In an interview to Nine TV channel, Roger Federer explained the toughness of facing a legend like Rafael Nadal. Two years ago the Swiss defeated the Spaniard in a five-set Australian Open final, and in a press conference, he had revealed that his coach Ivan Ljubicic had told him to play the ball, not Nadal during the match.
Commenting on what this sentence means, the 20-time Major winner said: ‘Rafa is a particular subject just because he gave most difficulties throughout my career’, explained Federer.
‘Just because he is lefty and the way he works the rallies, everything changes for me and nothing changes for him so it’s really complex and difficult against him.
For me to see Rafa on the other side of the net it reminds me all the difficult moments I had on the tennis court but I remember myself just to play the ball, not doing silly things because it’s Rafa on the other side of the court.
He is a tremendous champion, he has extra spin, extra fight, extra everything and that’s what makes this challenge so beautiful. So for me against Rafa or players who I do not like to play against, it’s better to focus on the ball rather than on the player.’
Rating his 2018 season, Federer added: ‘I am very happy, to be honest.
I would have signed for it. The second part of the season slowed down a little bit, I may have not lost some matches but it depends on opponents as well, and ahead of the new year I have to make sure that I have to be very, very ready when it comes to the big moments.’