Former French Open Champion, Yannick Noah has joked that young tennis stars will be hoping Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal retire.
Noah, the 1983 French Open winner feels the pair longevity is doing a disservice to younger players.
Players such as Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Nick Kyrgios have all enjoyed good moments against the world’s best but have struggled to go deep into majors on a regular basis.
“The younger guys are doing well, but they have not been lucky,” he tells Spanish outlet ABC.
“They are facing probably the best three players ever in the same era. That’s very unusual, you can have two, but not three.
“Nadal, Federer, [Novak] Djokovic and also [Andy] Murray. Having the chance to break through between them is very tough.
“In order to win a Grand Slam title you need to beat one, two or three. It’s almost impossible.
“I am sure that 20 or 22-year-olds are wishing Federer and Nadal would retire, ‘Now do you let us play? ‘“
Federer and Nadal have rolled back the years this season to retake their place at the top of the ATP rankings.
Nadal, 31, is currently the world No 1 following his triumphs in the US Open and most recently the China Open.
The Spaniard will almost certainly end the year perched in number 1.
Similarly, 36-year-old Federer is also showing no signs of resting at all as he already has his eyes firmly set on this month’s Shanghai Master.
Quality further down the rankings in this era higher
Furthermore, Noah also thinks the quality further down the rankings is much higher than during his days.
The implication of this is that players can never have an off-day.
“To be world No 6 or 7 you have to be a great player.
“It’s something people tend to forget. In tennis you play every day and it’s even tougher,” he adds.
“If you are no 7 and you play a tournament without being at 100 per cent, it’s easy to lose to no 40.
“At my time, although you were not doing well, if you were not focused enough, if you were no 5, you didn’t lose to no 14.
“It makes Roger and Rafa so special and incredible.”
Nadal won in Beijing at the China Open last week to keep him on course to finish the year as world number 1 as the ATP Tour heads to London for the finals next month.
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