Roger Federer has revealed how close he had come to pulling out of the Australian Open this year on the back of a knee injury which kept him out for the second half of 2016.

The Swiss was not sure if he would last the distance and figured that even a loss in the first round and coming out healthy would count for a win. The rest, as they say, is history. The Swiss went on to win the Australian Open, beating his old foe Rafael Nadal in the finals. He accumulated seven titles for the year, including Wimbledon, his best haul since 2012.

The Swiss ace suffered a knee injury a day after his 2016 Australian Open semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic, which resulted in Federer requiring surgery. Having had to be operated on for the first time in his career, Federer came to fear the worst. He had to withdraw from the French Open before announcing that he would miss the 2016 Olympics and the rest of the season to fully recover.

Having done the hard part, his biggest takeaway from 2017 was his ability to manage his fitness, which came with playing less games and choosing his tournaments intelligently. He missed the entire clay schedule to keep himself fit, something he may look to repeat in 2018.

"I knew my knee would never be the same, and I wasn't sure if I was ever going to come back from that," Federer said, as quoted by the Express. "Entering the Australian Open, I knew that even if I lost in the first round, and left healthy, that was a win for me. Right when it became most important I played my best tennis.

"I was just confident again. I think I was able to ride the wave. Once Wimbledon came around, I was just trying to make the most of the moment, because how many more chances was I gonna have? To play in the inaugural Laver Cup, it's so important to show respect towards all the legends.

"Winning all these titles in 2017, this season has been more thrilling than I ever imagined. It was totally like a fairy tale."

Roger Federer
Roger Federer won his record eighth Wimbledon title in 2017 Getty