In a column for El Pais, Rafael Nadal's uncle and former coach Toni has made some predictions for the 2019 season. Toni raised some serious doubts on Roger Federer's chances to conquer his 21st trophy. 'It seems difficult to me that Federer will lift another Grand Slam trophy.
I do not obviously say it because of his game, but for the toughness of best of five sets matches', Toni wrote. 'I have to admit that I shared this thought other times and the Swiss, repeatedly, surprised me. Next Gen players kept growing and improving.
I believe that we saw, in the end, a step forward in their game. I understand that many of us sees the definitive progress of Zverev or Thiem, although for obvious reasons I hope that it happens later than sooner. Usually, in all the sports the new generations overcame the previous ones.
Michael Phelps beat Ian Thorpe's numbers; Usain Bolt beat Carl Lewis's and Ben Johnson's. For a while I had doubts on if younger players would be able to overcome Federer's grass court game, or Djokovic on hard and Rafael on clay.
And I understood that the chance would happen more for the (veteran guys)'s decline than the breakthrough of the others. And with these words I did not want to be disrespectful. London final made me clean doubts. At the moment, for next year, I trust that Rafael fully recovers physically, with new clashes of his rivalry with Djokovic and, in general, a more open competition with the final addition of new generation.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title