Tour fifi nals fair for all, says Fed­erer amid clay talk

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

LON­DON — Roger Fed­erer has dis­missed Rafael Nadal’s claim that it would be fairer if the ATP Tour Fi­nals were played on clay-courts.

As the world’s most for­mi­da­ble player on clay, Nadal has in the past sug­gested it would be bet­ter if the sea­son-end­ing Tour Fi­nals at least oc­ca­sion­ally took place on his pre­ferred sur­face.

The pres­ti­gious sea­son-end­ing event has never been held on clay since its in­cep­tion in 1970 and it’s a tour­na­ment which Nadal has yet to con­quer.

It has mostly been played on an in­door hard-court, with other stints on car­pet, grass and out­door hard­courts when it was staged in var­i­ous cities be­fore set­ting up home in Lon­don in 2009.

Fed­erer has al­ways thrived on the in­door hard-court used at the O2 Arena, as he showed once again by kick­ing off his bid for a sev­enth ti­tle at the event with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) win over Jack Sock on Sun­day.

Asked about the world num­ber one’s de­sire for a clay fi­nale to the sea­son, Fed­erer in­sisted the cur­rent sur­face was a good choice given the pre­pon­der­ance of other events on the crushed earth.

There are cur­rently three Mas­ters 1000 events held on Nadal’s favoured clay, with none on the faster grass that Fed­erer prefers.

Of the Grand Slams, only the French Open — won 10 times by Nadal — is on clay, while Wim­ble­don, where Fed­erer has tri­umphed eight times — is the grass-court ma­jor.

“Fair? I’m not sure if it’s the right word. I think it’s right and fair that it’s in­doors, as well,” Fed­erer said.

“There is no Mas­ters 1000s on grass. There is one Mas­ters 1000 in­doors: Paris. So I feel like in­doors also de­serves its place.

“Could it be switched up to clay once in a while? Yeah, maybe. Could we have more 1000s on grass?

“Yeah, we could have that, too. Could we have less on clay, more or hard courts? Could we have more or hard courts, less on clay?

“Yes, it’s all de­bat­able. I think it’s not the time of the year for clay, so there you have it.

“You can do in­door clay, I guess, but that’s a bit silly. But I get his point.”

Fed­erer has en­joyed a re­mark­able renaissance this year, win­ning the Aus­tralian Open and Wim­ble­don, as well as five other ti­tles.

De­spite that stun­ning re­turn to form, the 36-yearold won’t fin­ish the year on top of the world rank­ings.

Nadal wrapped up that hon­our when Fed­erer opted out of the re­cent Paris Mas­ters.

If world num­ber two Fed­erer had played and won in France, he could have kept the race go­ing into the Tour Fi­nals — where he and Nadal are the lead­ing con­tenders for the tro­phy.

But he was adamant he had no wor­ries about miss­ing out on pole po­si­tion.

“He was bet­ter through­out the year. He played more tour­na­ments. He was in­cred­i­bly suc­cess­ful through­out,” Fed­erer said. “So, no, I don’t have any re­grets be­cause I feel like in my stage of my com­pe­ti­tion, my age, ei­ther it comes to me or it doesn’t. “He had more gas left in the tank than I did. I couldn’t play as much as I’ve wanted, or I over­played any­way. “My only re­gret was I would have loved to be in con­tention through the Mon­treal fi­nals, Cincin­nati, US Open. “But things evap­o­rated very quickly af­ter he won the US Open. That’s when he made his final push, was in Asia. That was it for me re­ally. “In some ways I’m happy he clinched it be­cause he de­serves it. I can fo­cus on play­ing the tour­na­ment, and not hav­ing to talk about that at the same time. “But, sure, I would have loved to be it, but you can’t be it with that many tour­na­ments, so it’s no prob­lem for me.” — AFP.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.