ROGER FEDERER will find it increasingly difficult to win Grand Slam titles over the next few year, said Rafael Nadal’s former coach and uncle Toni Nadal.
Toni coached his nephew for 12 years before their split in November 2017.
During his tutelage of Nadal, Toni oversaw 16 Grand Slam singles title wins during the pair’s successful partnership.
Nadal’s most notable rival in that time was Federer – the only man to eclipse the Spaniard’s haul of Grand Slams, with 20.
Toni believes the Swiss will find it difficult to improve that tally as he enters the autumn of his career, however.
Federer turned 37 this year and began the season by winning the Australian Open, but tailed off towards the end of 2018.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper El Diario Vasco, Toni said: “With all my respect, there comes a time when it will be difficult for the 38-year-old to win a tournament with five-set matches.
“He will always have Wimbledon, but every year that passes it seems more difficult.”
Federer has won eight Wimbledon singles titles – the most by any man in history but exited the summer competition at the quarter-final stage this year.
Nadal beat Federer at Wimbledon in one of the greatest Grand Slam finals in 2008, but also suffered disappointment this year, losing in the semi-finals.
Speaking of the increasing difficulty to win such events, Toni admitted: “The same thing that happens with Rafael.”
The rivals did not meet each other in competition this season, which Toni believes will happen more often.
In January, Federer will look to win a third consecutive Australian Open.