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Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal need to ‘seriously think’ about retirement, says European great

Boris Becker thinks both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal need to consider their retirement, saying “I don’t know how easy it is to make another comeback at 41.”

All three of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic currently boast a ground-breaking 20 Grand Slam titles apiece as they compete against each other to become the most successful male player ever.

However, both Federer and Nadal have been hampered by injury over the past few years. Federer has been suffering with his knee in recent years and was forced to undergo a third procedure on his knee after Wimbledon.

The Swiss maestro announced last month that he will definitely miss the upcoming Australian Open and would be “extremely surprised” if he features at Wimbledon in the Summer.

Similarly, Nadal has been injured since the Citi Open in August after he suffered a resurfaced foot injury. Nadal made his return after a five month lay-off at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition, where he lost to three-time Slam champion Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov.

Despite the losses, Nadal has said he was pleased with his performance. However, upon his return to Spain, Nadal revealed he had tested positive for Covid-19 after the event, leading to uncertainty over his involvement at the nearing ‘Happy Slam.’

Six-time Slam winner Becker told Eurosport Germany’s Das Gelbe vom Ball podcast “I think the two greats of tennis now have to think seriously about how long they can be called players.

“With Rafa [Nadal] it will be a bit easier than with Roger [Federer]. There’s no bigger Roger fan than me, but I don’t know how easy it is to make another comeback after knee surgery at almost 41 [years old].”

Becker’s compatriot and World number three Alexander Zverev was more optimistic regarding Federer’s return but ultimately echoed Becker’s comments, saying “Roger has already managed a lot of things where we said that is not possible at all.

“That’s why I wouldn’t rule it out. It won’t be easy, tennis is changing and getting faster. At some point it will no longer be easy.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.