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Nadal says dream match might be wishful thinking

By Agence France-Presse in New York | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-04 07:46

Rafael Nadal believes that facing Roger Federer at the US Open might have to remain an intriguing fantasy after the worrying decline of the Swiss superstar continued in New York.

Federer, winner of a record 17 Grand Slam titles, fell to Spanish 19th seed Tommy Robredo on Monday.

The result also doomed hopes for a potential quarterfinal match with 12-time major winner Nadal in what would have been the first meeting at Flushing Meadows in the pair's 31-match rivalry.

"To be honest, it was going to be great if we were able to play a final because I felt that in our rivalry for so many years we were able to play in all the best scenarios, stadiums, around the world," said Nadal, who reached the quarterfinals with a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber.

The two men have played four finals at the French Open, three at Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open.

"We've played the rest of the finals in the Grand Slams, so probably the rivalry deserves to have that match here in the US Open on the biggest court in the world," said Nadal.

"But it didn't happen. That doesn't mean it cannot happen in the future. We'll see. Hopefully.

"But it's true that we are getting older, so the chances are less today than they were five years ago."

Nadal is only 27 but Federer has already turned 32.

Nadal, the US Open champion in 2010, took his 2013 record to 57 wins against just three defeats and his perfect hard-court form to 19 victories since his return in February from a seven-month injury layoff.

As he looks forward to a clash with Robredo for a semifinal spot, Nadal insisted he was never caught up in the hype surrounding a potential showdown with Federer.

"For two times we were one point away (from meeting in New York). But it is always the same, no?

"You (the media) make the confrontations before the draw.

"When the draw is coming and in the first round you always talk about quarter-finals. To be in the quarter-finals you need to win four matches. That's not easy for anybody."

(China Daily 09/04/2013 page23)

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