Federer set to unsettle Nadal

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:35 IST

Roger Federer is prepared to leave no stone unturned in his latest campaign to topple the king of clay, Rafael Nadal.

Federer set to unsettle Nadal

Rome:

Roger Federer is prepared to leave no stone unturned in his latest campaign to topple the king of clay, Rafael Nadal.Clay fazes Federer less than Nadal, the only player to beat him more than once since he became world No. 1 in February 2004. Nadal has also handed Federer his only two losses this year, and the Spanish left-hander presents the biggest obstacle to Federer at this month's French Open, the only Grand Slam he hasn't won. Nadal is the reigning French Open champ, as he is in Rome.Ahead of scheduleChastened by an easy defeat to Nadal two weeks ago in the Monte Carlo final, Federer arrived early for this week's Rome Masters, and met a week earlier than planned with part-time coach Tony Roche, the Aussie lefty who won the Italian and French titles 40 years ago.Their work received encouragement on Monday when Federer was aggressive in dispatching Argentina's Juan Ignacio Chela 6-2, 6-1.Federer, a Rome finalist in 2003, missed the tournament last year because of a foot injury. He'll play Italy's Potito Starace next, with 14th-seeded Radek Stepanek a possibility in the third round.Despite a week together, Federer said he and Roche had not had a thorough discussion yet of his latest loss to Nadal.The defeat in Monte Carlo dropped Federer's record against Nadal to 1-4, including the Spaniard's victory in last year's French Open semifinals.Federer realizes he has to overcome Nadal and his tricky lefty spins if he wants to win all four Grand Slams.Nadal opens against 2004 Rome champion and mentor Carlos Moya on Tuesday. He can match Guillermo Vilas' Open era record 53-match winning streak on clay if he defends his title here. (AP)



Topics : Tennis David Ferrer Novak Djokovic Bernard Tomic Rafael Nadal Andy Murray Stanislas Wawrinka Roger Federer
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