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Federer questions balls after downing Lopez

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Originally published on: 23/05/11 17:40

Roger Federer defeated Feliciano Lopez in his Roland Garros opener and promptly questioned organisers’ descision to change the tournament’s balls.

Flying under the radar somewhat at this year’s event thanks to the scintillating form of Novak Djokovic and the unwavering threat of Rafael Nadal, the 2009 champion saw off Lopez 6-3 6-4 7-6 before turning his attentions to the much debated issue of this year’s optic yellow orb.

“I guess the disappointing part here in this whole story, because I’m hearing a lot of conversations about the balls, it’s just that they’re not the same from what we’ve just played with for the last month,” said the Swiss.

“That for us is the most frustrating part… the tournaments all changed to the Roland Garros ball after last year. Now Roland Garros has changed their balls again. Now we’re stuck with a different deal for all the different ATP Tour events.”

Balls aside, Federer appeared increasingly keen to downplay the shift in focus from the long rivalry he and Nadal have shared to the one that appears to be growing between the Spaniard and Djokovic.

“You go through a career where you have multiple rivals and probably one main one,” he said. “For Rafa and myself it’s been either one. I think that will always stay that way no matter how many times Rafa and Novak will play each other.”

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