Roger Federer fires Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic warning | Tennis | Sport


The Swiss star returns to the court this week at the Indian Wells Masters, where he will compete with rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Federer reached the final of this event last year, extending a 17-0 run to start the season until falling to big-hitting Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in the final.

Nadal pulled out with injury while Djokovic was only in the early stages of his rehabilitation from elbow surgery but the field is dramatically tougher this year.

Federer may have to overcome both world No 1 Djokovic – winner of the last three Grand Slams – and long-time foe Nadal if he is to win a sixth career title in the Californian desert.

The 37-year-old could also face Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the quarter finals in what is expected to be a competitive week.

Federer, however, comes into the tournament still on a high from becoming just the second man in history to secure a century of titles on the ATP Tour.

He avenged his Australian Open loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas by beating the 20-year-old Greek rising star in straight sets in Dubai to reach the incredible landmark.

And the 20-time Grand Slam champion hopes the buzz of such an achievement can inspire him to a strong 2019.

“It reminds me a little bit of last February when I won in Rotterdam and got back to world No 1,” Federer told ATP World Tour.

“It’s nice to have a successful week, that makes you really happy early on in the season. I feel like it kickstarts the season a little bit. 

“We already had that a little bit with the Hopman Cup as well. With Belinda [Bencic] we had a great week and I played some great tennis there. 

“I think winning in Dubai, getting to No 1 and not having to carry that 99th title with me for the entire season, talking about it every week, ‘Are you going to win your 100th title here or there?’ It’s out of the way. 

“I just think it was a perfect week for me. I struggled a little bit at the beginning and then ended up really playing some great tennis. 

“I think it’s going to give me a lot of good vibes going forward, no doubt.”

Federer will face either Italy’s Andreas Seppi or Peter Gojowczyk of Germany in his first clash at Indian Wells this week.

He is currently the most successful player in the tournament’s history alongside Djokovic, with the pair boasting five titles apiece. Nadal meanwhile has three, his last coming in 2013.

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