World's no.1 Roger Federer has some big issue to settle with rival Rafael Nadal, as the two top tennis players inch closer to a potential semifinal showdown at Wimbledon Open 2014.
Despite his masterful 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Gilles Muller of Luxemburg, Federer did not waste time criticizing Nadal for using too much time between points during his second round match with Lukas Rosol of Poland.
Nadal exacted his revenge against his 2012 Wimbledon Open conqueror Rosol 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, 6-4, but was heavily criticized by several players and analysts for breaching time limitations.
"I just think it's important that we, as players, play up to speed and don't exceed the time limit, because what I don't want is that we lose viewers because we play too slow," Federer was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald via Tennis World USA.
"I know you need to focus. That you can do in 10 seconds. Just can't be that we only see two points per minute. I just feel like we need to keep up the pace and obviously play according to the rules.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion stressed that rules are meant to be followed, adding he can't watch matches that are progressing really slow.
"The rules are there not to be broken, but of course you need to give leeway to tough rallies. I did watch some matches, but they were playing so slow I was like, Okay, I really can't watch it."
Bad Blood Spilling All Over Wimbly Grass
This was not the first time Federer criticized Nadal for his brow-raising on-court habit, as the Swiss also previously questioned the Spaniard's tendency to ask tips from his coach, Tony Nadal, during a match.
"He was coaching a little bit too much again today. I caught him in the act. I told him many times already, through the entire match in Monaco, but it seems like they don't keep a close enough eye on him," Federer said after losing to Nadal in five-set at the 2006 Monte Carlo Masters.
After another jawing from Federer, it's going to be interesting to see Nadal's response to the Swiss comments in the coming days. Federer and Nadal have expressed mutual respect towards each other everytime they play, but there's no denying the bad blood and hatred spilling on and off the court.
With that, a Federer-Nadal semis this year is certainly more intriguing to watch.