Roger Federer's 20th men's singles Grand Slam win at the 2018 Australian Open in January drew widespread plaudits from people from all walks of life via Twitter.

Tennis players, football stars and actors were among those who congratulated him after his achievement. It was well-deserved as just over 12 months earlier no one could have predicted that the 36-year-old would win three major titles and return to the world number two ranking after starting 2017 ranked number 18.

Federer's colleagues were quick to praise him for his win, but one prominent person was missing. Long-time rival and friend Rafael Nadal, despite being present on social media, chose not to show his support.

The Spaniard was recently asked about it and he revealed that he had sent his wishes privately rather than via a public forum. Nadal and Federer have shared 36 Grand Slam titles between them since first facing each other in 2004.

"I congratulated him privately through a text message. With people I know, I do it more privately than publicly," Nadal said, as quoted by Tennis World USA.

Nadal also spoke about his ability to deal with important situations while on court and gave credit to his uncle and former coach Toni Nadal. The 16-time Grand Slam champion lost in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and is currently sidelined with an injury.

He is expected to return to action at the Telcel Mexico Open in Acapulco beginning on 26 February. However, his main focus is on the clay court swing of the season. Nadal has made it clear that he wants to be at his best on his favourite surface and during a recent Q&A he indicated that the tournament he wants to win the most in 2018 is the French Open – he won it for the 10th time in 2017.

"I think I have practised all my life at high intensity, so that helps in the important moments during matches," he explained. "I believe that having my uncle behind me helped me, I got used to play with little pressure during practice. I feel that all the education I received when I was a kid helped."

"What Roland Garros means to me is difficult to find in other places. I feel like home [there], it's the place where I am most satisfied," Nadal added, talking about his love for the French Open.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal wants to win the French Open in 2018 Getty