Rafael Nadal’s historic claiming of the career Grand Slam rightly gets the headlines after the men’s US Open, but there have been other
notable developments at Flushing Meadows. Nadal and Novak Djokovic’s careers
are going in an upward direction. The same cannot be said for Roger Federer and
Those who place regular tennis bets know that the handing of the
baton of world’s best player from Federer to Nadal has been inevitable for some
time. That Federer is not the force he once was is not surprising – he is
nearly 30, a family man and has won everything possible, most of which he has
done many times over.
Nadal is almost six years his junior and after a thrilling period of rivalry with the Swiss legend unprecedented in its quality and
sportsmanship, is ready to dominate in a similar way to Federer once did.
Federer will win more majors, but not at the frequency he used to.
A future Slam victory is less guaranteed for Murray, who will be more concerned at his current situation than Federer is at his own
apparent slide. The manner of his third round collapse against Stanislas
Wawrinka in New York suggests a recovery of his best form will not be easy.
Murray himself publicly doubted his prospects of winning a major after that defeat, which revealed mental doubts that do not plague the two legends that have helped block his path to glory in the four big events.
As strange as it may seem, time is running out for the 23-year-old. Djokovic, back to his best and number two in the world, is a week
younger than Murray and claimed his first Slam nearly three years ago. Juan
Martin del Porto is 21 and has already broken his duck.
Nadal is less than a year older and is the only man on the tour who is consistently stronger and fitter than the Scot. The Tennis betting Odds suggest that Murray will struggle to outlast the world number one. A handful of new challengers will soon emerge to make Murray’s task more difficult.
Murray is of course closer than most to a Slam title – he was superb at Melbourne and Wimbledon this year until running into Federer and
Nadal - but if he hopes the gradual fading of Federer will make a massive
difference in his prospects, he is wrong.