Federer, Nadal head to Toronto prepared
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal resume their gold-standard rivalry after a month away from tennis at the Toronto Masters.india Updated: Aug 07, 2006 11:53 IST
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal resume their gold-standard rivalry after a month away from tennis as the top two in the world headline the field at the Toronto Masters starting on Monday.
While Nadal's summer holiday was drama-filled - a minor car crash at home in Mallorca and days in the company of 30 relatives at Disneyland in Paris - it was low-key fun in in the sun for Federer.
The Swiss world number one spent nearly all of his free time at his training and holiday base of Dubai. Along for the tennis portion were coach Tony Roche and fitness trainer Pierre Pagannini plus girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec.
After beating the Spaniard at Wimbledon to reverse a run of four consecutive losses in finals to the 20-year-old, Federer was a man at ease with his well-earned rest.
"I've had a nice, hot build-up," Federer told reporters. "My holidays were nice and relaxing.
"I was surprised at how well I felt. After the long clay season and then playing on the grass I didn't feel tired.
"That was a great sign. I was ready to go to the beach after three days. Usually I can't move for a week. I didn't have to heal anything."
Federer, holder of eight grand slam titles, including his fourth in a row at Wimbledon, opens his campaign in Toronto against Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu on Tuesday.
Nadal begins with Chile's Nicolas Massu.
"I didn't miss tennis, I don't need it all the time," Nadal told reporters. "I have played a lot in the last months.
"I was a little tired and had problems with a hand. I needed to stop
"After one month away, I'm ready to begin a new season. It's tough to get the rhythm back quickly, but I will try my best."
Federer's 56-4 season is marred only by four defeats to Nadal.
But the Swiss, with six titles so far in 2006, is not worried.
"I've had the best start of my career," Federer told reporters. "I've played three grand slam finals and won two of them, losing to only one player.
"I'm feeling very comfortable."