Federer, Nadal remain focused
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have refused to speculate on another French Open final clash at Roland Garros.
Last Updated: 22/05/10 10:55am
Grand Slam kings Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have refused to speculate on another French Open final clash after both were handed straightforward passages to the third round at Roland Garros.
Defending champion Federer and four-time winner Nadal are heavy favourites to meet for the fourth time in five years on the last day of the tournament.
The Swiss ace faces Australian Peter Luczak in round one, while Nadal takes on wildcard opponent Gianni Mina.
Speaking ahead of the event, which begins on Sunday, Federer said: "14 days down the road and six matches for each of those to get into the final.
"This is not my priority, playing Rafa. I'll have to defeat six other players before that, and likewise for him.
"Of course, I have to answer these questions - I understand. But that's speculating so much, so I don't want to talk about it."
Asked who his toughest opponent would be, Nadal said: "I play against a wildcard from France, and that's my toughest opponent now."
He added: "I only can meet with Roger in the final, so it's not a big chance."
Clay-court king Nadal is once again priced as the heavy favourite with bookmakers, a tag he justified further with victory over Federer in Madrid last week.
Federer, who is seeking a record 17th Grand Slam title, said: "Right now, I feel relaxed, which is a good thing.
"If anything, I feel a little less pressure because I've proven it (winning the French Open) to myself and maybe to many other people.
"So I feel like I'm entering the tournament in the right spirit. But pressure will never really go away.
"I hope it doesn't, because I'm supposed to feel pressure and I'm supposed to put myself under pressure and wanting to perform. I think that's what gets the best tennis out of me."
Nadal, who had a spell out injured during a title drought which ended in Monte Carlo in April, said: "This year on clay, I've played very well, so that's important for the confidence.
"I won three very important titles for me after being without a title for 11 months, and with the injuries.
"I worked a lot to be back and to win again. I really wanted a lot to win a tournament before Monte Carlo. After that, I was a little bit more relaxed."
Federer revealed he had practised on Philippe Chatrier Court for two hours on Wednesday.
He said: "It felt different because I have so many great memories from this court now.
"Whereas, in the past, I played good matches, but I couldn't come back and think this is where I've had the most emotional wins of my career.
"They were all at Wimbledon or US Open or other places.
"So to come back and remember what happened a year ago, it was very special thinking how nervous I was before the last service game I had to play, saving break point, and then in the end going down to my knees.
"I left my prints, my foot marks and everything, where I was. So it was a big pleasure playing again on Chatrier."