Former Wimbledon Champion Claims Tennis Is ‘Not at All’ Ready for Post Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic Era

Published 04/18/2021, 11:06 PM EDT
Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerlan wait to go on stage during the ATP Heritage Celebration at The Waldorf=Astoria on in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)


The question looming large in the tennis world is whether the next-generation players are ready to replace the big three – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli expresses her views on the same and much more on the recent tennis events.

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The big three have acted as the backbone of the tennis world for the past two decades. Also, their utter dominance has made it seemed unfathomable for the coming generation to match. To explain, the Frenchwoman took the example of the recent Miami Open final between Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner.

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Marion Bartoli compares the 2019 Roger Federer and John Isner final with the 2021 Miami Open final

Bartoli revealed that the 2021 Miami Open final recorded a staggering 72% drop in viewers ratings from the 2019 final between Roger Federer and John Isner. Thus, she concluded that tennis is not ready to go on without the big three.

“Not at all,” she exclaimed. Moreover, Bartoli insisted that not many in Miami streets would know who won the title this year. Afterwards, she clarified with, “unless you are a tennis fanatic and you know what’s exactly going on.”

Apr 4, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Hubert Hurkacz of Poland (L) shakes hands with Jannik Sinner of Italy (R) after their match in the men’s singles final in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Furthermore, the Frenchwoman acclaimed how Federer with his management agency and ATP developed a global sports icon status. Accordingly, she insisted that the ATP and new players should follow the same path or the outcome would be unfavorable.

“I don’t think it is a good idea to say, ‘Oh, we will never be able to replace Roger and Rafa’,” she continued. “Therefore, we cannot put any energy into promoting those kinds of players, which will head to we don’t know what to do. Because at the end of the day, if it is happening, then the ATP is going to massively suffer about finding some sponsors and putting tournaments together for the ATP Tour for players in the next five years.”

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Tennis legend picks between lines judges and Hawk-Eye

Another daunting debate in the tennis community is the choice between electronic line calling and the line judges. And as a fellow player, the Frenchwoman sided with the technology against human error.

“It’s much better to have a Hawk-Eye call every single time you’re on the court,” she added. “Especially on clay where there has been so much debate on the line calls there.”

SEPTEMBER 06: Novak Djokovic of Serbia tends to a line judge Laura Clark who was hit with the ball during his Men’s Singles fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain on Day Seven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Having said all, the shift from the big three to the new generation does not look pleasant. However, in time, numerous talents would expand the tennis world to more than three players.

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Nonetheless, the big three are still passionately competing and want to win many more titles. Let us wait and see how the next-generation players can take their mantle from them.

Would you like to follow tennis even after the departure of the big three?

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Purav Joshi

962 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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