Roger Federer upbeat despite IPTL defeat by Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer was happy with his form despite losing a close match against long-time rival Rafael Nadal in Delhi

Roger Federer insisted that he was happy with his form despite losing a close match against long-time rival Rafael Nadal in the International Tennis Premier League’s (IPTL) India leg.

Matching each other point for point, the set went down the wire, with Nadal coming out on top for his team, capping off a perfect 30 as the league wrapped up its Delhi schedule, heading off to Dubai next.

“I had a slower start as Rafa was ready,” said Federer. “He has been playing here for a couple of days now.

“It’s not a big advantage but I arrived only this morning. So I was going to be a bit rusty. But I am happy with the way I performed against Rafa at the start of the season.

“He played well and the energy inside the building was fantastic. I see it as a very positive experience even as I did not win.”

Ending the debate about IPTL as a concept, he added: “What is an exhibition? Is it a kids’ day exhibition where one’s hitting with Scooby Doo or is it one where 15,000 people have paid to watch us play?

“It is the question of who is in the crowd. To me this is serious tennis with a fun aspect of having a team high five you continuously.

“Call it an exhibition or not, it’s a fun concept. The legends deserve a shout out as well… they’re playing at such a good level even now.”

On his match-up with Nadal, he added: “It’s a strange kind of pressure, because in the IPTL format, it could be a blowout and then you realise it was your only chance! We’re both very happy it went the distance.”

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