Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic has hailed Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as true champions on and off the court after epic 2017 Australian Open final Getty

Novak Djokovic believes the clash between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final was a 'massive boost' to tennis. The Serbian, who was the favourite going into the tournament also congratulated the duo on their phenomenal achievement and admits that it will one of the sports hallmarks of the year.

Federer and Nadal surprised themselves when they made the final of the first Grand Slam of the year as the duo were coming back after injury lay-offs that saw them miss most of the 2016 campaign. The former had not played in a ranking tournament since Wimbledon last year, while the latter cut short his season in October owing to troubles with his wrist throughout the season.

Their run-up to the final was aided by the early exits of Djokovic and Andy Murray, but the Serb believes that Federer achieved the feat by playing some outstanding tennis, something that is expected from the Swiss ace when he is fully fit. The summit clash on 29 January did not disappoint as both the players put their best foot forward, and it required the then 17-time Grand Slam champion to be at his attacking best to beat his opponent and make it 18 Grand Slam singles titles.

"I am not surprised that Federer won the title because you can always expect him to play at the highest level when he is fit," Djokovic said, as quoted by

"He was sidelined by injury for six months but having entered the tournament fresh and fit, he played outstanding tennis and I can only congratulate him. The final between him and Nadal is one of the sports hallmarks of the year, going beyond tennis itself, as it's been one of the greatest rivalries of all time.

"Nadal, too, played very well and they both showed why they are great champions on and off the court. It was a massive boost for tennis any way you look at it," the world number two added.