ATP Tour

Federer 'excited' for Nadal clash

2017-03-15 10:25
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal (Getty Images)

Cape Town - The rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will resume in the Round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday.

The unusual draw for the event has put several high profile players in the same quarter.

Federer and Nadal have held up their end of the bargain and will now treat fans to a replay of the Australian Open final.

Federer indicated that he is not fazed by the draw and that his win in Melbourne will have little effect on his attitude.

"That's why I came here, to play against guys like Rafa... now we have it," the Swiss Maestro told ATP World Tour website.

"I'm going to be excited now, I'd better be excited now otherwise I came for the wrong reasons. I try to see it really as another opportunity to build upon something for the rest of the season.

"So regardless of Australia, winning or losing, I'm going to try to go out there and try to play free again. I think it's really important.

"I'm really happy that I got my energy back because in Dubai I was actually still quite tired. I feel like tomorrow if I move well I will definitely have a chance against Rafa."

Meanwhile, Nadal revealed he gained momentum from a strong showing against Fernando Verdasco, where aggressive serving and powerful groundstrokes earned him a straight set win.

"I played a good match, no?" quipped the Spaniard after the match.

"Very aggressive with my serve, serving well, hitting good forehands, good backhands... very happy. I think I played much better today than the first day. So very pleased with my performance."

Wednesday will mark the 36th meeting between the two old rivals, with Nadal leading their head-to-head 23-12. 

However, Federer has had the edge of late and should he win, it will be the first time in his career he has beaten Nadal on three consecutive occasions after his Australian Open win and the Basel Final in 2015.

It doesn't get much easier for the winner, as they will face either second seed Novak Djokovic or the in-form Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals.

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