Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal must “seriously” consider how much longer they can call themselves professional tennis players, according to Boris Becker. Both Federer and Nadal have had numerous injury problems in recent years.
He will be 41 next August and Becker doubts if he will be able to keep making returns to the sport.
Nadal, meanwhile, has struggled with a foot injury in recent months.
He returned to play in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi last week but has since tested positive for COVID-19.
Nadal is five years Federer’s junior but has put his body through a lot during his illustrious career.
The duo have won 20 Grand Slam singles titles each but Becker thinks the time has come for a serious consideration over their futures.
“I think the two greats of tennis now have to think seriously about how long they can be called players,” Becker told Eurosport Germany’s Das Gelbe vom Ball podcast.
“With Rafa it will be a bit easier than with Roger.
Rafael Nadal copies Novak Djokovic as he refuses to confirm injury woe
“There’s no bigger Roger fan than me, but I don’t know how easy it is to make another comeback after knee surgery at almost 41.”
World No 3 Alexander Zverev was alongside Becker on the same podcast and he would not rule out a return for Federer at some point.
“Roger has already managed a lot of things where we said that is not possible at all,” Zverev said.
“That’s why I wouldn’t rule it out. It won’t be easy, tennis is changing and getting faster. At some point it will no longer be easy.”
Murray pinpoints Australian Open ‘mission impossible’ against Djokovic
Earlier this month, Zverev claimed Novak Djokovic would go down as the greatest male player of all time ahead of Federer and Nadal.
“I know a lot of tennis fans are more for Roger or Rafa, but you can’t argue against the statistics,” he told Tennis Magazin.
“Novak has won the most Grand Slams with Roger and Rafa. He’s been number one in the world for most weeks and has finished number one most years, Novak has won most of the Masters titles and a lot more.”