Roger Federer said Rafael Nadal ‘will be missed’ in London
11 November, 2018, 18:59
"I'm just here to play my best tennis and do things on my side, if I can do that then I give my self the best chance".
For the last couple of years Federer has also chosen to skip the entire clay court season to focus on other surfaces and, understandably, does not enter as many tournaments as he used to.
Then the next day, playing in the final against 22-year-old rising star Karen Khachanov, Djokovic was expected to wrap-up a 23rd straight match win and, in the process, bagging his fifth Paris title and a record 33rd Masters 1000 title.
Yet 2018 has been plagued more than ever by questions about retirement, despite a 17-match winning streak at the start of the year, and stacking up four titles from seven finals.
The American has been virtually a fixture in the top 20 for the better part of a decade but finally secured a place in the final-eight showdown after making back-to-back slam quarter-finals and winning the biggest title of his career in Miami.
Nadal now has 80 singles titles to his name, including 11 French Open wins and, aged just 32, could conceivably move up the list in years to come.
COMMUTERS on the London Underground were shocked on Friday night when they were joined by sporting royalty in Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Federer is seeded second for the ATP Tour Finals following the withdrawal of Nadal.
"I don't think it matters really where I win my 100th as long as it's going to happen at one point", said the 37-year-old, who has not won the ATP Finals since 2011.
"There was never a doubt that he is strategically and technically the most dominant player in the world in recent times", said Cliff Drysdale, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist and commentator with ESPN, over the phone a few months ago.
And therein lies the dilemma for the young players, for it is not only Federer who defies the years.
Nadal this week pulled out of the tournament in London - guaranteeing Djokovic will end the season as the world number one. But I always enjoy playing him and it's a big challenge. The ATP Finals is one of the wealthiest tournaments on the tour in terms of prize money and on a par with the Grand Slams. I don't know what the options are, but they are clearly important to look at. "Everyone I'm going to play this week is ranked ahead of me so it's a pretty unique spot that I'm in".
So retirement is not part of the picture just yet: Federer still has fish to fry. I think if I won the title here, it is more about winning the World Tour Finals and not about winning my 100th. "I'm ready to go again now", he said.
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