Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer longevity was surprising - Kitzbuhel TD

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Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer longevity was surprising - Kitzbuhel TD

In an exclusive interview to Tennis World USA, Kitzbuhel Open Tournament Director Alex Antonitsch commented on how the men's tennis will look like once Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic retire. "Seeing them play at this level for so long was not probably something you would expect, especially Federer and probably also Nadal, but I would like to see them around for a bit longer", said Antonitsch.

"But I would love to see the younger players coming up: Tsitsipas, nobody thought he would breakthrough that fast, Zverev who comes from a huge market like Germany, Fognini. Honestly, we did not know how their impact would be on tennis when they first came, but they eventually became not just tennis legends, but sporting legends."

On what makes the Kitzbuhel event so special, he added: "A lot of players are coming here with family and friends, they love Kitzbuhel and we were also voted as the Fan's Favorite tournament in 2015. It's just a great environment, entertainment.

This is why we are holding a tournament. To make fans and players happy. If that happens, we are happy. And hopefully, our sponsors are also happy." Asked if they would want to switch to hard courts in order to attract more top players, Antonitsch replied: "We have a tradition and we love clay. Player's council wants to keep clay", he concluded. More players will be announced in the next months.