The ever prevalent debate about who amongst Federer and Nadal is the greatest of all time still lingers on, strengthening its grip over the tennis fraternity and threatening to never leave it all.
Last year it seemed as if Federer and Nadal had made way for the new generation to find their feet and establish themselves as flag bearers of the sport, but that was our myopic view of the situation, as Nadal and Federer weren’t ready to go away yet, they were just recuperating, readying themselves for another season of domination.
And dominate they did, sweeping away all four grand slams, not allowing the younger generation even a sniff at glory.
With 2 majors a piece for both this year, it seems as if the ‘GOAT’ debate is only going to stretch longer.
But with the US Open victory, does Nadal have momentum on his side now? Mats Wilander certainly thinks so. He also feels that Nadal has that extra bit of hunger at the moment, something that is very visible from his style of play and attitude on court.
“I think that Nadal has a very good chance to catch Roger because he’s gonna win the French Open again at least once or twice and suddenly you’re one or two away.” said Wilander in an interview with Reuters.
“Do we think that Federer is going to win another slam next year when he turns 37? I don’t know. He can win another one maybe but Nadal has another four or five years and people are wrong when they think that he’s physically wearing himself down. Nadal is playing better than he ever has” Wilander added.
Wilander then went onto talk about the changes that Nadal has incorporated in his game in order to cope with his previous shortcomings.
“He’s made changes to the serve, he’s been varying more and he’s also taken the backhand much earlier as he doesn’t play as far from the baseline when the rally is in play. I think the lesson he’s that he’s always learning and he’s always gonna be changing things because he has that hunger to play the perfect tennis match.
We’ve never had a hungrier player than Federer and Nadal and I would say that Nadal is probably much hungrier than Federer.” Wilander concluded.