Roger Federer: 'Nadal is probably the greatest clay-court player ever'

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Roger Federer: 'Nadal is probably the greatest clay-court player ever'

In Halle this week, Roger Federer analyzed the current situation his main rivals are going through and their recent results. He spoke about Nadal, Djokovic and Murray, and said something interesting: 'I think what Nadal did at the French Open stands out.

The best players were in the final and Rafa once again cemented himself as maybe the greatest clay-court player of all time. For the others, I think Andy [Murray] was just extremely tired after getting to World No. 1 at the end of last year.

so there was maybe a bit of letdown and then he was injured too, so that didn't help. The second part of the season is going to be really crucial for Andy and for Novak [Djokovic] too.' Speaking about his straight sets win over Mischa Zverev in Halle, Federer added: 'He started serving great, which put me under pressure as I wasn’t getting many looks.

It was important to stay calm after missing chances to win the set at 5-4. And it’s important to win ‘breakers. They are the sets you need to win to win tournaments. It felt like a close ‘breaker that could have gone either way.

After I got that in the bag I was really able to start to relax and really play and feel the way I want to feel out there. That’s the first time I’ve felt like that since Miami, so that’s a good sign looking ahead.' In the quarters he will face Florian Mayer, beaten seven times on seven matches played.

Anyway, Federer is aware it will be a tough match: 'I played against a right hander from the baseline in Sugita, a left hander who serves and volleys all the time (Zverev) and Mayer plays very different to everyone else.

He uses slice, he comes in, he chips and charges, he loops the ball and serves/volleys a little bit, so he’s really going to throw everything at me. I know he wants it badly, so it will be a tough one. I played my best match today and that will give me some confidence for tomorrow.

I think he’s most dangerous on the grass. He’s a tough customer, plus he’s the defending champion. He hasn’t had the best season so far, so there is a lot riding on the match for him as well as for me because we both want to go deep into this tournament.' ALSO READ: Pat Cash: 'Roger Federer is the favourite to win Wimbledon title'