In an exclusive interview with Tennis World USA the former world No. 6 and current Barcelona Open Tournament Director Albert Costa commented on the Roger Federer's chances in the clay-court season. The Swiss is back to practice on clay for the first time in two years and he is committed to Madrid and French Open.
"He is not the favourite but he can go far. He is always very dangerous, if he is motivated and he approaches the tournament well, you never know what can happen. He is among the first top five favourites to triumph", said Costa.
He also commented on the future of Spanish tennis: "Having other players like Rafael Nadal is not easy, but younger guys will do well, they will be at least on the top 20 or top 10 and maybe something more." Costa is also the Davis Cup Tournament Director.
A few months ago he said that one between Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev will play the final stage in Madrid, but they are struggling to find an agreement. "We spoke with them and so far they are not very positive, but there is time to have more conversations with players and their agents to see if their opinion can change.
I think it's early to already say that they will not play." Is Costa worried by a possible Nadal's withdrawal in the Davis Cup? "No, I am not. He wants to play, he likes the new format, he is very motivated especially considering that it's in Madrid and he will do everything to be there.
If Rafa is injured, we cannot do anything. It would be important for the entire world of tennis that he plays, but his health is the priority."