Wimbledon 'number one priority' for evergreen Federer

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Roger Federer says Wimbledon is his "number one priority" as he chases title number nine a decade on from his classic final clash with Rafael Nadal.

Swiss great Federer's eight male singles titles represent a record in SW19, where he has consistently delivered.

Asked ahead of his return in 2018, as the defending champion, where he ranks the tournament, he replied: "There are a lot of things you put as priority, and then you put a number one priority - and that's Wimbledon."

While Federer has dominated since his first title in 2003, 10 years have passed since an epic battle with Nadal that saw his run of five straight triumphs ended.

With a number of other stars of this year's Wimbledon quizzed on how they remember the match, Federer, too, was asked to reflect.

"It was one of the hardest losses I ever had, no doubt about it. I was so close to making it six in a row," he told a news conference.

"It was a great match for many reasons. I think the loss and the circumstances made me more human. It was a great match to be part of.

"I'm sure, with Rafa, we'll talk about it when we're old in our rocking chairs."

And Federer hopes he can potentially set up another classic in the final stages, avoiding the fate of football greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo who bowed out of the World Cup early.

"[Messi and Ronaldo] have a long-standing rivalry. I have the same with Rafa," he said. "They're very different from one another - I guess there are some similarities there as well. Rafa and myself are still very different on many levels.

"I've never met them so I can't say how similar they are to our rivalry, but football is different because you're only as good as your team.

"The pitch is huge, with 11 of them running around, we are a little bit more in control. I hope I can control it a bit better than they could."