"To be followed in Grand Slam by Nadal gives me extra motivation"

In an interview with the "World", the Swiss player says he is optimistic about the next generation after the "Federer-Nadal-Djokovic era" and thinks he can approach the 2020 season "with a lot of confidence".

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During the presentation of the Laver Cup, September 18 in Geneva. DENIS BALIBOUSE / REUTERS

There is the Roger Federer tennis player, the athlete who generates, according to Forbes$ 86 million a year in sponsorship, and there is also the entrepreneur. This week in Geneva, the Swiss organized the Laver Cup, competition-exhibition he launched in 2017 under the leadership of his agent Tony Godsick. A team event, where the best European players challenge "the rest of the world". Between two sets, the man at the 20 Grand Slams has eclipsed the bench of players to meet the World.

Many spectators admit that they came this weekend especially to see you. Do you not fear that the test will not survive your generation?

I think it's like on the circuit: at one point, when Rafa (Nadal), me and Novak (Djokovic) we will not be there, there will be a small adjustment to make, a transition. The Laver Cup certainly too. But is that negative? No. It's just that we will have to start supporting other players, maybe watching tennis a little differently.

But I do not have too many fears for the future of the Laver Cup because the format is not based on a single player. When I promoted this edition with Björn Borg, we were both, we just knew that Rafa would be there, but we did not know the other ten players yet and the tickets were sold in two hours . It gives me reasons to be confident for the future.

The Laver Cup offers an original format. Speaking of changes, which ones would you like to see operated on the circuit for the sake of the game, the players and the public?

Personally, I think it would be nice to have more games played in the best five sets. At one time, when I was playing finals in Gstaad, Basel, it was in five sets. Around 2007, they started to change that because they thought it required a little too much physical effort, they preferred that the best players could play more tournaments.

I miss it a little bit as the Masters final (last tournament of the season bringing together the top eight players at the end of November in London) not in five sets, some Masters 1000 could also reinstate them. In the game itself, they are trying things, me, I'm more in the tradition.

After, I think there is room for a new format like the Davis Cup or the ATP Cup (A tennis World Cup where 24 nations will compete in Australia in early January 2020). But overall, I think things should stay as they are.


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