Seven-time Grand Slam winner Mats Wilander thinks Novak Djokovic will be the biggest loser out of the ‘Big Three’ by the cancellation of tennis events due to the coronavirus.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic have been engaged in a Grand Slam battle in a bid to go down as the greatest of all-time.
World No 4 Federer is older than his two rivals and he holds the current men’s record of 20 major tournament wins.
Nadal is just one behind the Swiss star with Djokovic a further two back.
However, Djokovic is the man in form having won the Australian Open earlier this year and he was expected to dominate the 2020 campaign.
The Serbian is also looking to close down Federer’s record of 310 weeks as world No 1.
As all events have been suspended or cancelled until July, Djokovic’s time at the top of the rankings does not add to his tally.
Therefore, Wilander thinks Djokovic will be the biggest loser of the situation – although that is nothing compared to what is happening in the world.
The Swedish legend also explained how the coronavirus could prevent the Next Gen stars from taking over the mantle.
“Obviously we lose a year of the chase in the history books but at the same time who really cares who ends up with the most majors?” Wilander said.
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“It hurts Novak more because he was in great form and Roger is getting older, but for the younger players a break like this is much tougher.
“They are obviously going to be able to practise at some point, somewhere, but not playing matches?
“The only way to improve when you are 21 is through confidence and growing the knowledge.
“Federer can be off for six months but knows how to win matches. The younger players are still forming their ways to win matches.”
Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are all coming towards the tail end of their careers so Wilander reckons this is the perfect period for tennis to try and attract some new fans.
“We are going to lose the greatest player of all time in terms of interest in a year or two when Roger stops,” he added.
“We have a new breed of men and women that are really exciting, great athletes, great attitude but they are missing out on a bit of the limelight, while the likes of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal continue to play.
“Now it’s time to re-brand the sport a little to attract a younger audience.
“Maybe we can see more men’s and women’s combined events so the young players can be marketed better.”
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