Former World No.1 Rafael Nadal is pleased to see the comeback of his old rival Roger Federer to the court after a long injury layoff and said he "looks great". The Spaniard has also praised the new bunch of younger players, who are doing well on the court, saying it is good for the game of tennis.
The Federer-Nadal rivalry is arguably the biggest rivalry in tennis, but the rivalry has always been limited to the court. Off it, both players have always spoken very highly of each other. While a few days earlier, Federer had praised Nadal by calling him his toughest opponent ever, Nadal has now expressed his pleasure at Federer's comeback.
"The good thing is that Roger is back on tour after probably his first important injury,"
Nadal said to The Australian.
"That`s tough but he looks great. He`s played some good matches there in Perth (at the Hopman Cup) so I`m very happy for him."
The 30-year-old Spaniard’s last season was hindered by inconsistent form and a wrist injury that put him out of action for the major part of 2016. Nadal made a comeback to the court in late December on a good note by winning the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi for the fourth time. Similarly, Federer also made a comeback to the court by participating in the Hopman Cup last week after his last season was curtailed due to a knee injury in 2016 Wimbledon.
But they will not have it easy when they face a new and young bunch of players, who have done exceedingly well of late. Nadal said that it was good for the game to see younger players starting to make their mark.
"These guys are doing well. It`s great to have a new generation of fantastic players there and that`s good for tennis. Tennis needs it.
"People sometimes get bored to see the same players all the time."
Nadal began his year 2017 at the Brisbane International in a bid to better adapt to Australian conditions but lost to Canadian Milos Raonic in the quarter-finals. But he is hopeful of a turnaround in fortunes at the Melbourne Park.
"I think that I had a great off-season so I am excited about these next few months. You cannot say something about how Roger is, how I am, in just two weeks. In Melbourne, anything could happen, but I give myself a little bit more time, three months, and after Miami, let`s see how I am," he added, referring to the Miami Open in late March,” he concluded.