NEW YORK: Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic admitted Monday that they miss old sparring partner Roger Federer who was forced to skip the US Open for the first time since 1999.
Federer, the winner of a record 17 majors and a five-time champion in New York, shut down his season to rest a knee injury which was aggravated in a semi-final loss at Wimbledon. “Roger today is having the same injury issues, so I wish him a fast recovery,” Nadal said after beating Denis Istomin to make the second round.
Nadal had come into the tournament under an injury cloud after a serious wrist problem had forced an early withdrawal from the French Open as well as an absence from Wimbledon. “It is very tough to see the players outside of the tour. The fans miss the players, the tour needs the players,” added the Spaniard. -APP/AFP