Even a few years ago, the prospect of seeing the World No. 1 and No. 2 players teaming up in a doubles match was unlikely if not out of the question.
Times are changing. Last night marked the first time Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the current No.’s 1 and 2 teamed up to play a doubles match together.
Roger Federer was asked his opinion of the pairing and true to his don’t-rock-the-boat personality, Federer said he had no problem with it. But he didn’t always feel that way.
According to Federer, Nadal previously approached him looking to team up a few years ago at an indoor tournament in Madrid. Federer turned him down.
“Then I think our rivalry was so intense, I just felt like it was the wrong thing to do,” Federer said. “It would have been great for the game, but I think it would have been a bit of a curveball for everybody. It was fierce rivals, now all a sudden they’re being friendly. I don’t think the press would have enjoyed that so much. They want to put us against each other, not with each other. But today I think we’re much more laid back, me especially, too, because I didn’t have a rival for a long period of time, and then Rafa came up.”
As for playing in the future with Nadal, Federer said he wouldn’t rule it out but said it would be unlikely.
“If I do play, I want to play with my friends from Switzerland, help those guys out,” he said.
NOT THIS TIME GILLES
Frenchman Gilles Simon’s memories of that impressive run in Toronto two years ago will have to suffice.
He won’t have any fond one’s from this year.
Simon, who made it all the way to the semi-finals in 2008 before being taken out by Nicolas Keifer, was sent home yesterday by Russian Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
Simon appeared to be rebounding in the second set as he had a 4-1 lead after dropping the first set. That was when play was called on account of rain. When play resumed some four and a half hours later, Youzhny reeled off five consecutive games for the match.
It was Simon who sent then No. 1 Roger Federer home two years ago with a second round upset.