’s win and added that his friend and rival accomplished the feat with the ‘sovereignty of a champion’.
“You can use only superlatives to describe that. To win one single tournament 11 times is unimaginable,” Federer said.
“It looks so easy how he did it in Paris again. I didn't see much from the finals because I arrived here, warmed-up and played by myself.
“But I didn't need to see it to know how strong he is and what amazing things he’s achieved. He didn’t need to win the tournament to prove that, but he did it anyway with the sovereignty of a champion.
“I think all players on the tour have to congratulate him for his success, because winning any tournament eleven times is unbelievable.”
In case you didn’t know
Federer is now on a two-match losing streak arriving into this tournament. He squandered multiple match points in his three-set loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the Indian Wells Masters final. At the Miami Masters, he fell to a shock three-set defeat to Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round.
The heart of the matter
Last year, Federer’s first match on grass did not go well as he shockingly went down in three sets to Tommy Haas in the second round at Stuttgart. That loss, however, was a wake-up call for the Swiss maestro.
He did not drop a set for the rest of the grass season, powering through 12 matches and won his ninth title at the Gerry Weber Open and his eighth at Wimbledon.
Federer begins his campaign against the 54th ranked Mischa Zverev, elder brother of the World No. 3 Alexander Zverev. The Swiss will play his first match on Wednesday.
Do you think that Nadal’s win will inspire Federer to defend his crown at Wimbledon this year? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.