The current crop of players have spent a lot of their time playing under the shadow of Nadal and Federer, and this renaissance has further pushed back the complete arrival of the next generation stars on the tennis circuit.
Nadal and Federer have split the grand slams this year and thus the current generation does not have much to show for in that department, but they have done well to stick around.
Thiem, Zverev, Goffin, Dimitrov and Kyrgios would be hoping that 2018 can cause a shift of power from Fedal to the ‘next gen stars’.
Goffin has had a wonderful time in the Nitto ATP finals, having beaten both Roger and Rafa in London, on his way to the final.
But the kind of preparation that a player needs to go through while facing these both is quite different, as Rafa and Roger have very different styles.
“I had a small idea how good [Roger] is on this surface in Basel. Rafa and Roger, they have completely different games”
“The rebound is higher on clay, it’s heavier. It’s tough to control the ball on the clay.”
“Here it is a little bit easier. There is no bad bounce. You can take the ball earlier. He defends a little bit. He’s defending much better on clay. He can slide.”
“Against Roger, on his best surface, it’s indoor.”
“It’s this surface, along with the grass. There is no wind. It’s tough to play higher, to find the loop when you play here on this kind of surface. It’s not easy. It’s perfect for Roger.” Goffin said.
Nadal is known to use his topspin to good effect, taking the ball a little late and making it climb on his opponent, whereas Federer takes the ball early, flats it out and beats his opponent for time.
Goffin lost out to Dimitrov in the finals of the World Tour Finals, and would be hoping that he could go one better next year.