Roger Federer tipped to hunt new record as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic ruled out
Roger Federer has been tipped to hunt down Jimmy Connors’ record of 109 titles. The Swiss star is just seven short of setting a new record. And tennis commentator Catherine Whitaker thinks the feat is possible for the 39-year-old, but not for Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Federer has recently been caught when it comes to Grand Slam titles, with Nadal’s French Open triumph seeing the Spaniard draw level on 20.
That has only ignited the debate as to who is the greatest player of all time, with both men still going strong.
Nadal recently missed out on the chance to add another title to his collection, losing in the semi-finals of the Paris Masters to Alexander Zverev.
And Whitaker thinks Federer could now go and hunt down Connors’ record, though believes Nadal and Djokovic are unlikely to close the gap.
“The only really significant record that Federer can go for that the other two are very unlikely to get … is the all-time titles currently held by Jimmy Connors,” she told the Tennis Podcast.
She then added: “Federer’s got 103, Nadal 84 and Djokovic 77. It’s possible they could chase him down but I think pretty unlikely.
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“Look, seven titles to overtake Jimmy Connors is absolutely not a given, but I think as he [Federer] nears it, given the stage of his career, that will be the one that we’ll see him hunt down.
“Because I think it could end up being the only record of significance that he has next to his name when all is said and done.”
Federer is currently nursing a knee injury and recently missed the French Open and US Open tournaments.
Nadal and Djokovic, meanwhile, are set to compete in this year’s ATP Finals at London’s 02 Arena.
And Paris Masters tournament director Guy Forget thinks Nadal will bounce back from his Paris Masters heartbreak in London.
“Rafael Nadal lost in the semi-final without playing his best tennis, but he was once again extremely catchy,” he said.
“I am convinced that after this first indoor tournament, he’s going to get to London stronger.”
Nadal recently opened up on his defeat to Zverev, saying: “I spent hours on court.
“Of course I wanted to win the tournament, but it’s always difficult.
“But I had the right attitude during the whole event, I think, fighting in every match.
“That gave me the chance to play four matches that I think that will be helpful for London.
“I need to adjust a couple of things, but I am doing well on all the important things.
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“So let’s see. I have one week and a little bit more to keep working, and I hope be ready for it.”
Despite being disappointed with the loss, Nadal paid credit to Zverev for his performance.
“I have been competitive, I have been there until the end against a player who is playing great on a surface that he’s winning a lot. So [it] has been a positive tournament for me,” Nadal said.
“Of course, not happy about the loss, but that’s part of the game.
“I played against a great player, and I accept the defeat. He played a little bit better than me.”
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