Toni Nadal, uncle and former coach of Roger Federer's long-time rival Rafael Nadal, has made a strong claim regarding the Swiss tennis great, Toni believes Federer will struggle to add to his record tally of 20 Grand Slams. Federer had a dip in form recently owing to failure to win Shanghai Masters, Paris Masters and ATP Finals. His slightly awry form may have triggered this remark from Nadal's uncle. In addition, Toni feels the new generation of players has made a "quality leap".
Toni stated, "I find it hard to see Federer raising another Grand Slam trophy. I do not say it for his game, although I do say it for the toughness of the five-set tournaments."
The 37-year-old Federer won his 20th major at this year’s Australian Open but struggled to maintain momentum right throughout 2018. He was beaten by 21-year-old Alexander Zverev in the recently-concluded ATP Finals in the last four stage. Further, Zverev lifted the cup defeating in-form Novak Djokovic.
Toni did, however, note that Federer had proved him wrong in the past. "I have to confess that I said that on other occasions and the Swiss, repeatedly, surprised me." Federer did not win a Grand Slam for four and a half years before he won the 2017 Australian Open by beating Rafael in the final. Federer also won the 2017 Wimbledon title, before defending his Australian Open crown earlier this year.
Toni added, “For some time I had my doubts about whether the youngsters would be able to overcome the game of Federer on grass, the one of Djokovic on fast courts and the one of Rafael on clay. And I had the impression that the change would be caused rather by the decline of some than by the attack of others. The final in London has made me think about it. For now, for the coming year, I trust in the full physical recovery of Rafael. I feel new episodes of his rivalry with Djokovic and, in general, a more open panorama with the definitive incorporation of the new generation."
Rafael is behind Federer on Grand Slam tally list with 17, closely followed by Djokovic and America’s Pete Sampras on 14.
About the Author
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega