In a press conference after the Rolex Paris Masters final, Cedric Pioline expressed his opinion on the future of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Pioline explained: “I think Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will remain at the highest levels for another two seasons. There are three different generations who aspire to the most important trophies at the moment. We have the usual Nadal and Djokovic, who have no intention of giving up the scepter.
Then there are the various Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem, although there is a question mark about the Austrian. This year Carlos Alcaraz, Holger Rune, Felix Auger-Aliassime and many others arrived. ready to explode. The next few years are going to be very exciting.”
After losing the Bercy final, Djokovic spent nice words for Rune: “It’s amazing that such a young player can handle the pressure so well. He beat five Top 10 this week, so he deserved to win the tournament. Did he strike more than Holger? His fighting spirit.”
Nadal, between Bercy defeat and ATP Finals hopes
Nadal didn’t make it past the second round at the Rolex Paris Masters, a tournament that brought him little luck during his career. The Spanish champion was defeated on a comeback by Tommy Paul, remedying a resounding 6-1 in the third set and showing a very rough condition.
Despite the usual physical problems, the former world number 1 still got great satisfaction in 2022. The 36-year-old from Manacor in fact won the Australian Open and Roland Garros, stretching over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in the all-time ranking of the Slams.
The Iberian also tried to win his third Wimbledon title, but a tear in his abs prevented him from playing the semi-final against Nick Kyrgios. That injury conditioned his approach to the US Open, where he was ousted in the second round by a wild Frances Tiafoe.
Rafa will try to redeem himself at the ATP Finals in Turin, one of the very few tournaments he has never managed to win.