[South Africa], Jan. 13 (ANI): Former tennis player and commentator Patrick McEnroe believes Swiss legend Roger Federer and Spaniard Rafael Nadal won't be contenders to win the upcoming Australian Open, which begins from January 16.
Both Federer and Nadal had to cut short their campaigns last season as the Swiss underwent a knee surgery while the Spaniard was troubled by wrist issues.
"Let's hope they keep playing for 20 more years because they've been unbelievable for tennis," Sport24 quoted McEnroe as quoted. "They're two of the all time greats, two of the all-time class acts in men's tennis."
"But I don't realistically expect either of them to be holding up the trophy at the end of this tournament. And I think probably if they took a truth test, they'd probably agree with that," he added.
The former US tennis player further pointed out that he doesn't expect the duo of Federer and Nadal to compete with Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, especially considering the dominance shown by the current world No. 1 and 2 in the last two years.
"But I don't expect either of them to be able to hold the trophy, particularly when you look at just the way Djokovic and Murray have looked in the last couple years, and have also started out the year," he said.
"I'd really have to convince myself that they could pull something extraordinary to beat one or two of those guys in best-of-five sets, not to mention the rest of the field and the other players, the younger guys coming up like (Dominic) Thiem, (Alexander) Zverev, guys like that. I think it's going to be tough for them to do that," he added.
The 50-year-old further insisted that he is very much excited for the Australian Open as the Briton would be looking to continue his red-hot streak while the Serb would be hunting his seventh Australian Open crown.
"I'm always excited for the Australian Open because it's one of my favourite events," he said.
"I think there's a lot more buzz this year because Murray has taken over No 1, not by a long shot, but an amazing effort to do that. Djokovic is going to feel like he's got something to prove, even though he's had a couple of the greatest years ever in the history of men's tennis in the last couple years."
"Then you have Roger and Rafa coming back. You have still got the guys knocking on the door like (Kei) Nishikori. We haven't mentioned (Stan) Wawrinka, who has had an unbelievable couple of years," he added.
The Australian Open will stick with the current rankings when its seeds 32 players in each of the men's and women's 128-player singles draws.
Wimbledon finallist Milos Raonic is seeded-third in the men's seedings, with US Open champion Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Gael Monfils, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, 14-time Grand Slam champion Nadal and Tomas Berdych completing the top 10.
As far as list of top 10 women's seeds is concerned, former world number one Serena Williams is seeded No. 2, followed by Agnieszka Radwanska, Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Dominika Cibulkoa, Garbine Muguruza, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Johanna Konta and Carla Suarez Navarro.
Federer, who has won the Australian Open four times, will start at No.17 as he makes a comeback after six-month long injury layoff.
The Swiss legend recently slipped to No. 17 in the rankings after Grigor Dimitrov won the Brisbane International and moved up to No 15.(ANI)