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Nadal overcomes Federer test

sports Updated: May 18, 2010 00:29 IST
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Roger Federer shrugged off his Madrid Masters final defeat against Rafael Nadal and insisted it’s all to play for at the French Open where he is the defending champion.

“The claycourt season will not be judged here, but in Paris,” said the world number one after his 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) loss to his great Spanish rival in Sunday's final.

“We will see what happens in three weeks. I feel I'm ready for Paris. I felt a major improvement in my game compared to last week when I came here from Estoril.”

Nadal will move back to number two behind Federer in Monday's new world rankings, displacing Novak Djokovic. It'll be a timely boost for Nadal with Roland Garros getting underway on Sunday and where he was the four-time champion until he suffered a shock fourth round exit last year.

The Spaniard became the first man to claim three major clay titles — Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid — prior to the start of Roland Garros while victory also gave him an astonishing 18th Masters trophy, one more than Andre Agassi and two ahead of Federer and the all-time best mark.

Nadal now heads to Paris with all guns blazing as he bids to wipe out last year's fourth-round loss to Soderling.