Roger Federer 6
Roger Federer Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

New Delhi: Roger Federer said he will miss seeing Rafael Nadal play at this year's French Open, emphasizing that Nadal's remarkable record at the clay-court major stands as one of the most extraordinary achievements in the history of all sports.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion, Nadal, announced his withdrawal from the clay court major at the Rafa Nadal Academy last week as he is recovering from his hip injury.

The Spaniard will not play in the season's second major for the first time since his tournament debut in 2005.

Nadal played Federer at the French Open six times and won on every occasion, including four finals.

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Federer conducted a question-and-answer session with his fans on Twitter, where the Swiss legend was asked about Nadal not playing in Paris this year.

In reply to the user, the 20-time Grand Slam winner wrote: "Yes I will miss seeing him play," adding that "French Open + Rafael Nadal one of the most incredible records in the history of all sports."

Federer also said, "I'm happy for him (Nadal) that he's giving himself the necessary time so that he can come back healthy and make a few more magical runs."

Asked about his favourite match with Nadal, the Swiss named the 2008 Roland Garros final which he lost 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.

"RG 2008. Those 4 games were awesome," Federer wrote.

Having retired last September, it has been rumoured that Federer could soon be working as a tennis commentator, but he brushed away all the speculations, saying "no plans to commentate this year".

He also spoke about how he is enjoying it most since retiring from professional tennis.

"Feeling great nowadays. What I miss most: having a spontaneous dinner out on tour with friends after a match or practice and of course the big stadiums, fans and the thrill of it all.

"There was a lot of little stuff that I didn't know was creating so much stress that just dropped away, which is really cool. Like a weight being lifted off my shoulders," he said.

The former World no. 1 also hinted at a potential return to the court to play exhibition matches. "I'd love to play exhibitions in the future and if so, coming to South America again would be amazing," Federer wrote.