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Nadal still main rival - Federer

Roger Federer
Federer had been trying to win the Masters Cup for the fifth time

Roger Federer insists that he and Rafael Nadal remain the men to beat at the Grand Slam tournaments despite the emergence of Andy Murray.

Federer went out of the Masters Cup on Friday with a 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 defeat by Murray - his fourth in six meetings with the Scot.

But with the Australian Open just two months away, Federer said the world's top two had the edge in experience.

"At the moment it's Rafa and myself," said the Swiss.

"I really still feel it's that way because we've played big events on so many occasions. I mean, we still have to play a few more Grand Slam finals.

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"If that's the case, I'm very happy from my side."

Federer, who beat Murray to win the US Open in September, was suffering the effects of a back injury and a stomach bug as he lost to Murray in Shanghai.

"Of course I'm disappointed," said the 27-year-old. "I wish I could have played the matches I played here under better circumstances, but I tried.

"I almost made a miracle happen. I can't believe how close I got, to be honest. So I'm actually very happy."

And the Swiss seemed optimistic that the back problem he struggled with all week would not be a long-term issue.

"My back was OK, under the circumstances," he said. "Obviously it's getting stiffer but that's more muscular; that's OK, that you can handle.

"But I guess there's a lot of compensation going on the last few days and the body was hurting."

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see also
Masters Cup day six photos
14 Nov 08 |  Tennis


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