Roger Federer can regain the number one ranking in the near future if he continues his fine form, believes arch-rival Rafael Nadal.
Miami Open victor Roger Federer's semi-final clash against Nick Kyrgios has been hailed as one of the "greatest matches outside a Grand Slam" by the latter's former coach Todd Larkham. But, his Spanish counterpart wouldn't be surprised to see him make further inroads.
The Serbian missed the Masters series event with an elbow injury, and he said: "Of course I wanted to be on the court and defend my title but it just didn't happen this time".
"I think my level's always been there but I think where I'm at mentally at the moment, I'm just competing for every point and playing hard and I haven't really had that mindset before", Kyrgios told reporters in Brisbane on Tuesday. Nadal, on the other hand, is expected to feature in the complete swing of his favourite surface clay.
"That is why this break is coming in the clay-court season, focusing everything on the French, the grass and then the hard courts after that".
"That's the plan for now", Federer said.
"I think I am close to what I need to be".
"Just do it one more time and go out there and be courageous on the big points, you know", he said.
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Federer said: "I thought (the serve) was totally key because he looked good from the get-go".
The second set took an nearly identical path, albeit with fewer openings to break for both players until Federer again pounced, to grab a 5-4 lead when Nadal went long returning a fine backhand.
"I got a few important ones", Federer said. Like that wasn't enough, Rafael Nadal started his reign in 2005, backed by Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, who are a year younger than him, and from 2005 it became virtually impossible to see any player at the age of 29 or more who could crack the big 4 dominance and beat their domination. He has the best record on men's tour this year at 19-1, including 7-0 against players ranked in the top 10, and has won 11 matches in a row.
Federer's vast repertoire was on display throughout the tournament.
Federer even hedged slightly in committing to Roland Garros, the Grand Slam least suited to his graceful game because of the grinding it demands.
Federer said he's healthy and wants to stay that way after missing the final six months of 2016 because of a knee injury.
"The coolest atmosphere on tour", said Federer, now a three-time champion.