Interesting Nadal interview in the Daily Mail today (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/mosl...Slam-jinx.html
) in which he says:
How will that ironclad mentality serve Nadal, though, when he is no longer at, or close to, the summit of the world rankings? Can he see himself playing when he is 12th in the world, 15th, 18th?
‘Why not?’ he asks. ‘If I feel competitive, if I’m still competing for things that motivate me, then I will be happy. If there is a chance to get from 15th to 10th, then I will be happy, I’m sure.’
Do you think we'll see Nadal, Fed, Novak etc. out there still battling when they start to move down the rankings? I'm not sure -- I think Fed will retire inside the top 5. His motivation is slams and the question is when he thinks that ship has sailed - overall he could stay top 5 for a while and if he was doing that poorly that he couldn't stay there then I don't think he'd be competitive at slams either and he'd call it a day.
With Nadal I don't know - he could fall a bit in the rankings i.e. 10-15 but still be competing for RG at least and clay Masters so maybe he won't quit straight away though I don't know if I see him being content at that ranking. Novak I think would be most comfortable falling and coming back up as he's not been in the top dog position as much in his career and often had Fedal in front so perhaps mentally not as much of a barrier for him.
Other interesting points in the interview - Nadal would keep Wimbledon 08 if he could only keep one slam as 07 was his worst ever defeat and he cried for half an hour in the locker room afterwards - got over Wimbledon last year in a day and hasn't thought about it since; thinks Murray is best ever not to win a slam and he needs to have the right mentality:
"But if he keeps putting himself in the position to win, I believe he will do it. I say to myself sometimes, after losing against Novak six times, seven times, that I can lose eight, nine, ten, 12, but one day I will beat him. Murray needs the same mentality.’"