Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Australian Open 2022

Rafael Nadal’s 21st Grand Slam could ‘give Roger Federer fuel’ to return, claims renowned coach

Darren Cahill believes Rafael Nadal winning a record 21st Grand Slam will fuel Roger Federer as he steps up his recovery from surgery.

Newly-crowned Australian Open winner and now 21-time Grand Slam champion Nadal made history when he came from two sets down against US Open victor and World number two Daniil Medvedev.

This put him ahead of both of his fellow Slam rivals Roger Federer who is currently side-lined after knee surgery and Novak Djokovic who was absent after being deported due to his vaccination status.

Following his heaviest Wimbledon defeat to World number 11 Hubert Hurkacz, Federer underwent a third knee surgery that ruled him out for the latter half of last season.

However, the Swiss maestro recently revealed that he is stepping up his recovery and will begin running this week, but will know more come April or May.

After such a long absence, many have doubted whether Federer can return to his Slam-winning best and may face a reality check upon his return due to the quality of the ATP tour.

However, famed coach Darren Cahill feels Federer will be spurred on by Nadal’s 21st Slam title, especially considering Nadal was also out for almost six months.

Cahill said “I also think that what Nadal did could impact Federer’s tank in some way, it’s possible that it will give him fuel.

“Roger might say to himself: ‘if Rafa keeps doing this, why can’t I do it if I’m healthy?’.

“The love of the game pushes him to continue, that’s what made these three players great. That’s what gave Rafa a lot of energy, that’s what allows him to always be standing on the pitch, pushing and pushing.

“This is where you have to be, you never know what can happen.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.