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Jun 21, 2009

Roger Federer disappointed with Rafael Nadal's withdrawal

With Rafael Nadal forced to withdraw from the Wimbledon tennis tournament, Roger Federer is expected to retain the title he lost in an epic final against the Spaniard last year.

Unlike the French Open, this time Federer said he is sad for not able to play against the world no.1.
Federer said, "It (referring to Nadal's withdrawal) didn't come as such a big surprise to me, but it's obviously very disappointing for the tournament, and also for myself. It's a little bit similar to Paris — we played the last four years against each other in Paris, the last three years here at Wimbledon, so we won't see the same finals again."

"It's disappointing for me because I'd love to play him. He's my main rival and we've had some wonderful matches over the years, and especially the one here last year that obviously stands out. It just shows me how lucky I've been that I haven't been injured over all those years."
However it doesn't mean this Wimbledon is without any pressure.

Federer admits he felt the weight of history on his shoulders if his bid to break Pete Sampras's record for Grand Slam victories goes the distance at Wimbledon.
"The focus is on the first round and the first point," said Federer, whose match against Rendy Lu Yen-hsun is first on Centre Court on Monday, "but also trying to regain my Wimbledon crown, so that stands over trying to beat Pete's record right now."

"Once I come down to the semi-finals or finals, hopefully, then that's also going to start creeping into my mind, but right now, just trying to regain my Wimbledon crown would be a dream come true."
Federer could also be facing the biggest threat from Andy Murray.
When asked about Murray, Federer said, "He's a very gifted player. He has wonderful feel, he's a great tactician — I always said that, and he's finally proved it."

"It took him some time, and that was the disappointing part. I expected him to do better a few years ago, but everything is coming together for him now and he's been rock solid for almost two years now.
"

"The [British] media seems be making something of our recent matches. When I lost to him in Shanghai [at the Masters Cup in November 2008], for example, I was ill and suffering with my back, and I still almost beat him, so I'm not about to say that he's the best player in the world all of a sudden."
Well, of course the only person who could claim to be the best player in the world is Federer himself.

(Via Wimbledon official website; Image by AELTC)

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