‘You might as well just write the cheque to Rafael Nadal now for Roland Garros,’ says Greg Rusedski

Greg Rusedski says you’d ‘might as well write the cheque now’ to Rafael Nadal for the French Open, but he does believe in the younger players.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic remain the most dominant forces in tennis at the moment, with the Serbian winning his ninth Australian Open last month.

The next Grand Slam on the Tour is Roland Garros, which Nadal has dominated to a supreme degree in his career.

But while Rusedski insists it is perfectly understandable why younger players struggle to break Nadal’s and Djokovic’s dominance at their favourite events, he believes a number of them are looking genuinely close to a major breakthrough.

“I think they’re getting closer, but the problem is that Australia has always been Novak Djokovic’s tournament. He’s won it nine times.

“The French Open: you might as well just write the cheque to Rafael Nadal now. No player is ever going to get that record of 13. But [Andrey] Rublev, [Stefanos] Tsitsipas, [Daniil] Medvedev… they are knocking.

“The difference now though [for the Next Gen players] is you’re not having to beat back-to-back-to-back in terms of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic [to win a Slam].”

One thing that helps the big three, according to Rusedski, are the slower courts that you generally see on Tour these days.

It is something that he says plays to the strengths of the established players who play fewer tournaments than the rest, and he would like to see more quicker courts like Dubai.

“I think the problem is you had three of the all-time greats at the same time, and unless they change the court speed [that won’t change].

“It’s medium, medium-slow [everywhere], and this has given the Big Three a huge advantage because every tournament they go to as there aren’t big adjustments needed.

“Look at Dubai last week, you had Aslan Karatsev who won. There were a lot of upsets throughout the draw because you had a quick tour and quick balls. So [we need] more variety.”

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