'If Nadal and Djokovic were not there, Roger Federer would have retired years ago'


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'If Nadal and Djokovic were not there, Roger Federer would have retired years ago'

Rafael Nadal's coach Francis Roig spoke about how the Spaniard and Novak Djokovic pushed Roger Federer to improve and play longer. The Barcelona native said: "If Nadal and Djokovic were not around, Federer would have retired years ago.

They push each other, which doesn't mean Nadal sees himself playing until 38 years of age. But I think Rafael will keep playing as long as he feels capable of winning Grand Slams." On Nadal playing the ATP Cup in Australia, Roig said: "It's always good to play matches and the groups' stage format guarantees you to play.

Rafa likes the team competitions. It can be something nice like the Davis Cup and he will face the best guys in every country. Then he has a week to prepare ahead of the Australian Open. We will go there trying to win the competition.

The Spanish team is very complete. There is no margin for a mistake, but we will be prepared and I think we are one of the favorites." Will Nadal be able to play doubles too at the ATP Cup? "That's the plan. Of course, you have to see how the singles have gone, the fatigue he has been carrying as matches go on.

Rafa is an important part of the doubles, and if we want to win we need him." Before the ATP Cup, Nadal will also be playing the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. The event will be played from 19th to 21st December.

Nadal has received a first-round bye and awaits the winner between Daniil Medvedev and Hyeon Chung. Novak Djokovic is the defending champion.