By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday Could 16, 2021
The ATP NextGen as a formidable menace to Huge 3 hegemony in males’s tennis? It’s not time for that, say Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Earlier this week when Nadal was requested if he felt the ATP’s younger weapons had been selecting up floor on himself Djokovic, he was fast to dismiss their current run of success which—let’s be sincere—might need extra to do with the absence of the Huge 3 at Masters 1000 tournaments than the precise strides made by the Subsequent Gen.
It is debatable: Djokovic gained the one Slam on provide, with ease. At Miami, the place neither Djokovic or Nadal attended, Hubert Hurkacz took the title. Monte-Carlo featured each Nadal and Djokovic and it was Stefanos Tsitsipas who gained the title. In Madrid Djokovic did not attend and Zverev knocked off Nadal within the quarters en path to his fourth Masters title.
So, is that this a development rising, or too small a pattern measurement to inform?
When Nadal was requested if it was time that the NextGen began to win some Grand Slam occasions his reply was sensible and sharp.
“Possibly. Let’s have a look at in three weeks or in 4 weeks,” he stated.
Djokovic took the questions as nicely. And after he reached the ultimate on Saturday by successful two matches, one among them over Tsitsipas, The World No.1 stated that he and Nadal had fun within the locker room in regards to the state of affairs.
“Rafa and I had a bit of chortle right this moment within the locker room after I gained in opposition to Tsitsipas,” he stated. “We type of joked round that the outdated guys are nonetheless not giving up. I noticed he stated someplace just a few days in the past that Roger, him and I are outdated, however I disagree with him. I believe we’re exhibiting some totally different, recent vitality. We had fun about it.”
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 16, 2021
On Sunday, after dropping a three-set closing to Nadal, Djokovic nonetheless had the topic on his thoughts. When addressing the group in Italian he joked:
“Rafa, myself and Roger: we’re the NextGen.”
That acquired fun out of Rafa.
After the ultimate, tennis journalist Tumaini Carayol put the query to Djokovic:
“Concerning your joke within the speech, I used to be questioning, do you ever get tired of listening to subsequent gen this, subsequent gen that?” he requested.
To which, Djokovic replied: “I stated it thousand instances. I do not know what number of instances individuals need me to repeat it. After all the subsequent gen is there, is coming, no matter. However right here we’re nonetheless successful the largest tournaments and slams. I do not know what to let you know apart from that. I am not centered on the subsequent gen despite the fact that I do know individuals, , it creates a narrative. Folks like to speak about it. Effective. The fellows are there. They’re already establishing themselves within the high 5, high 10 of the world. Nothing new. However we’re nonetheless there.
Maybe the highest NextGen gamers—Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Jannik Sinner and others which might be NextGenATP Finals alumni, ought to be paying consideration. In the event that they learn between the strains they may clearly see that there isn’t a complete lot of respect for the menace that they pose to the tennis hierarchy in the intervening time.
The one means for them to earn that respect is to step up and make the outcomes.