Rafael Nadal, fresh from a stunning first round exit at the Australian Open, remains firm in his belief that his rival Roger Federer has a shot at winning a Grand Slam title before he hangs up his tennis racket for good.
In an interview with EuroSport via Tennis World USA, Nadal didn’t tke long to point out why the Federer is still capable of winning a Grand Slam trophy despite playing at the twilight years of his career.
“People ask the same questions every year and at the end Federer is still here in the tour, it is logical that as time passes by, playing matches becomes a bit more complicated, but in 2015 he played two Grand Slam finals.
“If one reaches the final he is ready to win, he challenged a player to a higher level but he was there and with chances to win”.
Federer, 34, made it all the way to championship match of Wimbledon and the US Open, but fell short against eventual winner Novak Djokovic.
Speaking of Djokovic, Nadal believed Djokovic is Federer’s biggest obstacle for another Grand Slam, as he even considered the Serbian almost unbeatable right now.
“The final in Doha did not leave any doubt. I did not play bad, I kept the pace well. He was better than me in all aspects of the match. When that happens at all points, the difference is very large.”
“I played well in Abu Dhabi and Doha and I’m training well in Melbourne. It’s a long time Djokovic is winning in these kind of matches and playing very well. To the level he is expressing, I believe it’s unlikely he can lose matches,” Nadal said of Djokovic’s current form.
Nadal is licking his wounds after absorbing a shocking loss against compatriot Fernando Verdasco 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-7, 2-6 in the first round of the Australian Open.
Federer and Djokovic are still in the tournament and could face each other in the semis, if everything goes as expected.