Can they repeat the imperial 2017 season?
I think, they can’t.
For Federer the age clock is counting. For Nadal – his injuries.
Another factors are many comebacks of top players: Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka, Raonic, Nishikori. They are a big unknown. I don’t believe it, they all to make some big comeback. But one or two can. My bet is, it could be Djokovic rather than others.
And maybe the biggest factor are some rising younger players – my predicted new BIG4: Dimitrov, Goffin, Thiem and Zverev.
So there is a good chance for Fedal to have to play one of old Big4 or one/two of new BIG4 before the eventual title.
After Federer’s offer to have off-season preparation with Thiem, my guess was, Federer want not to skip clay and at least try 1-2 clay Masters and French Open. And given the low probability of Rafa continuing his A-game in 2018, Federer’s main potential opponent could be just Thiem (my candidate for French Open title 2018).
If Federer wants to win some slam 2018, must focus on 1 or 2. Both in first half of a season. Second part is likely to look similar to 2017. Wimbledon is an obvious thing – still his best terrain. Now he must choose – either he goes for AO or FO. If I was Federer and my biggest goal would be to add more slams (and not to win his worst), I would choose AO. Still I don’t see Federer winning AO as his main opponent would not be Rafa, but Dimitrov, Zverev, Goffin or Djokovic (if having a great comeback). So he will for sure focus on Wimbledon and Djokovic has time until Wimbledon toi restore big form and be serious title contender in London.
The only Nadal’s chance is, as always, French Open, but it will be tougher than 2017, because Thiem will be harder to beat and Nadal could not hold the level of his game from 2017.
My prediction: FEDAL does not win any slam in 2018 with status quo remaining.
AO for Dimitrov or Zverev.
FO for Thiem or Djokovic.
Wimbledon for Zverev or Dimitrov.
US Open for Delpo or Goffin.
Yes, we must not forget about Delpo. If Delpo is fit and can continue his 2017 run and he’s than a difficult opponent for everyone, he can be the DARK HORSE of the season, most probably winning AO and/or USO.
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