Tennis

Roger Federer hints at frustration towards Rafael Nadal

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Rafael Nadal is one of tennis' most respected stars but his poor time-keeping on-court is beginning to irk his fellow professionals, not least Roger Federer.

Nadal is attempting to put his recent Wimbledon struggles behind him as the two-time champion moved into round three for the first time in three years. 

Lengthy serve

However, the world number one's beaten second round opponent, Lukas Rosol, was unimpressed at the Spaniard's delay between serves. A graphic flashed up on television screens denoting that the second seed was taking around 25 seconds - 5 seconds over the allotted time allowed in Grand Slam events.

It isn't just Rosol that has noticed the time-consuming rituals either. Federer - the game's most successful ever player with 17 majors - commented after the match that he would like to see clocks installed on-court to prevent players from taking liberties. 

Hurry up

The Swiss star, who is looking for an eighth SW19 crown, made sure to avoid referencing Nadal directly, but considering this has becoming a talking point - his comments are very thinly veiled.

”I just think it's important that we, as players, play up to speed and don't exceed the time limit, because what I don't want is that we lose viewers because we play too slow," he said after booking his own place in round three.

“I was talking in particular if the points are short. You cannot take 25 seconds. I know you need to focus but you can do that in 10 seconds. It just can't be that we only see two points per minute. I just feel like we need to keep up the pace and obviously play according to the rules.

"The rules are there not to be broken, but of course you need to give leeway when there are tough rallies and somebody needs a bit more time. I am fine with that. I did watch some matches - I don't remember who it was – but they were playing so slow I was like,” Okay, I really -- I can't watch it. It's like going too slow for me”. That's why I said that.”

Routine

Nadal's obsession before each serve is well known. He generally flicks his hair behind both ears, fiddles with his racquet a little and bounces the ball multiple times before unleashing a powerful burst. 

Opponents have attempted to rattle the 14-time major champion and he has lost his temper, with Rosol incidentally, in the past. Yesterday's four set win for Nadal over the lowly-rated player marked a stark contrast from 2012, when, at the same stage he was shocked by Czech Republican. 

In that match two years ago, Rosol angered the 2008 and 2010 champion by dancing as he prepared to receive serve. It led Nadal to remonstrate with the umpire and even barge past Rosol after one particular point.

When the pair met again yesterday, Nadal was up to his usual tricks and Rosol bemoaned the antics after the match: ”I think all the players should have same time between the points," the world no.50 said. 

"But always the best players are taking much more than the normal players and nobody is telling them nothing - I don't know why. He (Rafa) is doing all his rituals. Somebody has to tell them something. It's not my fault. I just said to the referee if it's still okay, and he was saying to me, yes, it was fine.”

Third time

Nadal is unlikely to change his ways as he goes for a third success on the London grass. Mikhail Kukushkin, a key member of Kazakhstan's Davis Cup team who reached the quarter-finals, lies in wait for the 28-year-old at the next stage. 

If all goes according to seeding, Nadal will be due for a potential grudge match with Federer at the semi-finals. The pair, who have 31 Grand Slam titles between them, have been involved in some of Wimbledon's greatest ever finals in the past. In 2006 and 2007 it was Federer who had the upper hand in two great battles before they met for a third year in a row. In 2008, the two players were involved in the longest ever final at the All England club and their titan five-set tussle ended with a Nadal win in near-darkness. 

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Topics:
Tennis
Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer
Wimbledon

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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