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Nadal v Federer: Much-awaited showdown of IPTL

December 11, 2015 10:08 IST

‘He (Federer) likes to play quick and this format suits him. Anything can happen but I am very excited to play that match tomorrow’

I think I'll be there in IPTL next year too, says Nadal

Rafael Nadal

IMAGE Switzerland's Roger Federer, left, and Spain's Rafael Nadal pose. Photograph: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

The marquee clash between a vintage Roger Federer and classy Rafael Nadal, the legends of the game will be awaited keenly by the fans as the third leg of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) in New Delhi on Friday.

The two legends had contrasting 2015 season before touching down the national capital for the high-profile event, which is the brainchild of India's doubles hero Mahesh Bhupathi.

The affable Spaniard said he is glad to be back in India after a gap of two years and is looking forward to the much-awaited showdown with his Swiss rival Roger Federer, who would be turning up for the UAE Royals on Friday.

"He likes to play quick and this format suits him. Anything can happen but I am very excited to play that match tomorrow. I am looking forward to it," he said.

Rafael Nadal

IMAGE India's Sania Mirza being greeted by Rafael Nadal for beating Phillippine Mavericks players Ajla Tomljanovic and Treat Huey in the mixed doubles match of IPTL. Photograph: PTI

Refusing to call the IPTL an exhibition event, Spanish star Rafael Nadal says he would be back to compete in it next year too but conceded that tournaments like these don't have a place in the ATP World Tour calendar.

Making his first appearance in the IPTL, which is in its second season, Nadal is turning up for the Micromax Indian Aces, which also has on its roster Indian tennis aces Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna among others.

"IPTL has been great so far and hopefully I will be back. I have liked the format, the team spirit is good, I think I am going to be back," Nadal said after his team's dominating win over Philippines Mavericks in New Delhi.

"I don't think these are exhibition matches, these games are very competitive. The intensity of competition is good. I feel the rules are perfect in the IPTL and it's a great idea. But obviously, in the (ATP) World Tour, it doesn't have a place," asserted the 29-year-old.

In fact, Nadal went on to say that the IPTL is turning out to be perfect preparation for him ahead of the next season. The 'King of Clay' has struggled with his form this season, failing to win a single Major for the first time in 10 years.

"It is an unbelievable event. I have had a very good time so far and it's a preparation for the next season. The format is quick and anything can happen. The matches can also become very close quickly," he said.

"I am very glad to be back in India after a gap of two years, fans here have always been great and I enjoy being in a place where my foundation is also there," he said.