Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have narrowed their ATP Tour schedule year by year due to ageing and fitness concerns. As a result, former World No.1 Mats Wilander foresees that the current World No.1 Novak Djokovic has an excellent chance to win more Grand Slam titles, but it will not be a piece of cake for him.
Big 3 members Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have won 20 Grand Slam titles. Amidst anticipation of ending the career with the most major titles, 34-year-old Serbian is more active in the race than 40-year-old Swiss and 35-year-old Spaniard.
Meanwhile, Mats Willander said that if Djokovic wants to become the Grand Slam leaderboard topper during the absences of his biggest rivals Federer and Nadal, he needs to overcome the formidable young hurdles like Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev in a recent interview.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion further explained, “I am not sure they(Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal) will be winning more Grand Slams. Obviously, Novak has a really good chance of winning more, but even him. It is not going to be that easy. The young guys are very, very good and very, very powerful and unafraid, but the era is still alive.”
“I think it(Federer and Nadal’s absence) puts him in a position where he doesn’t really go to celebrate victories. Grand Slam victory is the same way he did when the two of them were playing.”
“Still, I guess if you go back and think Roger Federer won most of his Grand Slam titles when Novak and Rafa were not playing, he played against Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick, Marat Safin, David Nalbandian, and that was a completely different challenge for him and then suddenly Novak and Rafa come up. It’s a different era, a different generation.”
Novak Djokovic Is The Last Man Standing At The End of It All, says Mats Wilander
Swedish continued, “So, I guess with Novak. He is the last man standing at the end of it all. It’s about how many you have won and how often you have done your best against the best players in the world. You would have to say Rafa and Roger are easily the two best that Novak ever played against, and maybe he outlasted them in one way.”
“Still, I think winning for Novak it’s just a number right now, and that’s why it’s just a number right now, and that’s why it’s going to be hard. It’s not about beating Roger. It’s not about beating Rafa.”
“It’s not about having to be at a certain level to be the best in the world. It’s about beating some players that are quite far behind them, I think, especially in wins, and that’s not that easy to just tell yourself.”
“Hence, I believe that the 20th 21st win for Novak is not going to be as straightforward as we might have expected because Rafa and Roger are not there.”