(Reuters) – Rafa Nadal’s French Open defeat at the hands of Novak Djokovic on Wednesday provoked the predictable question of whether the Spaniard’s career is in terminal decline. Those in the know, however, his fellow players, believe Rafa remains a force to be reckoned with.
David Ferrer: “Rafael is still among the best players in the world. We should not rule out Rafa Nadal. There is no player like Nadal.”
Andy Murray: “Rafa is still playing well. Just not as well as before. He’s coming back from a pretty rough six-seven month period, struggling with injuries and illness. Obviously he had (appendicitis) surgery as well. It takes time. Rafa will come back.”
Novak Djokovic: “At the end of the day, he’s human. I understand that people are questioning his game and where he’s going to be. But if you need a reminder of who he is, just look at his career stats and grand slams that he won. He’s somebody that understands what he needs to do when he’s feeling down to come back and fight to be the best. That’s what he has done after nine months of absence from the tour and he came back, had one of the best years of his life in 2013. So I don’t think that this is a big deal. He is 29 and still has years in front of him, and I’m sure he’s going to bounce back and play very strong.”