Former world No. 1 Boris Becker suggested Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer "have to seriously think" about retiring. Nadal, 35, ended his 2021 season prematurely due to a foot issue, while 40-year-old Federer underwent a third knee surgery in the past year and a half.
"I think the two greats of tennis now have to think seriously about it. With Rafa it will be a bit easier than with Roger. There's no bigger Roger fan than me, but I don't know how easy it is to make another comeback after knee surgery at almost 41," Becker told Eurosport.
Being active at 40 is already an accomplishment but former British tennis player Mark Petchey is not surprised with the fact that the Swiss is still active. "Watching Roger Federer train on a daily basis and looking at the hard work Federer puts in, there's not one minute of practice that was light-hearted," Petchey said during his appearance on the ATP Tennis Radio Podcast.
"I looked at that and thought, 'that's why you have lasted as long as you have, and that's why you are as great as you are'"
Tennis fans 'spoiled' to have Nadal and Federer for so long
2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli recently explained how blessed tennis fans were to have Nadal and Federer for so long.
"For 20 years, we've been very spoilt to have Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal coming with so different personalities that people could actually sit on one side or the other," Bartoli said on Tennis Majors. "You either love Nadal or love Federer."
Bartoli also underlined you can't force someone to be something that he is not. "Rafael Nadal has his own personality when he comes on court. He's just himself and you can't just ask somebody to just duplicate or replicate who someone used to be," Bartoli said. "You are who you are. You come with your personality."