Roger Federer has revealed that he has taken inspiration from long-time rival Rafael Nadal as he prepares to make a comeback from injury ahead of the 2017 ATP season. The Swiss former world number one called time on his 2016 season in July owing to a knee injury and confirmed that he is on track to make a comeback next year.
Nadal ended his 2016 season after the Shanghai Masters in October and announced recently that he will make his return to action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi on 29 December later this year.
"You've done it a million times, so I can be inspired by the way you made it look so easy when you came back. You came back to the world's top 10, top five, even world No 1. That's something that I'm going to be thinking about when I come back to the tour in January," Federer said with regards to the number of comebacks Nadal has made from injury setbacks in the past, as quoted by ESPN.
It is the first time in 14-years that Nadal and Federer will not be present at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals tournament, which gives a slight glimpse into the future, when the two decide to call time on their illustrious careers. The tennis legends, speaking at the opening of Nadal's tennis academy in his home town of Mallorca, made it clear that they were looking forward to returning to the tour next season.
The Spaniard, who is also currently recovering from a wrist injury, batted questions about retirement and has made it clear that plans of calling time on his career are not part of his thought process at the moment.
"I am enjoying what I am doing, especially when I am healthy; when I'm not healthy, for sure I don't enjoy it," Nadal said while batting off questions about retirement.
"I can't give an answer to questions that I cannot answer to myself. If you start to think about when you're going to retire, then your work is not 100 percent focused on what you want to do. So I can't say and I can't think about it now. I'm not worried about it at all. When it happens, it happens.
"When that day arrives I am sure I will know it. It's not a day for which I have to prepare," the Spaniard added.