'What will happen when Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal retire?' - Connors


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'What will happen when Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal retire?' - Connors

The former world no. 1 Jimmy Connors is worried for the future of tennis once the legends of the game are gone. Speaking on Amazon Prime after Novak Djokovic's 14th Grand Slam title win, Connors said: 'Getting through this year, there’s not one year in their 20s who has a Grand Slam.

From all those over 30, I say keep it going - let the young guys follow until they’re willing to step up and take your place from you. [Roger] Federer, [Rafael] Nadal, Djokovic, [Andy] Murray, [Stan] Wawrinka and [Marin] Cilic and now Del Potro back - you would think that tennis is in a good spot.

But then I ask you, what happens when they’re gone? Where’s the youth to take it to the next level? In one way I love watching the guys that are over 30 play and keep winning but also I want to see some of these young guys.

Who is that? Who is going to step forward? Who is going to start making their name and their legacy and their Grand Slam record? 'They’ve got to start now in Australia in 2019. I’m going to be watching because that, to me, the future of the game is in the hands of the young.

I’m not saying they’re not young but the 20, 21, 22-year-old next superstars are out there. Start making yourself known. It shouldn’t be any fun for the young guys to just say, "Okay, they’ve gone away now it’s my turn." This group [Djokovic, Federer and Nadal] has carried them and carried this game for so many years and to their credit, the way they’re still playing is so admirable but you’re right - don’t just go away and be good, let me show you that I’m good.

To be honest with you I think the greats that are out there winning now would welcome that, to see what is going to happen with the next generation after they’re gone and where the game is going to go.' ALSO READ: Andre Agassi: 'I could not cope with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic'