Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have been longtime rivals on court, and surprisingly, they also share a special friendship outside court. Both players are considered as the greatest of the sport, alongside Novak Djokovic, but this year injuries had taken the best of them. 

Federer played just five tournaments, including Wimbledon, before having to withdraw from the rest of 2021 due to a setback in his troublesome right knee. The Swiss had to have surgery, a third one, and last time he appeared in public, during the Laver Cup, was wearing clutches.

On the other hand, Nadal just returned to courts in Abu Dhabi after missing many tournaments during the year, including the entire grass-court-season and the hard-court-season. While the Spaniard lost his two games, he said he felt “positive” with his sensations. However, he was asked about Federer's status, and he shared a little information about the Swiss comeback. 

Nadal has “discussed” Federer's comeback with the Swiss

“I am nobody to say what we talk about privately, but yes, I have a very fluid relationship with Roger. We talked very oftenthe Spaniard admitted when asked about Federer's status. “I always knew what intention he has on trying to come back but I will not be the one who says when.”

Federer's first public statement on his health after the operation took place in September when, while attending the Laver Cup in Boston, the Swiss was asked about his recovery. “I think the worst is behind,” he said at the time. In November, the Swiss said he didn’t think he would make it to Wimbledon 2022, meaning he would lose the first half of the year. 

On the other hand, Nadal is happy with his recovery so far. The Spaniard, who lost to Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov in his return in Abu Dhabi, said he was “[feeling] good, the goal is achieved. Be back on court, play two matches.”