London - Roger Federer has dismissed Rafael Nadal's claim
that it would be fairer if the ATP Tour Finals were played on clay-courts.
As the world's most formidable player on clay, Nadal has in
the past suggested it would be better if the season-ending Tour Finals at least
occasionally took place on his preferred surface.
The prestigious season-ending event has never been held on
clay since its inception in 1970 and it's a tournament which Nadal has yet to
It has mostly been played on an indoor hard-court, with
other stints on carpet, grass and outdoor hard-courts when it was staged in
various cities before setting up home in London in 2009.
Federer has always thrived on the indoor hard-court used at
the O2 Arena, as he showed once again by kicking off his bid for a seventh
title at the event with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) win over Jack Sock on Sunday.
Asked about the world number one's desire for a clay finale
to the season, Federer insisted the current surface was a good choice given the
preponderance of other events on the crushed earth.
There are currently three Masters 1000 events held on
Nadal's favoured clay, with none on the faster grass that Federer prefers.
Of the Grand Slams, only the French Open - won 10 times by
Nadal - is on clay, while Wimbledon, where Federer has triumphed eight times -
is the grass-court major.
"'Fair'? I'm not sure if it's the right word. I think
it's right and fair that it's indoors, as well," Federer said.
"There is no Masters 1000s on grass. There is one
Masters 1000 indoors: Paris. So I feel like indoors also deserves its place.
"Could it be switched up to clay once in a while? Yeah,
maybe. Could we have more 1000s on grass?
"Yeah, we could have that, too. Could we have less on
clay, more or hard courts? Could we have more or hard courts, less on clay?
"Yes, it's all debatable. I think it's not the time of
the year for clay, so there you have it.
"You can do indoor clay, I guess, but that's a bit
silly. But I get his point."
Federer has enjoyed a remarkable renaissance this year,
winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon, as well as five other titles.
Despite that stunning return to form, the 36-year-old won't
finish the year on top of the world rankings.
Nadal wrapped up that honour when Federer opted out of the
recent Paris Masters.
If world number two Federer had played and won in France, he
could have kept the race going into the Tour Finals - where he and Nadal are
the leading contenders for the trophy.
But he was adamant he had no worries about missing out on
"He was better throughout the year. He played more
tournaments. He was incredibly successful throughout," Federer said.
"So, no, I don't have any regrets because I feel like
in my stage of my competition, my age, either it comes to me or it doesn't.
"He had more gas left in the tank than I did. I
couldn't play as much as I've wanted, or I overplayed anyway.
"My only regret was I would have loved to be in
contention through the Montreal finals, Cincinnati, US Open.
"But things evaporated very quickly after he won the US
Open. That's when he made his final push, was in Asia. That was it for me
"In some ways I'm happy he clinched it because he
deserves it. I can focus on playing the tournament, and not having to talk
about that at the same time.
"But, sure, I would have loved to be it, but you can't
be it with that many tournaments, so it's no problem for me."