Roger Federer
Roger Federer will return to action at the Mercedes Cup. Pictured, Federer of Switzerland and tournament director Edwin Weindorfer (R) talk to the media during a press conference on day 1 of the Mercedes Cup at Tennis club Weissenhof in Stuttgart, Germany, June 11, 2018. Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Ahead of his return to tennis action, Roger Federer revealed he would like to “have a battle” with Rafael Nadal once again at the French Open.

Nadal extended his remarkable tally to 11 French Open crowns when he defeated Dominic Thiem in straight sets during Sunday's final in what marked the Spaniard's 17th Grand Slam victory — three behind Federer.

It also means Nadal will hold on to the No. 1 ranking for now with his win at Roland Garros being his fourth title of the year as Federer could only praise his achievement.

“We can only bow to each other and congratulate each other. Incredible,” Federer said of Nadal's victory. “Absolutely only the superlatives remain there. To win a tournament at all 11 times is almost unthinkable.”

Federer, meanwhile, skipped the clay-court season for a second year in a row to avoid fatigue ahead of his more favored grass-court season as he is now set to return at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany, this week.

The Swiss legend last played in March when he suffered a first round exit in the Miami Open at the hands of Thanasi Kokkinakis, which also saw him lose his No. 1 ranking to Nadal as a result. But after a long break, Federer said he was fit and ready to regain his ranking.

“This is an extra motivation [becoming the world No. 1],” Federer added. “The holidays were wonderful. I had no setbacks, so I'm fit.”

Before the clay-court season, the 36-year-old notably claimed he was interested in facing Nadal on the surface until he decided against participating following his loss in the Miami Open.

However, he still has plans of facing his rival again at Roland Garros even though his focus for now is winning a ninth Wimbledon title next month.

“I would like to once again have a battle against Nadal at Roland Garros,” Federer explained. “But for the moment the focus is Wimbledon, for me, winning there is the biggest thing on the circuit.”

Federer will play Mischa Zverev in the round of 16 at the Mercedes Cup on Wednesday. He will then feature at the Halle Open before taking part at Wimbledon which commences from July 2 to 15.

Nadal, meanwhile, cast doubts on his Wimbledon participation, hinting he may follow Federer's example of selectively playing tournaments.

“Difficult for me to think about it now,” Nadal said. “My preparation, I believe, last year went well. And now I have to come back to speak with my team. Of course decide what's better for my body. No, that's the main thing always.”

“I would love to be playing in as many places as possible, but you understand I need to check how I feel in the next couple of days,” Nadal said. “Of course is a drastic change from clay to grass. And I did it in the past when I was much younger, quicker, because I played back to back. But it's time to check how I feel in the next couple of days.”