“Getting Closer and Closer”: Serena Williams’ Coach Patrick Mouratoglou Reveals His Opinion on Next-Gen Defeating Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at Slams

Published 05/24/2021, 2:52 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal with the trophy after winning his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic who poses with the runners up trophy REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


There is a persistent debate in the tennis world over which next-gen player will dominate the Big-3(Nadal, Djokovic, Federer), especially at grand slams.

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Even though the youngsters managed to stun Nadal or Djokovic at several Masters 1000 tournaments, they failed to recreate the same when it comes to majors.

Both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are still winning grand slams, despite pressure from next-gen talents like Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev, etc. When it comes to big matches at major tournaments, the youngsters fumble to sustain momentum and allowed either Nadal or Djokovic to claim the title.

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Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Serbia’s Novak Djokovic after winning the final REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
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While it looks nearly difficult for the next-gen to outpower the Big-3, Serena Williams‘ coach Patrick Mouratoglou feels that the younger generation players stand a good chance of winning grand slams very soon.

“Rafa and Novak are still at the top of the game” – Patrick Mouratoglou

Speaking before the start of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown at his academy, the French coach pointed out the fact the next-gen players are yet to take over from the Big-3.

The Next Generation has not taken over yet, despite a lot of comments saying that they have. Every time I am interviewed, I say ‘no'”, said Mouratoglou.

Serena Williams with coach Patrick Mouratoglou as they head to training before the start of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on June 28, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Mouratoglou also mentioned how Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are still at the top of their games, and they don’t appear to be losing grand slam finals to the youngsters any time soon.

Rafa and Novak are still at the top of the game. Very clearly, Novak is less interested in every tournament that is not a Grand Slam and his results show, but when he comes to the Grand Slams he is always there and it’s the same with Rafa”, added the French coach.

Mouratoglou feels that the Next Gen are closing their gap on the Big-3

But, Mouratoglou also mentioned that the gap between the Big-3 and next-gen is getting closer. He also expressed his wish to see a next-gen player winning a grand slam title soon.

For the moment, we can’t say that the Next Gen are taking over. They’re getting closer and closer, that’s for sure. Is the margin as big as before? Definitely not. The margin is getting smaller and smaller but I want to see a new generation guy win a Grand Slam, defeating them, which still hasn’t happened yet”, concluded Patrick Mouratoglou.

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ASB TENNIS CENTER, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – 2016/12/30: Tennis super star Serena Williams with her coach Patrick Mouratoglou during a training session at ASB Tennis Centre, Auckland, New Zealand. She is scheduled to play at the ASB Classic tennis tournament starts on Monday 2 Jan. (Photo by Shirley Kwok/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

While there is huge pressure on next-gen players to dethrone the Big-3 at every grand slam event, let’s not forget that they are playing against three of the best players the sport has ever produced. To defeat not one but two of them at a major is a mammoth task.

But, players like Daniil Medvedev, Dominic Thiem, and Stefanos Tsitsipas offer hope for the upcoming generation of players as they dominated the Big-3 on several instances on the ATP tour.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

201 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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