Cape Town - Rafael Nadal's success on the clay
courts will never be repeated, Monte Carlo Masters tournament director
Zeljko Franulovic has claimed.
The European clay court season is set to get underway later this month, with Monte Carlo its first port of call.
Nadal missed much of the hard court Sunshine Double in America with a
knee injury, but he will be back for clay and, as ever, will be the
overwhelming favourite to dominate.
And, according to Franulovic, we should be enjoying the Spaniard while we still can.
"There will be not a Nadal's heir as a player or character,"
Franulovic told We Love Tennis. "It's impossible to find a new Nadal on
"There are less clay-courts specialists, on the contrary of what you
could see in the past with Spaniards or Italians. The current Tour makes
"(Novak) Djokovic plays well on clay the way he does on hard or
grass, as well as (Alexander) Zverev and (Dominic) Thiem as well who
just won in Indian Wells."
Tennis in general has taken an unusual turn this year, with a large
amount of different tournament winners already. Franulovic says that's
great for the sport, but it was also inevitable.
"It's absolutely unbelievable," he added.
"That's not normal, on the best days of the Big Four that was
impossible. This is a sign of change for tennis. But it had to happen."