Re: News about Federer and/or Nadal withdrawals?
News on the wires say that Rafa will definitely play Hamburg as he's after Vilas' record....
don't know about Roger though.
I'm getting closer to Nadal, says Federer
ROME, May 15, 2006 (AFP) - World number one Roger Federer
insists he will go the French Open confident of winning the only
Grand Slam to have eluded him despite the overwhelming menace of
The Swiss superstar squandered two match points against the
teenager to lose an epic Rome Masters final 6-7 (0/7), 7-6 (7/5),
6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7/5) on Sunday, his third defeat against the Spaniard
this year and his fifth in six career meetings.
But Federer, who led 4-1 and then wasted two match points in the
final set against the defending champion, believes he can still take
Nadal's French Open crown later this month.
"I've been thinking about Paris since the first ball that I hit
on clay," he said.
"The clay ambience is all around at this time of the season.
It's good to be thinking about Roland Garros and to be excited about
Federer lost to Nadal in the semi-finals at Roland Garros last
He was also beaten on the clay of the Monte Carlo Masters last
month as Nadal, who has now equalled Guillermo Vilas's 53-match
winning streak on the surface, continued his stranglehold on the
world number one.
"I knew after Monte Carlo it was getting better," said Federer.
"This match was a step closer.
"I'm on the right track. It's good to have already played him
three times this year.
"It was a huge battle today and I had my chances to win. I did
everything that I could, but it wasn't quite enough."
Nadal said that he was convinced Vilas's record was out of reach
and fully expected to lose in Rome.
"Fifty-three is a lot of matches," smiled Nadal after Sunday's
"I really thought that this would be the week that I would lose.
But I've been lucky this year."
Nadal refuses to contemplate a title repeat at Roland Garros,
preferring instead to concentrate on the Hamburg Masters this week
where German Tommy Haas remains the last obstacle to what would be a
new best-ever mark of 54 straight winning clay matches.
"The French Open is far away in my mind," said Nadal.
"I can only think about Hamburg now."
150040 GMT MAY 06
"Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever" - Lance Armstrong