Roger Federer set to play ‘special’ final match of career on Friday with Rafael Nadal
By Michael Heilman | August 19, 2017 at 2:23 amUPDATED: August 20, 2019 at 10:45 pm
ZURICH — Rafael Nadal faces his former coach, Marcos Baghdatis, in Saturday’s final of the Swiss Open, but he has not lost sight of his own goals this season — and will have a chance to make history in the process.
Nadal, playing in his first competitive tournament of the year since Nov. 1, 2016, will face the “Special One” in the city that was once the tennis capital of the word.
“I am playing on the second court, where I won my first title here in 1999. Maybe the fans know him,” Nadal said at training on Friday. “We are not going to play for any ranking.
“We go out there looking for the biggest challenge and we know it’s going to be very, very tough.”
Nadal has lost one of his last five matches since winning at the Australian Open in January to Federer, with his latest defeat coming to the Swiss star in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Air Games last month.
“I don’t know where I am at with my body right now,” said Federer, who missed the last six months of the season after undergoing back surgery. “There’s nothing really wrong with my body. I’m very confident.
“I wanted to play a final and it’s going to be very exciting for all of us, because we know him well. We know he can play very well.”
Nadal faces the challenge of a Federer, ranked No. 3 in the world, for the first time after defeating him in the semifinals of Roland Garros at the start of the year but will be hoping to be the first ever Spaniard to capture a championship in the city, which was also known as the Queen City of the World.
Both Nadal and Fed