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Federer sees positives in defeat against Nadal

New Delhi: His first ever defeat in buildup to the new season was against familiar rival Rafael Nadal but Roger Federer said he is not too disappointed as he played well in the marquee clash of the IPTL’s India leg.

Federer, playing for UAE Royals, lost 5-6 (4) in a shootout to Indian Aces’ Nadal in front of a rapturous crowd.

“I had a slower start as Rafa was ready. Rafa has been playing here for a couple of days now. It’s not a big advantage but I arrived only this morning (Saturday) . 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. Rafa played well and the energy inside the building was fantastic. I see it as a very positive experience even as I did not win,” Federer told reporters in the post-match press conference.

Asked if he felt any pressure play in front of a very raucous crowd, Federer said, “It’s strange kind of pressure where you have just one set. I am glad that the game went the distance and both of us played so much tennis for the crowd.”

Nadal, on his part, said it was a joy to play in front of an adoring crowd.

“It was always a pleasure to play Roger in any part of the world but the crowd here was unbelievable,” Nadal said.