In a press conference after the Rolex Paris Masters final, Cedric Pioline expressed his opinion on the future of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Pioline explained: "I think that Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will continue at the highest level for another two seasons.
There are three different generations that are aiming for the most important trophies at the moment. We have the usual Nadals and Djokovic, who have no intention of relinquishing the title. Then there are the various Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem, although there is a question mark over the Austrian.
This year Carlos Alcaraz, Holger Rune, Felix Auger-Aliassime and many others have arrived, ready to explode. The next few years are going to be very exciting." After losing the Bercy final, Djokovic had nice words for Rune: "It's amazing that such a young player can handle pressure so well.
He beat five Top 10 players this week, so he deserved to win the tournament. Did he hit more than Holger? The fighting spirit of him". Nadal did not make it past the second round at the Rolex Paris Masters, a tournament that has brought him little luck during his career.
The Spanish champion was defeated in a comeback by Tommy Paul, remedying a resounding 6-1 in the third set and showing a very tough state. Despite the usual physical problems, the former World No. 1 took great satisfaction in 2022.
The 36-year-old man from Manaco won the Australian Open and Roland Garros, surpassing Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the historical ranking of the Slams. The Iberian also tried to win his third Wimbledon title, but a torn abdominal prevented him from playing the semi-final against Nick Kyrgios.
Uncle Toni reflects on Nadal
Rafael Nadal's uncle Toni recently commented on the Spaniard's appetite for continuously improving himself. “In the end, surpassing others is not always feasible, surpassing yourself is the great challenge, it is what Rafa was forced to do more or less from a very young age, he understood it, and in life the fundamental thing is to improve above others in everything," he said.
“What I applied on the tennis court is the same as what I would have applied outside. I believe in effort, in work, meritocracy, I believe in people earning things with the sweat of their foreheads, in the case of Rafael with the sweat of the whole body, and that is what I applied,” he said.