Spanish tennis maestro Rafael Nadal congratulated long-time rival Roger Federer for dethroning him and reclaiming the world number one spot, however, adding that the world rankings are no longer a priority for the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
Nadal, who is all set to make a return from a thigh injury at this week’s Mexico Open in Acapulco, said that Federer doesn’t require the numero-uno spot to show his potential.
“He didn’t need to return to No 1 to show who he is in tennis. What he’s achieved is very difficult and you can only congratulate him,” Sport24 quoted Nadal, as saying.
The 31-year-old admitted that his great rival Federer performed a bit better than him in last one year.
“Rankings don’t lie, he did a little bit better than me in the last 12 months,” he added.
Last week, Federer returned to the top of the ATP Rankings for his fourth stint at the pinnacle of men’s professional tennis, more than 14 years after he first became number one.
Federer surpassed eight-time Grand Slam winner Andre Agassi’s record to become the oldest-ever No 1 en route to winning his 97th title at the Rotterdam Open title.
The Swiss star first became world number one in February 2004 and had not topped the rankings since October 2012. He, in fact, slipped to a low of 17th in January 2017.