Roger Federer 'not the player he was' says Rupert Bell
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Rafael Nadal “imposes the most respect” on the tennis court, according to world No 13 Diego Schwartzman. Nadal is level with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on 20 men’s Grand Slam singles titles. The Spaniard’s attitude on the court has often been singled out as one of his best attributes.
Schwartzman has played Nadal 12 times on tour and only beaten him once at the ATP Masters in Rome last year.
He has explained the difference in facing Nadal compared to 40-year-old Federer.
Speaking to Argentinean outlet Filo News, Schwartzman explained how Federer’s calm nature has an effect on his opponents.
“Federer being so relaxed, sometimes he gives you a game,” Schwartzman said.
However, it is a different story when facing Nadal.
The 35-year-old is intense from first point until the last and Schwartzman says he shows the most respect to who he is facing.
He added: “Rafa is the one who imposes the most respect on you when entering the field. It is like you enter more defeated.
“From the first point to the last Nadal plays them as if they were the last of his career. It imposes so much respect on you.
“It is very difficult to sustain what ago from minute zero “
Schwartzman has yet to beat Federer in their four meetings.
The 29-year-old has explained you enter the match against the Swiss knowing you could be made to look like a novice and that the former world No 1 would often appear “bored” during play.
“When I reached the top 100 at Roland Garros, Federer was my turn in round two,” Schwartzman continued.
“I was in the locker room and I went from being a player who came very well to being in the top 100, which is a great leap in tennis. It was a prize for me. That day they told me to go and have fun.
“You enter the court without knowing much what to do and Federer is a player with so much repertoire that even if you have a great day you can look like a guy who has never held a racket in his life.
“There are times when it seems that you are not giving him resistance and it seems that he is bored.
“I had to play a lot with Federer, Djokovic and Nadal in the early days as the top 100 and that was the best thing that could have happened to me.”
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