Roger Federer’s ‘shoutout’ to ‘incredible friend’ Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal: Rivalry in tact

“An incredible player, incredible friend, an incredible athlete” was how Roger Federer described Rafael Nadal at the Laureus Sports Awards.

Federer won the Comeback of the Year Award as well as the Sportsman of the Year gong on the back of his magnificent 2017 campaign.

After many predicted we had seen the end of the Swiss Maestro after a poor, injury-disrupted 2016 campaign, Federer went on to win the Australian Open and Wimbledon last year, two ATP Masters 1000 trophies and surged up the rankings.

Nadal was also in the running for the Sportsman of the Year trophy as he won the French and US Opens and reclaimed the world No 1 ranking.

Despite beating his old rival, Federer had nothing but praise for the Spaniard.

“To my rival Rafa, I wanted to just give a shoutout to him,” the 36-year-old said.

“He had an unbelievable year himself. We had a great battle and it’s because of a guy like him, I feel like I’ve become a better player as well.

“He could very well be here as well and standing here with this award. He’s an incredible player, incredible friend, an incredible athlete.”