'Five years ago people were writing Rafael Nadal off, while...', says top coach

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'Five years ago people were writing Rafael Nadal off, while...', says top coach

The bubble of the Australian Open is doubled: a group of 50 people, led by the three best players of the ATP and WTA circuits, will quarantine in Adelaide, 654 kilometers away from Melbourne, the city of the Australian Open where the rest of the 1000 participants (between players and members of their respective teams) will spend the two weeks of self-isolation - the overall transport will include 18 charter flights departing from seven cities.

The top three players of both rankings (Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Thiem on one side, Barty, Halep and Osaka on the other) will certainly be part of this group, and presumably their training partners (including Sinner, Rafa's partner.

) will be aggregated in turn. At the end of the quarantine (which will take place in the same way as that of Melbourne), the Top 3 ATP and WTA (and perhaps others too) will play an exhibition tournament between 29 and 30 January before moving to Melbourne, where they will participate.

to their respective preparation tournaments. The news had been previewed by various Austrian media following the advances of Wolfgang Thiem, father of the Dominator and head of the Austrian expedition for the ATP Cup, but was confirmed only in the night Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia, who also confirmed that the Happy Slam will be open to 50-75 percent of the usual audience capacity.

On a recent podcast, top coach Roger Rasheed argued that Roger Federer is second to none when it comes to his all-round contribution to tennis.

Rasheed reflects on the GOAT debate

Roger Rasheed believes that even though Roger Federer can still win another Wimbledon title, the 39-year-old isn’t as invested in that as he is in winning the elusive Olympics singles gold medal.

“If he snags another Major, probably Wimbledon’s the one,” Rasheed added. “French Open is tough physically, and demanding. So yeah, so if he snags another one, that’d be outstanding. Is he hunting it down aggressively? Probably not.

Would he want to win an Olympic Gold? Yes, that would sort of close his book on everything”. The Australian also feels that it is a matter of time before Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic go past Roger Federer's tally of 20 Grand Slams, given that they both have age on their side.

“You gotta be well aware and understand that Novak’s a lot younger in age so you feel that the 3 Grand Slams are going to be chased down,” Rasheed continued. “Novak Djokovic’s definitely put it on his agenda.

Rafael Nadal’s gonna be around a little bit longer as well. Five years ago people were writing him off, saying his body is finished, well he looks just as strong now”.