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Roger Federer Concerned for Rival Rafael Nadal's Prolonged Absence

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28:  Rafael Nadal of Spain walks off the court after being defeated by Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic during their Gentlemen's Singles second round match on day four of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 28, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Marcus ChinCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2012

With almost 30 Grand Slam singles titles between them and almost 30 matches together on tour, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have put on some epic matches together.

Having not played each other since March, it seems their tennis relationship is evolving into something new.

Nadal pulled out of the Olympics and Toronto Masters, and he will miss the Cincinnati Masters. There is a chance he may not be ready for the U.S. Open, either.

Federer expressed his concern (via

I was going to write him and check on him because I can't believe he's been out that long. I thought the Olympics, okay, that's fine. That's a personal choice. I thought for sure we would see him in Toronto, but now he missed Toronto and Cincinnati. It's very surprising, because it was nothing that we heard of prior to the injury. He played so well on clay, and then actually seemed fine at Wimbledon. He had more time by losing earlier at Wimbledon. So it came as big surprise now, these two pull outs for me. Even the Olympics, too. So I'm sad for him. I hope he'll be back for the US Open.

There is reason to be worried. Tendinitis affected Nadal in 2009, and it is recurring in a big way again this year. Perhaps his heavy baseline style of play increased his chances for injury.

The injuries will more than likely jeopardize his No. 3 world ranking. He was a finalist at last year's U.S. Open, and if he fails to replicate that, he will need to do well at the end-of-the-year indoor season. He has not had success there in the past. 

As illustrated in the quote above, the greatest player ever (Federer) clearly has a compassionate side.

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