Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will be competing along with Roger Federer at this year's Swiss Indoors in Basel.
This year's ATP Basel is poised to be one of the most exciting events of the 2013 season. The reason for this is the announcement that Nadal will be starring alongside hometown hero Federer, who won the title five times in his thirteen appearances.
The arrival of Nadal will provide Fedex with a huge obstacle in his quest for title No. 6.
Rafa's entry is a bit of a surprise, given that he's not taken part in the tournament since 2004. He's never won the event, following a first round exit against Feliciano Lopez in 2003 and another early dismissal the following year against Rainer Schuettler. In both of these years the tournament was played on carpet.
Everything seems to be smoothed over with Nadal, but some mudslinging has occurred regarding Federer's participation, with an appearance fee yet to be agreed.
"Roger has always [been our] top priority," Basel tournament director Roger Brennwald told Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger.
"We have launched campaigns in the millions for him and allowed him to promote his sponsors, which is not very common. We are grateful for the time we were allowed to have with him. The thing is very simple: We have made an offer to him, which he refused. We have submitted a second offer, which he has not responded to. We do not normally pay a seven-figure [appearance fee]."
Brennwald seemed particularly irritated by not being able to contact Federer directly, and instead having to deal with his agent Tony Godsick.
"We actually speak the same language, but with Godsick it's not fun," he said.
"I've never seen anything like it. I can contact [Novak] Djokovic or [Andy] Murray if I want. I have spoken personally with Nadal. But with Roger it’s not possible."