Nadal 'sure' Federer will be in London to fight for title

REUTERS - World number one Rafa Nadal is confident that arch-rival Roger Federer will be able to accumulate the points needed over the next few weeks to seal his spot for the season-ending ATP finale in London.

Federer went through the 2013 season without reaching a major final for the first time since 2002, which has left him in danger of missing the cut for the World Tour Finals for the first time since 2001.

The 17-times grand slam winner is currently seventh in the ATP Race for next month's tournament involving the top eight players of the world.

"He's going to go, he's going to qualify. I am sure of that," Nadal, who replaced Novak Djokovic as the men's top-ranked player this week, told reporters in Shanghai.

The Swiss has won the season ender a record six times but if he is to have any chance of turning that into a lucky seven, he only has three more tournaments - this week's Shanghai Masters, the Swiss Indoors and the Paris Masters - to make up the points in the ATP Race.

He has been left in such a precarious position following a year in which he perished in the Australian Open semi-finals to Andy Murray, fell at the last-eight stage to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the French Open, suffered a shock second-round defeat at Wimbledon to journeyman Sergiy Stakhovsky before losing to Tommy Robredo in the U.S. Open fourth round.

Federer's compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic are all breathing down his neck and could edge him in the race. Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Spain's David Ferrer have already sealed spots.

His job has also been made more difficult as he is drawn to meet Djokovic in the Shanghai quarter-finals with only 105 points separating him and ninth-placed Frenchman Gasquet.

"He (Federer) is not going to have a problem. Even if he doesn't have lots of points of advantage, I feel he always played well in this last part of the season," Nadal said.

"He likes to play in these tournaments. He always had the positive results. I really feel that he will do it. He's a great player and I am sure he will be there and fighting for the title."

Nadal, who boosted his grand slam singles tally to 13 this year by winning the French and U.S. Opens, reclaimed the top ranking for the first time since July 2011.

The 27-year-old Spaniard was sidelined for seven months with a left-knee injury before his return in February and he has never looked back since.

"I thought that I would never have the chance to be back there," Nadal added. "Being No. 1 again is special. I was confident that when I was back I would have the chance to keep competing well, keep having chances to play for important tournaments, but I never thought about being back to No. 1.

"I am today. But that means that I am having probably one of the best seasons of my career. It's great."

(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

[REWIND] The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »