Terrassa (Barcelona), November 13: Rafael Nadal is known as the 'King of Clay’ and an undisputed champion on his favourite surface – the red clay.
The world No.1 has the collection of all the top clay-court trophies. But the 16-time Grand Slam champ – including 10 French Open triumphs at the Roland Garros red clay – is yet to win the prestigious end of the year ATP World Tour Finals title where the Spaniard had been a regular since 2005.
So, it is no wonder when Nadal feels the hard courts of the London O2 arena is not doing fair to him.
The 31-year-old knows a clay court at the Finals would enhance his chances of bringing home the silverware.
“I believe that it isn't fair that a player like me really never played on a surface that was a little bit more favourable,” he said.
“I always played on the worst surface possible for me. If it’s indoor at the 02, then great, but you can build a different type of surface there. It’s a fantastic place to organise a World Tour Finals. The atmosphere is just amazing and I'm very happy it's there.
“I enjoy it every time I have had the chance to be there, but we can play on clay there too,” feels Nadal.
But six-time champion Roger Federer, who had a healthy rivalry with Nadal, thinks differently. Though, the Swiss maestro said the matter is debatable.
“'Fair’? I’m not sure if it’s the right word,” the 36-year-old said. “But I think it’s right and fair that it’s indoors, as well. There is no Masters 1000s on grass. There is one Masters 1000 indoors: Paris.
“So, I feel like indoors also deserves its place, you know. Could it be switched up to clay once in a while? Yeah, maybe.
“Could we've more 1000s on grass? Yeah, we could've that, too. Could we've less on clay, more on hard courts? Yes, it’s all debatable.
“I think it isn't the time of the year for clay, so there you've it. You can do indoor clay, guess, but that’s a bit silly.
“But I get his point, and it’s a fair point.”
“If it’s indoor at the 02, then great, but you can build a different type of surface there,” said Federer after seeing off Jack Sock with a 6-3, 6-4 victory at the 02 Arena.