Roger Federer is not included in the entry list of the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo, the first of the season on clay, starting from 11 April. Regularly registered, on the other hand, Stan Wawrinka, like Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal. However, it cannot be ruled out that Federer will request a wild card if he decides to try his hand at the Principality’s appointment. As for Nadal, he renounces the Masters 1000 in Miami (March 24-April 4) as he is not yet physically ready (he has been suffering from back pain since the first weeks of the year). “I have to recover completely to be able to face the season on clay in the best possible way,” explained the Majorcan, beaten in Melbourne in five sets by Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals achieved despite the back pain which he then had to pay a rather heavy duty. Before Miami, he had already given up on tournaments in Rotterdam, Acapulco and Dubai. Close to a year ago, Roger Federer had floated the idea of an ATP-WTA merger. At that time, many of his peers and former players had thrown their weight behind the concept and lauded Federer for shining the spotlight on what was essentially Billie Jean King’s long-standing initiative.
Roger Federer on the ATP-WTA merger
“I believe it would be beneficial for both tours to be together,” Roger Federer said. “But I feel like it’s been put a little bit on the back-burner… it will need some compromises on both sides but it would be a great thing for our sport.” It is not entirely clear what compromises Roger Federer was referring to. But if past indications are anything to go by, the Swiss was possibly alluding to the differences in the payment structure of the ATP and WTA tours. Since WTA players do not receive as much prize money as their counterparts on the ATP tour, many female players had voiced concerns about a potential merger. According to them, equality in all areas would have to be the foundation of any merger. Both Rafa and Roger are not playing at the Miami Open 2021. With Federer returning to the court soon, fans hope that they’ll get to witness more of ‘Fedal’ matches soon. Federer and Nadal have faced each other on 40 occasions. Rafa leads the head-to-head battle with 24 wins, but Federer is not too far behind with 16 victories. In the 24 finals that they have played against each other, Rafa again maintains the lead over Federer with 14 triumphs. They last met in the semis of the Wimbledon Championships 2019 where Federer was able to defeat the Spaniard. Interestingly, even though they have been competing against each other for 17 years, they haven’t met even once at the US Open.