Rome: Rafael Nadal believes the decision by Roger Federer to skip Roland Garros and the clay season is logical as the Spaniard yesterday prepared to start the Rome Masters. The World No. 4 does not begrudge his Swiss rival for skipping the 2017 spring clay season to concentrate on Wimbledon and the grass-court run-up.
Federer owns an Australian Open title and Masters 1000 honours in Indian Wells and Miami this season since coming back from a six-month injury lay-off. "Everybody does what he feels best for them. If he doesn’t play one tournament before the French Open, it’s normal that he will skip the French Open, no?" Nadal, who starts in the Foro Italico second round against Nicolas Almagro, said.
Nadal suggested that the decision was made well ahead of its announcement and would have been taken as a strategy move by the 35-year-old’s coaching team. "Probably he had that decision before or probably he didn’t want to announce before," speculated Nadal, who has won three clay titles in three events competed in this season. "But thinking in a logical way, it would be strange if you don’t play on clay in one event and then you start on the biggest one, playing best of five," he added.
As for his own game, the Spaniard could not be happier as he keeps the chance of a record 10th Paris title next month in the back of his mind after winning Monte Carlo and Barcelona ten each and adding another last weekend in Madrid.
"I already won three tournaments on clay, so I am playing well. I am very happy about the beginning of the season," said the 14-time Grand Slam winner.
"I am playing great, not only on clay, but on every surface. I had a lot of success in my career, so I’m trying to enjoy every day, the fact I am playing again in these events," he added.
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