“My simple answer to that question is: No, they can’t,” said Alan Seymour, a sports marketing consultant and former professor at the UK’s University of Northampton. “There will be a void in the short term.”
Sports stars such as Federer and Nadal, plus Australian Open winner and now 23-time major singles winner Serena Williams and her sister Venus, “have taken on iconic status,” Seymour said, adding it will be difficult to replace them once they retire.
“Federer and Nadal have both stood against that in everything that they do,” Seymour said. “They’ve been great ambassadors for the sport and they’ve given a lot back.”
Two weeks later, the expectations that we’re so used to having are back. Not only can Nadal win another Grand Slam, but he should win another Grand Slam. It’s easy to forget because of his injury history and early success, but The King of Clay is still just 30 years old. He has plenty of tennis left in him, and if the Australian Open was any indicator of what lies ahead, plenty of titles left in him.
He’s still hungry, still focused and still as dangerous as anyone in the world.
Rafa wasn’t a popular pick to win the Australian Open, but would you dare bet against him at Roland Garros? Didn’t think so.
- Dan Jones: Thank goodness Rafa Nadal went fishing for titles, not sardines | Evening Standard
What would a Federer-Nadal one-two in majors say for men’s tennis in 2017? That the standard is the best it has ever been, and rising? That winning even a single Open is a serious triumph? That this captivating game, played by some of the best athletes of any discipline, should be enjoyed with the knowledge that we are living through the best of times? Yes, all of the above, and more.
Roger Federer has the trophy but the glory belongs to both of them.
Roger and Rafa, geniuses and gentlemen: thank you. Thank you.
- Dream Final Serves Up Biggest Ever Audience on Eurosport | Discovery Communications
Eurosport is celebrating a record-breaking Australian Open with yesterday’s men’s final between Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal smashing the channels audience records and cementing its status the Home of Grand Slam tennis.
As the game’s greatest rivals faced each other in a Grand Slam final for the first time since 2011, more than 15.2m simultaneous viewers tuned in to Europe’s number one sports destination during yesterday’s final set drama… The dream final between two legends of the game has become Eurosport’s most-watched tennis match of all-time…
- ESPN Hits A Ratings Winner With Historic Australian Open | deadline.com
ESPN said the men’s final — the first Federer-Nadal matchup in a Grand Slam final since 2011 and their eighth overall — drew a record audience since it moved to an overnight ET time slot in 2005. Starting at 3:30 AM ET Sunday, the five-set match posted a 0.9 overnight rating, up 80% from the 2016 final between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. The network said it likely will be the most-watched program at that hour in ESPN history.
- Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal turned back the clock at the Australian Open and tennis is all the richer for it | The Telegraph
- Federer v Nadal: A miracle of modern sport | Australian Open – AO Films showcases the story behind the biggest match in Australian Open & arguably Grand Slam history.
- Federer v Nadal: The Final mini movie | Australian Open
- Men’s finals highlights – Federer v Nadal | Australian Open
- AO Top 5 hot shots – Federer v Nadal | Australian Open
- Rafael Nadal pre-final interview | Australian Open