‘We have reached a tipping point’ – Mats Wilander makes a bold prediction ahead of French Open
Former world No 1 Mats Wilander believes the era of dominance for Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer is finally coming to an end, as he predicted the big three could all be beaten at the French Open.
The modern day icons of the game have dominated at Grand Slam level for the last 15 years, with Nadal’s attempting to win a 14th Roland Garros title and a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title when the second major of the tennis year gets under way.
“Novak and Rafa look more vulnerable each year,” began Wilander, speaking at a Eurosport event. “The younger guys are hitting the ball so hard on both sides, they have big serves and they are taking a bit of Rafa and Novak’s confidence away from them.
“The only ammunition left is they have the experience of playing five sets and coming through. That’s the advantage they still have over the rest, but clearly the gap is closing.
“There is a chance that a younger player can take a chunk out of Nadal’s confidence in the first round and even if he comes through, that could leave him lacking a little belief. Then he could get bullied around in his next match and if he doesn’t have any easy matches, his confidence may be shaken by the time he gets to the final.
“Then Novak could be taken to five sets by a young guy who might now believe he can beat him when he never did before. That’s the difference now. They believe they can beat them.
“So I believe a young guy come breakthrough and win. Are the chances big? No, but nor were the chances when I won the French Open for the first time.
“I think we have reached a point where the other guys are with them on the regular tour now.
“When (Alexander) Zverev serves well, he can hang with them. Someone like Matteo Berrettini, when he hits his forehand, not many can live with him.
“I like Stefanos Tsitsipas even more and he has a forehand that is better than Rafas, better than Roger’s and better than Novak. He is willing to hit it and move forward at all times.
“So the level is very similar between the rest of the field and the top three. It has never been this close.”
One thing is certain, the p2p wagering during the upcoming months will make for an exciting time, whoever you choose to back.
Watch Roland-Garros LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport App
Grigor Dimitrov gives his verdict as he secures another big win in Indian Wells
Dimitrov’s revival continues as he battled past Hubert Hurkacz in a deciding set tie-break.
Cameron Norrie reaches first ATP Masters semi-final as Indian Wells win sees him become new British No 1
Cameron Norrie saw off Diego Schwartzman in the last eight.
‘I look forward to returning to the Tour in the next couple of weeks,’ says Emma Raducanu after withdrawing from WTA event
Emma Raducanu won’t be heading to Russia next week.
Billie Jean King Cup
‘I have made the decision to not play the BJK Cup Finals,’ says Leylah Fernandez
Leylah Fernandez won’t represent Canada at the upcoming Billie Jean King Cup Finals.
Exclusive – New ITF World Tennis Number set to revolutionise the game around the globe
Britain’s LTA has played a leading role in the development of the new ITF World Tennis Number.
Rafael Nadal following a very ‘specific plan’ following foot injury as he provides fitness update
“You have to be a little cautious, look a little in the medium term.”
WATCH: Tennis’ rooftop stars spend time at Rafa Nadal Academy as Roger Federer keeps his promise
Roger Federer keeps his promise as youngsters spend time at Rafa Nadal Academy.
Stefanos Tsitsipas explains how he dug himself out of the ‘red zone’ to see off Alex de Minaur in Indian Wells
“I had to go through so many difficulties in order to find a solution,” says Tsitsipas.
Andy Murray on tennis’ vaccination dilemma ahead of Australian Open: ‘I hope more players get it done’
“I support vaccination,” says Andy Murray.
Leylah Fernandez’s schedule for rest of 2021 up in the air with only Billie Jean King Cup Finals pencilled in
Leylah Fernandez “very grateful for what has happened this year”.