(AFP) – Rafael Nadal was thrilled to learn he would return to world number one for the first time in three years but sorry it came because Roger Federer withdrew from this week’s ATP Cincinnati Masters tournament.
For me to be in that position is something very special. I have the passion and love for the game. That’s why I’m able to be back in that position again.
Rafa has struggled with knee injuries since first becoming world number one in August 2008 after a Cincinnati semi-final run. He admitted doubting he could ever regain the top spot after so many years.
If you don’t have doubts, it’s because you are very arrogant and I’m not very arrogant. There’s a young generation up and coming. It’s very tough to come back and be number one.
Rafa knows that while he will claim the upper hand no matter how he fares this week, the year’s final Grand Slam event starting in New York on August 28 will have a major role to play in the fight with Federer for number one.
Roger and I are having great seasons. One of us will have the chance to have that position for more weeks. I’m going to try and do my best this week and see what happens.
Rafa said he was sorry to see Federer join the list of players absent this week, which includes Murray, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, Japan’s Kei Nishikori and Swiss Stan Wawrinka.
It’s bad news for Roger he’s not playing. I’m sorry for all of them. I hope they have good recovery. We need to see them back for the sport.
Source: AFP news agency