Robin Soderling: ‘It’s going to be Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic who will end up with most Grand Slams’
Former French Open finalist Robin Soderling feels Roger Federer no longer “has the hunger in him” to win a major, adding that Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic will top the list for most Grand Slams when all is said and done.
Federer currently leads the way with 20 majors, with his last Slam coming at the 2018 Australian Open, but Nadal is only one behind with current world No 1 Djokovic another two adrift.
There are potentially two more Slams this year, the US Open and French Open, with Nadal and Djokovic favourites to win the titles.
Soderling, who lost the 2009 Roland Garros final against Federer and then finished runner-up to Nadal the following year, doesn’t think Federer will hold onto the Grand Slam record.
“It is more likely that Rafa will win a Grand Slam this year or next year than Roger,” he told Sky Sports’ Raz Mirza.
“He can still do it but I don’t believe he has the hunger in him now, but we will see. When they’re all retired it’s going to be Nadal or Djokovic who will end up with the most Grand Slams.”
Soderling was the first man to beat Nadal at the French Open when he stunned the then four-time Roland Garros champion in the fourth round.
Nadal has since added another eight Coupe des Mousquetaires to his tally.
“I’ve played against all the top guys many times and the thing about Rafa is that it doesn’t matter if he’s down a set and 5-0, he will still fight until the end,” Soderling said.
“Against all the other top players you can see there might be a lack in concentration and of course it’s tough to play when you’re losing, but with Rafa it doesn’t matter if it’s the first point in the match or if it’s 5-0 in the fifth, he will fight for every point.
“His game is just perfect for clay. The ball bounces higher which helps his top-spin and gives him a bit more time on his forehand. He doesn’t have any problems stepping into the court, creating space for angles. When he gets that time then it’s really difficult to stop him.”
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