Rafael Nadal: 'Roger Federer will come back well next year'

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Rafael Nadal: 'Roger Federer will come back well next year'

Roger Federer has only played in the Australian Open this year, where he almost miraculously reached the semi-finals before losing to world number 1 Novak Djokovic in three sets. The 20-time Grand Slam champion then traveled to Cape Town for the historic charity exhibition with his eternal rival Rafael Nadal, setting a new spectator record for a tennis match.

His season ended there, given that the Swiss phenomenon has operated on his knee twice, giving the appointment directly to 2021. The 39-year-old from Basel should make his return to the Australian Open, provided that the Coronavirus emergency allows him to holding the Happy Slam.

The big goals will instead be Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, postponed by twelve months due to the pandemic. In a recent interview with 'La Resistencia', Rafael Nadal once again showed all his respect for his friend and rival Federer.

Nadal on Roger Federer

“I see that Roger Federer is already training and I think he will come back quite well,” Rafael Nadal told La Resistencia. “How far can it go? Well, you can’t know and I don’t think anyone can.

I don’t know how I am [going to do], let alone [Federer]”. Nadal and Federer have had a strong rivalry that for many years translated to a frosty relationship off the court. However, later in their careers that has given way to mutual respect and admiration, and Nadal says they are in regular contact.

“These days we often hear from each other, obviously we discuss the tennis players’ advice and in general about important situations,” Nadal explained. “The situation today is very difficult, we have to find a solution given the current times and I have to say that lately we have been talking regularly”.

Earlier this month, Rafael Nadal won a record-extending 13th Roland Garros trophy, and in the process tied Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles. Monfils on his part gave a unique idea of paying tribute to the Spaniard's remarkable record in Paris.

"Rafael Nadal has been blessed. The media always say 'this year has been good for Rafa.' For 12 years, he has been doing the same thing and now it is the 13th time that he has won. He is incredible," Monfils said.

"I think that we will have to change the name of Roland Garros or even the name of the surface. Shouldn't we say 'Nadal land' one day because what he does is exceptional," Monfils added.