Rafael Nadal has warned the next generation of stars they will NEVER match him, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer – as he slams the state of the BALLS used at the Australian Open
- Rafael Nadal doubts the next generation will emulate the current legends
- The Spaniard, Djokovic and Federer have won a combined 63 grand slams
- But Nadal says it will be very difficult for the next generation to emulate that
- He also oddly criticized the quality of balls at the Australian Open
Rafael Nadal doubted the ability of tennis’ next generation to emulate the incredible efforts of his own, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, before taking a swipe at the quality of balls at the Australian Open.
Nadal holds the record for the most grand slams won by a male tennis player with a staggering 22. Djokovic follows him with 21 titles while Federer – who retired from the sport last year – has won 20 majors.
The 35-year-old’s fellow Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz, has been hailed as the man to emerge from the shadows of tennis’ biggest triumvirate and the teenager lifted his first grand slam when he won the US Open last year.
Rafael Nadal doubts the possibility of the next generation of stars imitating him
But Nadal believes it will be very difficult for any of the upcoming stars to match his tally.
‘I can’t predict the future,’ he said. ‘The names you named are so great. Carlos (Alcaraz) has one Grand Slam, the others have zero. If we start talking about achieving 22 Grand Slams, 21, 20, that means it’s a big thing.
‘That could happen, yes. Why not? But at the same time did not happen in the past. (It) will not be easy to happen two generations in a row.
Carlos Alcaraz was called a big tennis superstar after winning the US Open
But Nadal said he would be surprised to see the next generation match his 22 grand slam titles
That just puts a logical perspective on the room, doesn’t it? They are super good. They will have an amazing career. They will win a slam. They will win many tournaments, yes.
‘Some of them, I can’t be sure, but I’m almost sure that no two players of this generation (will) achieve 20, 21, and 22 Grand Slams.
‘If someone gets to that number – maybe – it’s going to be tough, they’ve got a lot of work to do up front. But you never know what can happen.’
Nadal also oddly criticized the quality of the balls used at this year’s Australian Open, which were made by Dunlop.
Nadal also oddly criticized the quality of Dunlop balls for the Australian Open
‘They say it’s the same, but the ball is of worse quality, no doubt,’ Nadal vented. ‘We can’t talk about that anymore. This is what we have. We have to play with it.
‘I think it’s a ball that doesn’t get the same spin as it used to. After a few hits, the ball loses pressure.
‘It’s harder to hit with the right spin. But I think it’s easier to play when you play flatter shots.
‘But I have to live with it. I think I have enough ball practice to be ready for this.’