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


  • Nadal has climbed from ninth to world number one in the calendar year.
  • The Spaniard has won six titles in 2017, including the French and US Open.

Former world number one Mats Wilander believes Rafael Nadal is the only player 'hungrier' than Roger Federer as he details the changes the Spaniard has made in 2017.

The two long-time rivals have both benefited from taking time off in 2016 as they have reaped the rewards in the current calendar year with fewer injuries and more titles.

Both players have won a combined 13 titles and have split the four Grand Slams between themselves as they have turned the clock back despite the both of them being over 30 years of age.

Nadal, in particular, will fondly remember the year as he achieved world number one status and will end the year at the summit of the rankings for the first time since 2013, having started the year in ninth.

Wilander was full of praise for the Spaniard and the changes that he has incorporated on to his game.

"He's playing better than he ever has," Wilander told Swedish newspaper Expressen, as quoted on the Express.

"He's made changes to the serve, he's been varying more and he's also taken the backhand much earlier as he doesn't play as far from the baseline when the rally is in play.

"I think the lesson he's that he's always learning and he's always gonna be changing things because he has that hunger to play the perfect tennis match."

Despite what has been a remarkable year for the 31-year-old, including a record-breaking 10th French Open title, the only blemish has been his record against Federer.

The Swiss ace has met Nadal four times this year and has won on all four occasions. Despite this, Wilander believes Nadal is hungrier than Federer.

"We've never had a hungrier player than Federer and Nadal and I would say that Nadal is probably much hungrier than Federer," he added.

The duo could meet one last time in 2017 in the ATP Finals in London after the draw was made.