I think so.
I remember 3-4 years ago people saying that by today Nadal would no longer be a top player due to his constant health issues.
And if you look, his game now doesn't rely on his physique as much as it used to. When he was younger he would win by outlasting opponents, no matter how long it would take him and that took a serious toll on his body. It would damn near impossible to have kept up that level of intensity for this long.
More recently though, and I'm talking last 18 months, from what I've seen, he's refined his game. He's greatly improved his ground strokes whereas in the past he'd just hit the ball as hard as he could, his serve has become much better (second serve stiff a bit iffy) and is now much more accurate and the level of intensity has dropped but the level of performance hasn't.
Obviously, his longevity won't be the same as someone like Agassi who was still competing until his mid 30s but I see no reason to believe that, barring injury, he can't win five or more slams.
As far as Agassi, he'd have had more if he'd have had his head on straight early in his career. Should've beat Gomez in the hair weave match, would've beat Courier the following year if not for a rain delay and a coaching job by Higueras. He also skipped Wimbledons and Australian Opens early in his career because of travel and other reasons. He only played the Australian 9 times and won it 4, he may have got the monkey off his back down there very early in his career and started rolling the Slams if he hadn't skipped it for 8 years.
Lots of factors at play for both guys, but Kuerten wasn't one of them.
1934 • 1938 • 1961 • 2010 • 2013
To say that he kept Agassi from winning more is also false. His reign at Roland Garros was impressive, but very brief in comparison to what Nadal did. Agassi had his chances to win it multiple without Guga's interference.
1934 • 1938 • 1961 • 2010 • 2013
It is tempting to say yes because he is 5 away from tying him and it seems as though Federer can not win a single grand slam. However I don't think he's going to. First off He is 26 and that is not that young for a tennis player, especially with Nadal and his previous injuries. It's hard to imagine he plays even competitively at the age of 30.
IMO he has to keep winning the clay tournaments, because I can't see him winning a grand slam anywhere else. He performs at such a high level on the clay, but when it comes to these other tournaments he either chokes (against Djokovic) or he under-performs like he did in this tournament. Before it was about injuries, blah blah blah now it's not about injuries. It is about underperforming and slowing down imo. He's only going to finish with one major again this year. He won't win the US Open, I can guarantee that. He's great on clay, pretty good on grass, below average on hard court.
So unless he keeps collecting these French Opens I can't see him winning. Unless Djokovic gets injured It's going to be very difficult for him.
his lack of a decent serve is hurting him in the long run...he had one during uso 2010 but uncle toni reportedly told him to trash it away since "he's relying on it too much"...i mean wtf kind of advice is that?
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It's a good question. Nadal likely has a handful of French's in his future so I think that alone bumps him to 13 or 14. He's lost one match there, right? That leaves a lot of opportunity to get 2-3 more in his career where he's always competitive and Federer is nearly out of the picture. Murray can't beat him. Ever. And Novak is in his way for the most part but not invincible. If I had cash to put down on this, I'd put it on Nadal. What makes it iffy is his recent health.
And Federer is about to get #17. Nadal trounced him head-to-head so in my book, Nadal was better in their era. No excuse for Federer to struggle as much as he did with Nadal on courts other than clay IMO. Better serve and volley was never utilized to his advantage. He wound up being mesmerized by Nadal's game and always seemed to resort to trying to beat him from the baseline. Epic fail. Federer had a chance to go down as one of the all-time greats but if he's not the best in his era, how can that be?
Hope Murray can keep Federer at 16.