The 2020 season came to a spectacular end at the regular season-ending ATP Finals 2020. Although it looked like we would see a Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal final, the two youngsters, Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev, had other ideas. Those were encouraging signs, and it seems the next-gen are finally stepping up to challenge the ‘big 3’ of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Medvedev got a straight-set victory over Rafa Nadal in the ATP Finals 2020 semifinals, whereas Thiem got a three-set victory over Djokovic in the other semifinal. The outstanding performances from Thiem and Medvedev surprised the captain of the German Davis Cup team, Michael Kohlmann.
“I found it remarkable this year that the young players went a step further in these important situations. The older, more experienced ones pulled off the calm, solid game.” Kohlmann said in an interview with Tennisnet.
The stories of the two semifinals were that Rafa Nadal had the chance to serve out the match against Medvedev, and Djokovic had a 4-0 lead against Thiem in the final set tiebreaker. Both Nadal and Djokovic couldn’t seal their matches when they were ahead. Medvedev and Thiem made great comebacks in their respective matches and won.
Michael Kohlmann was happy with the high-risk game, especially from Dominic Thiem. He further predicted that Thiem and other next-gen stars will win Grand Slams even with Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer still firing.
“And Dominic Thiem in particular then took an even higher risk, played incredible forehand winners, and increased the pace. And that worked. I took the feeling with me that the boys, next to Thiem, are not only there now, but will soon also be able to win the Grand Slam tournaments. Even if all three top players are at the start.”
Well, Thiem is already a Grand Slam champion, breaking the ‘big 3’ monopoly at US Open 2020. The next generation of players have performed at the ATP Masters 1000 level and the ATP Finals. The only other tournament that remains is the Grand Slam. All expect them to soon challenge the old guns at the apex tournament of tennis.