Nadal downplays Federer’s absence at French Open

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Paris, May 25 (IANS) World No.1 Rafael Nadal said on Friday that the absence of Switzerland’s Roger Federer from French Open did not detract from what could become his 11th title at Roland Garros.

For the second year in a row, Federer opted to quit the entire clay season, where Nadal is always the favorite, to focus on grass court-play, which kicks off in June, reports Efe.

“It (a possible victory) would be the same, whether Roger was there or not,” Nadal said at a press conference prior to Roland Garros, which begins on May 27.

Nadal stressed that Federer’s absence was “bad news for the tournament, not for me.”

The 16-time Grand Slam champion said he was aware of the danger his first-round rival Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine could pose, despite having a 7-2 lead in their head-to-head record.

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–IANS

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