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Federer declines Nadal's doubles offer

Deutsche Presse Agentur
Published: Monday September 4, 2006

New York- Cautious Roger Federer has politely declined an offer from top rival and friend Rafael Nadal to team up in doubles next month at the Madrid Masters. The top seed at the US Open, while charmed by the idea voiced by number 2 Nadal last week, said that he would have to keep his Davis Cup duties and his own fitness in mind as both players head into November's season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai.

If any doubles were on the table for Federer, they would be with Davis Cup compatriot Yves Allegro, with whom he occasionally pairs for Switzerland.

Federer said he received a text message on his cell phone from Nadal after reaching the fourth round in the US Open as he bids for his third consecutive title at Flushing Meadows.

"It was a nice idea of Rafael and it would be a great promotion for tennis," Federer said. "But I just never play doubles at the end of the season, and if I did, it would be with Yves."

Federer and Nadal have dominated tennis for the past two seasons, contesting five finals in 2006, with Federer winning the last one at Wimbledon.

Pairings of the world number 1 and 2 are unknown in tennis, where most rivalries feed on dislike or at least aversion between competitors.

The competitors like Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe or Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, while cordial, never stretched to teaming up outside of possibly the Davis Cup.

© 2006 DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agenteur