Swedish legend Mats Wilander believes the the era of winning Grand Slams may be over for Rafael Nadal, but not the era of playing after the Spaniard announced his withdrawal from the US Open yesterday.
Nadal confirmed he would miss the US event and and the remainder of the season to recover from a niggling foot injury.
“We are getting used to expecting him to not be able to play all the time,” Wilander told Eurosport.
“He went to Washington to play and then Canada. He’s trying but he’s getting older and his body is taking a beating.
“But as long as he shows up and shows he wants to and that he’s actually physically trying he will keep coming back until one day when he absolutely cannot – but that seems top be in the future as so far the will seems still to be there.”
Wilander said he didn’t think it was the end of an era quite yet “but it might be the end of winning grand slam tournaments”.
“But with Rafa and Roland Garros and the love affair he has there, you can never say it’s the end of that relationship,” Wilander added.
“As for Federer, and Wimbledon, you’d think there’s a love story that’s still to be had and he can still do well there, but with the passing of every year you would give them less and less chance of winning a major.”