Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal once again showed his humble side, stating that he is not bigger than the game itself. For the first time since the 2021 French Open, Nadal and Novak Djokovic are set to play in the same Grand Slam tournament.
During his pre-tournament press conference at the Rome Masters, Nadal was asked about the significance of him and Djokovic compeitng at the French Open. "Not much, I think. I think tennis is much more important than Novak and myself.
And there is plenty of players out there that can fight for the big titles, no?" Nadal said, per Sportskeeda. "I mean, probably it’s not like five or 10 years ago that probably even if always has been chances for all the players, it is true that arrive a moment that, years ago, look like the tournament always has been between four players, then between three, the chances of victory."
Nadal: We can't play forever
Nadal said having him, Djokovic and Roger Federer might be good for the game but added they can't play forever and underlined it's important for the new guys to establish themselves and become great champions.
"I think today the situation is different. If somebody is not playing, of course, I think for the fans and the sport is better if I am playing, if Roger is playing or if Novak is playing - saying from humble position - but at the same time we are part of the history of our sport.
It is good that the best players in any sport are on court," Nadal said. "But the situation is changing. We are getting old, too. New generations are coming strong. But, of course, Roland Garros will be such an important event.
But I think there are a lot of candidates." The top candidate to be the new face of the men's game is Carlos Alcaraz. Alcaraz, who grew up idolizing Nadal, will be one of the biggest threats to Nadal at this year's French Open. Alcaraz beat Nadal en route to winning Madrid last week.