Nadal, Federer resume battle for supremacy | Pakistan Today

Nadal, Federer resume battle for supremacy

SYDNEY – One of sport’s great and enduring rivalries resumes with the battle for supremacy between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer dominating the new tennis season.
The 2011 campaign got underway this week in Australia, India, Qatar and New Zealand with the first Grand Slam of the season starting in Melbourne on January 17.
Nadal is unchallengeable at the top of the ATP rankings, some 3,305 points clear of Federer, after a superb 2010 season when he took the world number one spot and the French Open and Wimbledon titles from the Swiss star.
By picking up his first US Open title along the way Nadal achieved a career grand slam of winning all the majors by the age of 24.
The Spaniard goes into the new year having won nine major titles and trailing Federer’s all-time record of 16. The pair have faced each other 22 times since 2004 on the tour with Nadal prevailing on 14 occasions.
Nadal modestly plays down the constant debate about who is better although victory in the lucrative UAE exhibition tournament at the weekend has already given the Spaniard an early edge over his rival. Federer, who was world number one for 285 weeks before being usurped by Nadal last June, believes his end-of-season ATP World Tour Finals triumph against Nadal will provide him with the springboard to return to the top in 2011.
“I won five titles, won a slam, last year. That obviously makes me be very positive for this year. I believe I can have another great season in 2011,” he said. Federer is looking forward to defending the only grand slam title he still holds, the Australian Open. Federer believes that his new coach Paul Annacone is giving him new ideas which can make him even more dangerous during 2011.
“Paul came from the outside and maybe has always seen things in my game he could never really tell me about before because we haven’t been working together,” said Federer.
“Some people always feel like the impact needs to happen immediately, which maybe it kind of did, I don’t know, but also the surface change to hard courts (during the last phase of the 2010 season) definitely helped.
“I think there’s good harmony in the team, which was obviously key for me to be able to play well. I’m a very easy going guy.
“I think Paul integrated extremely well into the team, and makes it fun to come up with new ways trying to beat an opponent, and maybe showed me also some ways that I didn’t know about how you could beat the opponent, or show me some weaknesses of opponents that maybe are not so visible but that he’s seen. Those I’m able to exploit now a bit more maybe.”

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