“Getting Closer and Closer”: Alex De Minaur Feels Next-Gens Are Close to Take Over Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic

Published 06/22/2021, 3:53 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Paris Masters – AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France Australia’s Alex de Minaur in action during his third round match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


Novak Djokovic reinforced the Big 3’s hold on Grand Slams by winning both the Australian Open and Roland-Garros titles this year but Australian tennis star Alex De Minaur reckons that the Next-Gen is inching closer with every tournament to ending their reign of monopoly and supremacy.

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For a significant part of the Roland-Garros final, the match looked to be going in the way of Stefanos Tsitsipas, a prominent member of the Next-Gen club, before the Serbian scripted another of his stunning fightbacks to come through in five sets.

With current World No. 5 Dominic Thiem lifting his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open last year, Russian Daniil Medvedev at No. 2 in singles and threatening Novak Djokovic’s hold on the Numero Uno status and Tsitsipas ranked second in the race for the ATP Finals in Turin, there are visible signs of the Next-Gen coming to the fore.

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The Next-Gen is pushing the Big 3 in every tournament

Speaking to atptour.com, de Minaur said that the Next-Gen stars are pushing the Big 3 harder and harder every tournament and it isn’t long before their hold on marquee titles eventually loosens.

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 08: (R-L) Alexander Zverev of Germany, Dominic Thiem of Austria, Matteo Berrettini of Italy, Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Daniil Medvedev of Russia. Roger Federer of Switzerland, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Rafael Nadal of Spain pose for a selfie on a boat on The River Thames during previews for the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 Arena on November 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

“They are definitely knocking on those doors and beating these top guys in these tournaments. When it comes to winning the Grand Slams, obviously we’ve had Novak win the past couple. Look, I think we’re getting closer and closer,” the World No. 18 said.

He added that the Next-Gen stars are pushing themselves as well as the Big 3 (combined moniker for Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal) for that “next big step” and are doing everything they can to get there.

“I know everyone out there is gunning to be the next Grand Slam champ, and to try to make that big step. All the players are out there, they are doing everything they can to make that step, and take over,” the Aussie said.

De Minaur says the Next-Gens are getting richer by experience

De Minaur added that the Next-Gen have got better at their craft and are getting richer by experience with every season in the professional grind which, he reckons, will help him and others in eventually coming out of the Big 3 shadow.

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The more the Next-Gen plays the Big 3, the better will be their chances of eventually taking them down.

“Every time we get to play those matches, we get to learn a lot and improve and lose respect for these types of players. That’s only a good thing because that means that we can go out there and try to play like it’s just another match, and more times than not, we’ll end up playing a better match, and if not win, get really close,” de Minaur said.

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The Aussie reached the semifinals at the Queen’s Club Championships before going down to eventual champion Matteo Berrettini and will be eyeing a good harvest at Wimbledon.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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