What a load of rubbish this recent talk is that the Federer/Nadal reign is coming to an end. Get serious. Just because neither of them was in the final of the Australian Open, people believe things are suddenly at an end? When I first read such comments I thought it was a joke. Then I read the same sort of comments a couple more times and questioned if these people were serious. January’s Australian Open was the first time in something like a gazillion Grand Slam finals that neither Rafa nor Roger were there. The last time neither were in a Slam final was the 2008 Australian Open when Novak Djokovic defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Certainly, credit to the two guys that got to the Aussie Open final, Djokovic and Andy Murray who played very well to reach the final, but one such situation does not create a legend. The less said about Murray’s performance in the final the better. Really, come one, who’d want to have this for a stat against their name? He’s the only male player in the Open-era to have reached the finals of three majors and not won a set. Oh yeah he’s a big challenger for one of the top two spots on a regular basis. It will be like the women’s ranking system if Murray gets to No.1 without winning a Slam title. There is a growing view that he may become the best player not to win a major, but that’s a topic for another time. Sure it was Djokovic’s second consecutive Slam final, but what happened at the US Open? Nadal, winner of the 2011Laureus World Sports Award was there and overwhelmed him completely. If Nadal had been fully fit he would have been in the final of the Australian Open. Granted history is one big “if” but it’s no point writing the Spaniard’s demise just because he didn’t make the Australian Open final. Goodness, he was chasing a dream to hold all four majors at the same time – that hadn’t been done for 42 years. Doesn’t sound like a person in decline. Both Djokovic and Tsonga are players who have suggested that the reign of Nadal and Federer at the top is coming to an end. It is talk like that which spurs on the world’s top two players. In my opinion Murray is not even in the running at the moment. Djokovic is the only one who could break the ceiling but even then I am not totally convinced that it is an imminent thing. So far he has achieved success on hard court; now he needs to do it on clay and grass and to do it year after year, just like Nadal and Federer do. Djokovic probably feels that having beaten Federer at the last two majors, his time is here. He is correct to believe in himself. It’s no point going into a match with a defeatist attitude, but maybe it should be a view held within. There is no doubt that Federer will be getting to the twilight of his career at some stage probably in the next three years, he will be 30 this year, but there is still plenty of tennis left in him ... plenty of Grand Slam winning tennis. I don’t believe he will win another French Open but Wimbledon and the US Open are most definitely on the cards. I’m not convinced that Djokovic will get to No.1 while both Federer and Nadal are around. He could end up with a similar scenario that Nadal was in for so long when he spent years at No.2 behind Federer. Remember Rafa is only 24 and holding the top spot looks pretty darn secure, you can see it in his eyes.
RAFA AND ROGER HERE TO STAY
Feb 14, 2011, 9:48:00 AM | by
What a load of rubbish this recent talk is that the Federer/Nadal reign is coming to an end. Get serious. Just because neither of them was in the final of the Australian Open, people believe things are suddenly at an...