“Not Selling Tickets”: Former Player Takes a Dig at Next Gen Stars Over Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic

Published 11/23/2021, 11:06 AM EST
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)


In the men’s game, tennis is still ruled by the superstar trio of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. These guys have been the face of the sport for two decades and have huge fan bases. 

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However, every generation must pass the mantle onto the next one. From the younger lot, players such as Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev, and Stefanos Tsitsipas are the ones who look ready to challenge the big three. 

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Roger Federer has been selling tickets like hot cake 

Sadly, these younger players have been unable to be a real threat at the Grand Slam events. The veterans like Roger Federer and the Spanish star, along with the Serbian ace, have ruled the Majors. However, there have been exceptional players like Thiem and Medvedev who have won the US Open over the last couple of seasons. But they have been unable to cause real damage on a consistent basis.

Taking note of this, former US Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe spoke on this subject and stated, “The larger issue for tennis if I put on my ESPN hat and former U.S.T.A. hat is that, let’s be honest, these young guys at the moment are not moving the needle for tennis the same way the older guys have. They are not selling tickets the first week of the U.S. Open the same way that Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic have been doing.”

Tennis – ATP Finals – Pala Alpitour, Turin, Italy – November 21, 2021 Germany’s Alexander Zverev celebrates with trophy after winning the final match with Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Federer and Nadal suffered from injuries in 2021

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Coming to tennis, Federer and Nadal ended their seasons early as they both suffered from injuries. Rafa is still expected to make a comeback in Doha later next month. However, Federer has been out since Wimbledon and will take a few more months before he can return to training. The Swiss Maestro stated that even his participation in Wimbledon 2022 is doubtful.  

DOHA, QATAR – MARCH 11: Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts during his quarter final loss to Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex on March 11, 2021 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images)

On the other hand, Djokovic won the first three Grand Slam titles this season. The younger ones like Zverev, Medvedev, and Tsitsipas have begun troubling the big three on the bigger stages. It will be interesting to see how these guys perform in the upcoming 2022 season. 

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Watch this story: The Journey of Roger Federer to the Elite Billionaire’s Club

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Rohan Kollare

1356 articles

Rohan Kollare is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Rohan has studied Sports Management and has a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering Tennis and Formula One.

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