17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer was thrilled when he discovered that Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil would face off in the first ever all-Canadian final in Open Era history, but he is still weary when discussing future Grand Slam champions and a potentially changing of the guard.
Federer is particularly impressed with Raonic, who broke into the Top 10 in 2013 and has since been to his first Grand Slam semi-final after a win over Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-final round of the Wimbledon Championships earlier this season.
“I think he has really made a name for himself in the last few years now,” Federer told media members at a special press conference ahead of the Rogers Cup. “He’s really made his move in the rankings in the last year or so, getting into the Top 10, winning more tournaments and playing more solid week by week.”
Although complimentary about Raonic and his fellow break out talents currently working their way up the rankings, the world No. 3 was not convinced the brigade of prospects were mentally ready to break the dominance of the Big Four.
“I came about when there was a lot of different world No. 1s and a lot of different Grand Slam champions back in the 90s and the beginning of the 2000’s. It changes every other week. We haven’t seen that many No. 1s since (then) in the last eight years.
“It is pretty much the same guys always winning the Grand Slams and the Masters 1000s and end up at the top ranking.”
While Federer’s comments appear harsh, he does believe there is a legitimate group of budding prospect that will likely emerge in the future.
“I do agree that a lot of guys are coming up from the back end now. Del Potro just had wrist surgery and Murray has had back surgery; I’ve had some issue that I’ve cleared up. Stan (Wawrinka) winning the Australian Open really gave hope to a lot of guys. But belief is not enough, you have to pull through.
“It is nice talking about it, but at the end they’ve got to do it.”