Roger and Rafa play down spat

Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal played down their spat as they made light work of their first-round matches of the Australian Open.

Roger Federer at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors in...

Roger Federer

Nadal accused 16-time Grand Slam winner Federer on Sunday of not doing enough given his lofty status to push for change on issues such as prize money and the strains of life on tour.
The Spaniard blasted: “His position is easy — do not say anything, all positive, I am a ‘gentleman’, others get burned.”
But the World No2 admitted he had been wrong to speak publicly rather than seeking out Federer privately, after dispatching Russian qualifier Alex Kuznetsov 6-4 6-1 6-1.
The Spaniard, 25, said: “What I said, I said but I was probably wrong telling you because these things must stay in the locker room.
“I have always had a fantastic relationship with Roger and I still do.
“We can have different views about how the tour needs to work, that’s all.
“I feel sorry for saying it because I should have said it to him personally.”
Federer, who overcame a tricky first set to beat American Alex Kudryavtsev 7-5 6-2 6-2, diplomatically dismissed the issue.
The former World No1 insisted: “Things are fine between us, I have no hard feelings towards him.
“It’s been a difficult last few months in terms of politics within the ATP, trying to find a new chairman and CEO, that can get a bit frustrating sometimes.
“He’s mentioned many times how he gets a bit frustrated through the whole process and I share that with him.
“But for me, nothing changes in terms of our relationship. I’m completely cool and relaxed about it. He seemed the same way — or at least I hope so.”
Nadal also revealed he was struggling with a knee injury that almost forced him out of the tournament.
He said: “I had a fantastic week of practise with no pain but yesterday afternoon the strangest thing happened.
“I was sitting on a chair in the hotel and I felt a crack on the knee. I stood up and the knee felt a bit strange. I moved it and I felt unbelievable pain.
“I had to go to the hospital for an MRI and yesterday evening I was not 100 per cent sure I would play but I had a lot of treatment and the MRI was positive.
“I am really happy that today I was ready to play and played a fantastic match.”
Aside from Federer and Nadal, the day belonged to home favourite Bernard Tomic after the Australian came from two sets down to beat Fernando Verdasco 4-6 6-7 6-4 6-2 7-5 in an epic struggle.
There were also wins on day one for Tomas Berdych, Nicolas Almagro, Mardy Fish and Juan Martin Del Potro.



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