World No 1 Rafael Nadal is reportedly of the opinion that the golden generation of himself, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray could be coming to an end.
Nadal's lingering, tearful appreciation of Roland Garros' Philippe Chatrier court after claiming his ninth French Open title reportedly hinted that the Spaniard knew that change was in the air.
According to The Express Tribune, Nadal, who now holds nine French Open titles and 14 Grand Slams to his name with his victory over Novak Djokovic on Sunday, took his Paris record to a stunning 66 wins against just one loss since his debut as a 19-year-old in 2005.
However, Nadal would reportedly be 29 when he attempts to win a 10th title in 2015, while world No. 2 Novak Djokovic and Wimbledon champion would be 28 and this time next year, Federer would be looking at his 34th birthday.
The big four of tennis have won 39 of the last 44 majors between them, which stretches back to Federer's first Wimbledon title in 2003, the report added.
Nadal, who won his record setting fifth consecutive French Open, said that this year is emotional for different reasons, adding that he is 28 and it is not forever.
Nadal said that he wants to enjoy the moment because he has worked so hard to be there and would have a few more opportunities, but one does not know if he would ever win the French Open again.
Nadal added that their generation is on the way out, and they have all been there for a long while and it is normal as a generation is walking away and others would replace them.