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Nadal: Federer will be fighting in London

09 October 2013, 13:18

Abuja - Rafael Nadal is confident that arch-rival Roger Federer can still accumulate the points needed over the next few weeks to seal his spot at the season-ending ATP finale in London.

Federer went through the 2013 season without reaching a major final for the first time since 2002.

This has left the Swiss in danger of missing the cut for the World Tour Finals for the first time since 2001.

The 17-times Grand Slam winner is currently seventh in the ATP Race for next month's tournament involving the world’s top eight players.

"He's going to go, he's going to qualify. I am sure of that,’’ Nadal, who replaced Novak Djokovic as the men's top-ranked player this week, told reporters in Shanghai.

Federer has won the season-ender a record six times, but if he is to have any chance of turning that into a lucky seven, he only has three more tournaments.

This week's Shanghai Masters, the Swiss Indoors and the Paris Masters will serve as viable grounds to make up the points in the ATP race.

He has been left in such a precarious position following a year in which he lost in the Australian Open semi-finals to Andy Murray.

Federer also fell at the last eight stage to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the French Open, and suffered a shock second round defeat at Wimbledon to journeyman Sergiy Stakhovsky.

His compatriot, Stanislas Wawrinka, as well as Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic are all breathing down his neck and could edge him in the race.

Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Spain's David Ferrer have already sealed spots.

His job has also been made more difficult, as he is drawn to meet Djokovic in the Shanghai quarter-finals, with only 105 points separating him and ninth-placed Frenchman Gasquet.

"He (Federer) is not going to have a problem. Even if he doesn't have lots of points of advantage, I feel he always played well in this last part of the season," Nadal said.

"He likes to play in these tournaments. He always has the positive results. I really feel that he will do it.

"He's a great player and I am sure he will be there and fighting for the title."

Nadal, who boosted his Grand Slam singles’ tally to 13 this year by winning the French and U.S. Opens, reclaimed the top ranking for the first time since July 2011.

The 27-year-old Spaniard was sidelined for seven months with a left knee injury before his return in February and he has never looked back since.

"I thought I will never have the chance to be back there. Being number one again is special.

"I was confident that when I was back I would have the chance to keep competing well, keep having chances to play for important tournaments. But I never thought about being back to Number One.

"I am today. But that means that I am having probably one of the best seasons of my career. It's great."

- Reuters/NAN


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