Federer's classy message to injured rivals

Sam Goodwin

Roger Federer continues to show why he is the nicest guy in tennis with a touching message for injured rivals Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka.

Djokovic and Wawrinka will both miss the upcoming US Open after suffering season-ending injuries, while current World No.1 Andy Murray is also battling a hip complaint.

Their absence leaves the door open for Federer and Rafael Nadal to continue their incredible rise up the world rankings, with one of the two certain to be World No.1 by the time the last grand slam of the year kicks off.

But despite the injuries handing Federer a big advantage, he's maintained a classy and empathetic stance.

"I hope that when they come back, they will be in very good form and when Novak and Stan return next year that they will be in good shape," Federer said in Montreal.

"I don't like to see it, but when you take a few months off in the middle of a 15-20 year career, it might not be that much.

Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Wawrinka. Image: Getty

"Sometimes when you have no choice, it makes it easier.

"It's about staying positive in those difficult moments.

"But I wish all those guys all the strength they need."

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Federer is certainly speaking from experience when he says the time off tour might do Djokovic and Wawrinka more good than harm.

The Swiss great was way down at No.16 in the world in January following an injury-plagued 2016 that saw him undergo knee surgery.

He missed the majority of the second half of last year, but has returned with an almighty bang, finding his best form and capturing the Australian Open and Wimbledon crowns, as well as titles in Miami, Indian Wells and Halle.

With victory in his second round clash at the Montreal Masters on Thursday, he took his 2017 record to 32-2 - his best start to a season since 2006 when he went 38-2 and finished the year as World No.1.

Federer has attributed his remarkable resurgence to rediscovering full fitness.

"I guess for me the key is that I'm actually healthy," Federer said on Thursday.

"I knew that when I was healthy, I was going to be able to have chances to win slams again, to play against the best, beat the best.

"That's also reasons why I'm still playing today. If I felt like I couldn't do all these things, it would not be enjoyable or I wouldn't be doing it any more.

"I think the belief was always there. The body always needed to be there, too. I think the break just rejuvenated me ... I came in refreshed. It was a different mindset."