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Rafael Nadal says French Open title just as sweet even with Federer absent

(Ah Fat Talk Ball) - Defending champion Rafael Nadal says he could not care less whether great rival Roger Federer is at the French Open or not and is simply focussed on winning an 11th title in Paris.

Federer, who took his major haul to 20 by winning this year's Australian Open, has opted to skip Roland Garros for the second year running to concentrate on retaining his Wimbledon title.

As Nadal met the media on Friday, he was asked whether winning last year or potentially this year would be less of an achievement with the Swiss maestro absent.

Sixteen-times grand slam winner Nadal has been in imperious form coming into the French Open, winning on clay in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome.

In Madrid he celebrated the landmark of winning 50 consecutive sets on the red dirt before his only blip came in a quarter-final defeat by Austrian Dominic Thiem.

Djokovic gave Nadal a tussle in Rome last week in the semi-finals and Nadal said the Serb will be a threat, despite a season in which he has suffered injury and poor form. For more information  W88

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