The ‘Big Three’ of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will all be viewing the current enforced break due to the coronavirus outbreak as a setback. That is the view of former world No 5 Jimmy Arias.
The tennis calendar is currently suspended until July due to the ongoing ramifications of the disease which has killed nearly 300,000 around the world.
A decision on whether tennis can resume in the summer is expected to be made at the end of this week but for now, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are left waiting.
Before the break, Federer had undergone knee surgery, Nadal had won in Acapulco, Mexico and Djokovic was on a 21-match winning streak.
There have been contrasting opinions on which player the hiatus hurts the most but speaking on Tennis Channel, Arias believes all three of them have been negatively impacted by the suspension.
“I feel like it hurts all of the big three,” he claimed.
“Nadal is not going to get his chance to win another French Open and add to his list.
“Djokovic was unbeatable to start 2020 and maybe it was his turn to catch the other two guys finally and now it is all sort of on hold and we will have to see how it shakes out.
“But when someone is just about 40 years old, you gotta believe the end is [coming].
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“Time usually beats everybody [but] I don’t want to say anything about Roger because he’s been incredible.”
Meanwhile, tennis legend Martina Navratilova believes the epidemic may end up preventing Federer and Serena Williams from adding to their Grand Slam title hauls.
Federer has Nadal and Djokovic on his coattails while Williams remains one major win shy of equalling Margaret Court’s record of 24.
She told Laureus.com: “For players like Roger Federer and Serena Williams, it’s time lost.
“Particularly Serena, Wimbledon being her best chance to break Margaret Court’s record. She’s stuck on 23 and tries to get to 24, maybe 25.
“It’s an opportunity lost when you’re not getting any younger. If I was sitting in that position I’d be going nuts that I can’t play.
“Everybody’s in the same boat, but for the old players like Roger and even Rafa [Nadal] and particularly Serena, it’s more difficult, no doubt about that.”
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