‘Legends’ Nadal, Djokovic and Federer ‘still have something to offer,’ top analyst predicts
Andrew Castle “doesn’t want to contemplate” a future without “legends” Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer and believes they “still have something to offer” the sport.
21-time Grand Slam champion Nadal has maintained his winning run to the start of the year to go 15-0 when he beat Cameron Norrie in the Mexican Open final to claim a third consecutive title.
Meanwhile, 20-time Slam champions Djokovic and Federer may both face a struggle compete at and subsequently win further Slams.
Federer has only just stepped up his rehabilitation from a third knee surgery that has ruled him out since July of last year, whilst Djokovic could face a struggle to compete at a large number of ATP Tour level events as he intends to remain unvaccinated against Covid-19.
When asked about how this decision will affect his Slam chances, Djokovic replied he is willing to sacrifice Major competitions should vaccination be made mandatory for entry.
However, former British number one Andrew Castle has remained optimistic and believes all three can still reach the top of their games and compete at the latter stages of Grand Slams.
Speaking at a Game4Padel event, Castle said “all credit to Daniil Medvedev [for becoming World number one], but I believe these legends of our game still have something to offer.
“Then Rafa turns up and reminds you what real glamour is with a five-hour final like that and a narrative you couldn’t have written. Who knows what Novak still has to say and if Roger can be a part of it.
“We can see a future without those guys, but I’d rather not contemplate that at the moment. I can’t help but think that if Roger can tee it up at Wimbledon, he can still be a part of that tournament.
“With Novak, I’d imagine his motivation will be 1000 per-cent going forward. whether he will be allowed to play in France we don’t know, but I think he’s going to be incredibly motivated.
“The only camera we were missing at the Australian Open was one on Novak’s face when Rafa made it to 21 [Grand Slams]. I’m sure he will want to come back and be part of that story again.”
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