Roger Federer spoke about his chances of winning another major in late 2016. The Swiss Maestro, quoted in a Charlie Eccleshare article at The Telegraph on December 23rd, stated “The mindset is always very positive that it can happen and should happen, and that I’m doing everything I possibly can to achieve that." In recent days Federer made a return to the Tennis courts in a competitive match. He beat Dan Evans of Great Britain on January 2nd from the Hopman Cup in straight sets. Federer's fans still await his return to a tour match, one that will surely come at the 2017 Australian Open.

Federer is 7 years removed from 2010 title

If Federer was able to win the Melbourne Park title it would set several precedents. Most shockingly, at the age of 35, Federer would become the oldest player to ever win a major since Ken Rosewall won the 1972 Australian Open. Furthermore, if we assume a ranking of 16th (his current ranking), Federer would become the lowest-ranked player to win the Aussie in 15 years, going back to when Thomas Johansson flipped the draw upside down as the 18th-ranked player in the world. Furthermore, Federer would bridge a seven-year gap between Australian Open titles as he last won the final in 2010 (d. Andy Murray). No champion at the event has ever gone six-plus seasons before getting another title.

Rafael Nadal a consideration at Melbourne Park

Another former champion that has a chance to bridge a lengthy gap is Rafael Nadal. The 2009 champion is now 8 years removed from title success at Melbourne Park. Like Federer, Nadal had some injury troubles in 2016 but the Spaniard appears to be in tip-top shape right now. He enjoyed success in Abu Dhabi not long ago, winning the non-tour event through Milos Raonic, Tomas Berdych, and David Goffin.

A healthy Nadal, unlike a healthy Federer, would still be in his prime, albeit at the tail end.

Currently 30-years-old, Nadal is far more likely to win the 2017 Australian Open than Federer from a statistical point of view. While you have to go back a whopping 45 years to find a time when someone Federer's age won a Grand Slam, you don't have to go back that far to find a major for a 30-year-old.

Federer is actually the precedent from Wimbledon 2012. Furthermore, both Petr Korda and Andre Agassi won the Aussie after their 30th birthdays, although, in Korda's case, he did test positive for nandrolone later that year.

There are other examples of players aged 30+ winning majors, many of which Nadal has more pure talent than. If the Spaniard stays healthy through Brisbane then he may yet be one to watch for at Melbourne Park.