Roger Federer praises Rafa Nadal, says Spaniard is still in his 'prime'


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Roger Federer praises Rafa Nadal, says Spaniard is still in his 'prime'

Roger Federer was the main guest of the Australian Open draw on Thursday on the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne. The Swiss player commented on his and Rafael Nadal's comebacks in the 2017 season. Federer, who is five years older, said: 'I think Rafa, in a way, is still in his prime. I was always hoping to play of a long time and once you’ve been world no.1 and won all the slams we have won, same as Novak, at some stage you believe you can always achieve greatness again. As long as you keep yourself in shape, hungry and motivated. We definitely also profited from the fact some guys were injured, especially in the second half of the season. That put us up there easier as the no.1 and 2 but we did have to do it the hard way as well, here in Australia when everybody was competing and playing. I’m really happy for Rafa. What a career he has had and what a season, finishing the year as world no.1, the oldest ever, was really impressive and I wish him the best again for this year.'

Recalling his victory in Melbourne last year, Federer added: 'I had a great four to six weeks of tennis training and many months before that which got me ready for the training. I felt like physically I might be alright but I thought the game and the wins were just not going to come. I was probably going to lose at some stage, the quarter-finals or the semi-finals at best because I would just run into a red-hot Djokovic, Murray or Nadal and my game wasn’t going to be good enough. But it was! I had all these great five-setters and of course at the end that epic against Rafa. The fifth set was maybe the best set I ever played. After six months off, what a comeback that was. It was the highlight of the year. It even beats Wimbledon and all the other wins I had last year.'