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Beyond the Baseline

Best quotes from Tour Finals

Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal on tour politics: "I don't want to fight anymore, seriously." (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

LONDON -- Here are some of the best quotes from the ATP World Tour Finals:

Novak Djokovic confirmed that he's playing some exhibitions with Rafael Nadal in South America after Davis Cup. "We'll be seeing each other quite often. I see him more than my mom actually."

Nadal is trying to hold off the next generation of ATP stars for as long as he can. "It is very difficult to predict the future, very difficult to know what's going to happen next year. But what's happened the last six years, seven years is not going to be forever. We aren't going to be where we are forever. So one day, the next generation will catch us and will beat us and will be the best players. I don't know if it will be next year. Hopefully not," he said, smiling.

Roger Federer was asked whether it was important for players to have things going well in their personal lives to play well. "That's what people never talk about, write about, because everyone assumes we're always OK, we're always happy and we're always feeling great. That's not always the case. We have problems of our own, sometimes smaller, sometimes bigger. But I think what's important is when it comes to the crunch and you walk on the court, you try to block that out. It's not always easy."

Nadal, who has yet to win the World Tour Finals, was asked what's different about playing indoors. "I like the sunshine," he said, smiling. "It's a little bit different. The feeling on the ball, on your racket, is different. The sound is different. All of these small things that make you feel a little bit strange. ... But it's not a thing that I don't like to play indoor. I like to play indoor. But it's true that the feeling on the ball is a little bit more strange than when you play outside. Sometimes I feel like the ball stays less time on the racket than other surfaces. But at the end, it is not a big deal. Just the opponents have the chance to hit the ball and to go for the winners with better chances of success than on outdoor courts."

Federer was adamant that the World Tour Finals should remain an indoor tournament. "I truly believe the World Tour Finals should stay indoors, and I think indoors deserves a great event. What's also good about indoors is you know what you're getting into. Matches are going to be played, not delayed. ... I believe indoor clay is not something we should look at. That's why probably it has to stay indoor hard."

Stanislas Wawrinka still hasn't taken a set off Nadal in 12 matches, the latest being a 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) loss in round-robin play at the Tour Finals. "When it gets important in the match, for him it's just normal. He's just still playing his best tennis or he's playing even better."

Wawrinka on the strong Swiss support he received from the crowd during his tournament-opening match against Tomas Berdych: "They wanted Roger, but they had me."

• Don't expect to see Nadal back on the ATP Players Council anytime soon. He's done with tennis politics. "I don't want to fight anymore, seriously. I want to play tennis. I want to enjoy the last years of my career, and that's what I am doing."

Djokovic was very outspoken about a number of topics, including the difficulty for players to be involved with how the tour is run. "The system itself is so complex, and it's not working for players because ATP is 50 percent players, 50 percent tournaments, right? So every time you want to vote for something, you have to get the super majority of votes. That means four against two, which is impossible, because you're going against tournaments, and tournaments have their own rights, and it comes down to the president. Players have no energy or time to spend on these things. Then they involve their agents. It gets complicated, prolonged, whatever, politics. We don't have time for politics."

Juan Martin del Potro was told Federer found the O2 Arena courts slow but Djokovic said they were fast. He smiled. "I would say medium."

• Does del Potro adjust his game when he plays indoors? "I play the same in every surface: try to hit good forehands and make winners."

• Was Federer's three-set victory against del Potro his best performance of the year? "I did play very well in Australia," said Federer, who made the semifinals of the Australian Open before losing a five-setter to Andy Murray. "I don't know where you were. Were you under a rock?" Federer said, smiling.

Federer was asked about his ups and downs on the forehand this year. "The forehand is always going to be the ones where I have a little bit less margin. That's always the one that is going to draw a lot more errors. So that whole stat thing I don't look at anyway. I'm not blaming the stat guys. I've said it once before. I feel in the Masters 1000s and the World Tour Finals, I just see many more unforced errors than I see at other events. I think they should add more forced errors than make it unforced errors because the matches look shocking with so many unforced errors. ... Clearly my forehand has gone a bit up and down in recent months. But I feel like it's getting better. I'm getting more timing off it again. I'm getting my movement to it is better. I'm getting more confident. Coordination is coming along, which wasn't really happening for me in previous months."

Wawrinka made the semifinals in his World Tour Finals debut and put together a strong season that elevated him to a career-high No. 8. "I always say that the ranking doesn't lie. Even when I was 17 in the world [at the start of the year], I was saying that. Even if I was playing great tennis, I was not good enough to be in the better place. But right now I think that I deserve to be where I am and what I get this year. "

• Wawrinka was unhappy that the chair umpire didn’t intervene to stop Nadal from receiving coaching at the ATP World Tour Finals. Nadal denied receiving tactical advice during the match; he said Wawrinka overheard his uncle and coach, Toni Nadal, shouting words of encouragement. Nadal said Wawrinka and Toni spoke after the match to clear the air. "Wawrinka is one of the players that I have a better relationship with on tour. I feel sad during the match that he felt that way. In a sense I told him, 'I'm sorry, not going to happen again.' That's why I told Toni to stop, because the relationship is more important than any match, and that's it."

Del Potro reflected on his season. "My goal was to play in the same level as the top guys. I think I beat all of them. I am the only player who beat all of them in this season, which means something for me. Of course, thinking in the future, I will try to play better in the Grand Slam. I did well just in Wimbledon this year, so I will try to do well in the four Grand Slam for next season."

• A reporter told Berdych that it was strange to see the scoreboard when he led Nadal 5-0 in the second set of their round-robin match. "Thank you. Thanks for the respect."

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