Patrick Rafter has backed Novak Djokovic to bounce back in 2017 and win a 'couple of slams' after he struggled in the second half of the 2016 campaign. The Australian tennis legend, however, is unsure if Andy Murray can improve on the form that he showed in the second half of the season which earned him the number one ranking.
The Serb failed to win even a single title since August before which he had bagged six titles including two majors – the Australian Open and the French Open – the latter for the first time to complete a career Grand Slam. Andy Murray stepped up his game in the second half of the season and won five titles in a row following his quarter-final loss at the US Open and finished the year as the top ranked men's singles player.
Djokovic split with Boris Becker, his coach for the last three years, earlier this month, and is believed to be considering Nenad Zimonjic as his replacement. Rafter, who reached the summit of the ATP rankings in 1999, has backed him to recapture his form.
"Djokovic will have a half-decent year again and win a couple slams," Rafter told CNN.
"Will he be able to solidify it? I don't know," the former world number one added about Murray improving his game in 2017.
Rafter also warned against writing off Roger Federer adding to his 17 Grand Slam titles despite the Swiss ace struggling for form and fitness in recent years. His last major win came in 2012, but the former number one has admitted that winning Grand Slams is one of his targets when he returns from injury in 2017.
"If he's not winning a grand slam, is he struggling? Because what is his goal? To be No 5 in the world? I doubt it."
"I think he realistically thinks he can win another slam. Maybe he can. Whenever you are that great, you never write off a champion," Rafter added.