Roger Federer has revealed that last year's Australian Open win over Rafael Nadal in the final saw some of the best tennis he has ever played in his life. The five-set victory over the Spaniard defied all expectations that anyone had from the 36-year-old, who will be looking to go into the 2018 edition of the Open to defend his title as one of the favourites.

The Swiss master begins the year as the number two ranked player in the world. He had an exceptional 2017, winning seven titles, including two Slams - the Australian Open and Wimbledon. His only regret was losing the number one rank to Rafael Nadal who confirmed his status by reaching the quarter-finals of the Paris Masters before eventually retiring with a knee problem.

The 19-time Grand Slam winner is hoping to repeat his success from 2017 and establish himself as the greatest player the world has ever seen. He is three clear of Nadal in the number of Slams, as he begins his 2018 calendar at Melbourne. However, the current season will be made more difficult by the return of Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, who missed the 2017 campaign through injury.

Federer hailed Nadal for putting up a great fight in last year's Open. Referring to the final set of the thriller, which he won 6-3, he said: "It was an amazing final, an amazing moment for me in my life and it's great to be back here," as quoted by the Express. "I had all these great five-setters and at the end the epic match against Rafa.

"The fifth set was maybe the best set I ever played. It was a huge surprise. It was the highlight of last year, beating Wimbledon and all the other tournaments I played."

Roger Federer
Nadal and Federer won a combined 13 titles in 2017 and ended the year as the number one and two respectively Getty