Roger Federer has hit back at long term friend and rival Rafael Nadal’s claims, where the Spaniard suggested the Swiss star was avoiding him on court, the Daily Express report.

The 36-year-old has been picking his schedule specifically over the past two years and recently withdrew from the Rogers Cup in Montreal next month, after a disappointing Wimbledon campaign, where he lost against South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals.

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The tennis legend is the only top 10 player to pull out of the tournament next month, adding fuel to the fire that he is in fact avoiding Nadal on court.

Federer has not been appearing during the clay season over recent years, which has largely been dominated by Nadal for the past decade.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t faced the current world number one on court since October 2017, with the Spaniard recently hinting that Federer is avoiding him.

However, when asked about his withdrawal from the Rogers Cup next month, Federer hit back at the Spaniard’s claims.

For me, it’s about something more than clashes with Nadal: it means health and tennis enjoyment. The main goal is to win titles: that’s why numbers and records are secondary.