Barbara Schett: 'It's impossible to replace Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic'


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Barbara Schett: 'It's impossible to replace Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic'

Just like many other followers of our sport, Barbara Schett believes it will be impossible to replace Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic once they retire. The Austrian repeated the fact about the legendary trio and how they have managed to push each other to the limits all the time, making constant improvements in their game and leaving the closest rivals far behind.

Roger, Rafa and Novak have won the last 13 Major titles from the Australian Open 2017, dominating the big scene and the ATP ranking list as well, losing the year-end no. 1 position only once since 2004 and setting many records that will hardly be reached.

Still, the young guns have been as dangerous as ever in the last couple of years, with Dominic Thiem and guys born in 1996 or after challenging the players from the top more and more, beating them at the Masters 1000 and the ATP Finals level but not yet at Majors.

Schett mentioned Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Jannik Sinner as the most exciting players to watch from the younger generation, with more players bursting onto the scene in the years to come to keep tennis on a high level.

"It's almost impossible to replace Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. We've been so spoilt over the last 20 years, watching these players compete and pushing each other to the level they are at now.

I don't think a rivalry between these three will exist again and I don't know if a player will ever win 20 Grand Slams in the future. First of all, it's challenging to fill the shoes of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, I don't think that will happen.

But I do love watching the youngsters, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem - I'm not sure you can call them youngsters anymore! There are a few Russians like Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev who are exciting as well. Jannick Sinner too.

There are a lot of exciting players who have styles of tennis which are great to watch. I remember 30 years ago when Boris Becker or Stefan Edberg retired, even Mats Wilander; people were thinking how could the sport survive without those guys but there was always someone else. I'm sure as their personalities develop, there will be new players on the scene."