Rafael Nadal: 'Without Federer and Djokovic, I could have been World No. 1 more'- View: 73805 by Gatto Luigi
Tennis - Interviewed by Marca, the Spaniard player speaks about the tough competition of the last decade and assures: 'I can play for a few more years'
Who knows if we will ever have such a high-quality generation like the current one. In the last decade Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer won almost all the most important titles changing tennis' interest and popularity. But what could have been their career if any of them had played in a different era? In an interview to Marca, Nadal tried to answer this question saying something interesting. 'There are good parts of playing in the same era with such good players and there are bad parts too. We had some very tough years in terms of competition. I was World No. 2 with many points, and in other eras I could have definitely been No. 1. That's the bad thing. The good thing is that I had two very special rivalries with Federer and Djokovic. I feel very lucky for it, we enjoyed and there was also an interest beyond tennis', said Nadal, who beat Federer and Djokovic 23 times each.
Ten years ago the top 100 average age was 24 and now is 30. Is there a specific reason? 'I don't know exactly. Before players were used to start younger: I was 16 years old when I started to be on the ATP Tour, Djokovic, Murray, Federer, Hewitt were very young too. In the last years there wasn't a New Generation made up of such young players and nowadays players travel with physios, fitness trainers, and it helps to extend your career.'
There's been a lot of talk about the Next Generation. Who is the most impressive player according to him who can achieve great things in the future? 'I don't know someone well, because I saw them only for some days, but it's difficult to analyze, but I think that the best two players are Zverev and Kyrgios.'
About the crisis of Spanish tennis, Nadal said: 'We don't have new players constantly, which it happened in the past. After me the youngest players are Bautista and Carreno. They are two very good players, but our level has dropped a little bit. It's also true that Spain has a very good tennis tradition, but we are not a very big country to have always two players in the top ten.'
In June he will be 31. 'Unfortunately Yes'. Most of the players drop their level once they turn 30. We saw with Djokovic most recently. Does he feel he went through this crisis too? 'No I don't, luckily. I am aware that I have been travelling over the World for 15 years and that the calendar is complicated, but I am happy doing what I do. If the body helps me to continue and my tennis level keeps being good to compete for what I like to, hopefully I can be here for a few more years.'