RAFAEL NADAL says long-time rival and friend Roger Federer has told him the intentions of his comeback from knee surgery. It comes as the Spaniard has made his own return to tennis after a foot injury.
Rafael Nadal has revealed he knows the “intentions” of long-time rival Roger Federer in his comeback from injury. The 40-year-old Federer returned from double knee surgery this year but played just five tournaments before ending his season in July and going under the knife for a third time. Nadal himself has made his return from injury at this weekend’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship, and revealed he has spoken to the fellow 20-time Major champion about his comeback
Federer and Nadal were both forced to end their respective seasons ahead of the US Open due to injury.
The Spaniard had aggravated a foot injury during his French Open semi-final loss, which kept him out of Wimbledon and the Olympics
After a short-lived comeback at the Washington ATP 500, the world No 6 then ended his season early but made his comeback at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition, losing his first match back in a tight two-setter against Andy Murray on Friday.
Meanwhile, Federer had ended his 2020 season after the Australian Open, undergoing two knee surgeries, and made his return in March this year at the Doha ATP 250.
Federer played just five tournaments before shutting down his 2021 season, having suffered a “setback” with his troublesome right knee during the grass-court season, and underwent a third surgery.
While Nadal has now returned to the match court, Federer is yet to set a date for his comeback and previously admitted he didn’t think he’d be back in time for Wimbledon in June and July next year.
Meanwhile, the Spaniard has already returned at the Abu Dhabi exhibition and will be playing an ATP 250 in Melbourne next month ahead of the Australian Open.
Before the 35-year-old made his own comeback against Murray – his old Big Four rival who has struggled with his own injuries and surgeries for several years – Nadal was asked whether he had an update on friend and rival Federer.
“I am nobody to say what we talk about privately, but yes, I have a very fluid relationship with Roger,” the 13-time French Open champion admitted.
“We talk very often.”
Nadal revealed that he had discussed Federer’s comeback with the Swiss star, but didn’t want to give away any of the information his rival had shared with him/
He added: “I always knew what intention he has on trying to come back but I will not be the one who says when.”
“[It has] been special to be back on a competition, in a place that I enjoyed a lot during all my tennis career, in Abu Dhabi. And at the same time [it has] been a while since we played against each other,” the five-time champion at the Mubadala exhibition said during his on-court interview.
“Honestly super happy to see Andy playing at this great level after all the things that he went through, so well done.
“And yeah for me, at least [it] is a comeback. I think [it] was not a bad match for me. As I said [it] been a long time without being on a court on a professional match, so positive feelings.”