Roger Federer
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have dominated the field in 2017 Getty


  • Both Federer and Nadal have benefited from taking time off back in 2016.
  • Annabel Croft also spoke about the Spaniard's chances of an ATP Finals appearance.

Former British number one Annabel Croft claims Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal's decisions to take time off is now being emulated by other tennis players.

Both the long-time rivals took time off and ended their 2016 seasons early in order to rest and recover from injuries and the move has paid dividends in the current calendar year.

Federer has won seven titles including the Australian Open and a record eighth Wimbledon title while Nadal has also had a career resurgence, winning six titles including a record 10th French Open and the US Open.

While the duo have had a relatively injury-free year, other stars like Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori have all struggled with more injury-ridden seasons in comparison, and have taken time off.

Croft believes the rest of the Tour have seen the benefits of rest and are now emulating the duo.

"What Roger and Rafa have done by taking that time off last year has made everybody think," Croft said, as quoted on Tennis World USA.

"That's why so many of the players have pulled out of tournaments so they can get themselves ready. It's a very demanding tour, it's not easy."

Croft also spoke about Nadal's chances of making it for the season-ending ATP Finals. The 31-year-old had to withdraw from the Paris Masters after a knee injury but hoped to play in London.

But the 51-year-old thinks it is more unlikely than likely, especially as it is not worth the risk after the world number one's performances this season.

"When I listen to that interview it does have a sense that maybe he is thinking more towards not playing than playing," Croft explained.

"I thought initially he'll definitely want to be there and it's a big event. All these players are so proud when they make that end-of-season championships. It's what makes so many of them hunt for it at this time of the year.

"But when you consider he took time off after Shanghai last year, he used all of that time to work at his game, improve his game, get fit and ready and look what he achieved in 2017 generally."