For a prolonged period now Tennis is being dominated by the Big Three Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. And if these legends are to believed it should remain so for at least another year.
The intensity of their dominance can be measured by the fact that the Big Three won 33 out of the 40 Grand Slam titles in the last decade.
But with the emergence of fresh faces like Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, among others, the Big Three is facing the toughest competition of their career. But world number 2 Djokovic feels the “NextGen” might have to wait for the next year to lay their hands on a Majors title.
“You have obviously Federer, Nadal, myself because of the experience and everything and the rankings, that we get to be probably named the top three favourites,” Djokovic was quoted as saying by PTI via AFP ahead of the Australian Open.
“But then you have (Daniil) Medvedev, (Stefanos) Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem that are really showing some amazing tennis. So everybody keeps on talking about NextGen player winning a Slam. You know, it seems like it’s getting closer. Hopefully not this year. We’ll see,” he added.
The owner of record 20 Grand Slams Federer, on the other hand, admits players like Denis Shopalov, Tsitsipas and Medvedev are exciting.
After getting beaten by Tsisipas in last year’s Australian Open, the 38-year-old has also rated his win over the Greek Sensation at the World Tour as a “big one” but feels beating Djokovic and Nadal is still the toughest.
“Both guys (Djokovic, Nadal) when they are injury-free they are always tough to beat,” Federer said showing no sign of losing his competitive edge.
“I think the win from Tsitsipas at the World Tour finals (in November) was a big one. That was a huge step forward after he beat me here (Melbourne) last year. He had a great run here. Medvedev has obviously had a great run. Shapovalov is a very exciting player as well,” he added.