Former British number one Andy Murray does not think the next generation of tennis players are “particularly close” to challenging the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic breezed past 25-year-old Russian Medvedev in straight sets in the Australian Open final on Sunday, meaning 15 of the last 16 Grand Slams have been won by the Big Three.
Austrian Dominic Thiem is the only other to do so having won last year’s US Open in a tournament where Djokovic was disqualified for hitting a line judge with a ball.
Djokovic raised eyebrows after his semi-final win over Aslan Karatsev when he said: “There has been a lot of talk about the new generation coming and taking over the three of us, but realistically that isn’t happening still. We can talk about it all day if you want, but with all my respect about the other guys, they still have a lot of work to do.
“Of course Dominic Thiem winning a Grand Slam title is fantastic. These guys are very strong, play high-quality tennis, without a doubt. Certainly they will be the leaders of the future of tennis, without a doubt, but I’m not going to stand here and hand it over to them. I’m going to make them work their ass off for it.”
And Murray, who was ruled out of the 2021 Australian Open due to testing positive for Covid-19, does not believe the next generation of tennis players will be taking over the game anytime soon.
“I expected the final to be closer to be honest, but I also know how good Novak is there and when he’s on his game and obviously highly motivated,” he told reporters ahead of his opening match at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.
“I saw before the final Medvedev said something along the lines of Novak having immense pressure on him, which is true but those guys have been at the top of the game. They’ve been dealing with immense pressure their whole careers and they know how to deal with it and perform at their best level when it matters.
“It’s different standing to return or to serve in a Grand Slam final than a quarter-final or a semi-final.
“When you’re coming up against someone who’s won 17 of them, or 19 or 20 of them, which these guys are doing now, it’s pretty intimidating.
“The younger guys, for me, they’ve not shown that they’re particularly close.
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