The arrival of a new Grand Slam on the men’s tour is the most-awaited event in the tennis world. For almost a decade now, tennis experts and the world has been predicting the breakthrough of the NextGen. However, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic defy everyone and continue to ace on the tennis courts.
Former World Number one, Stefan Edberg, mentioned that NextGen players are on the brink of making their Major breakthroughs. He feels Dominic Thiem is the closest of the lot in terms of winning a Major title.
The Austrian ace was a few games away from his first Slam in Melbourne, and in Paris, but fell short.
“He (Thiem) showed he could have won the Australian Open this year very easily. That was a big chance for him. If Rafa wasn’t there, he’s going to win the French Open one day. He’s probably the closest one today, I would say,” Edberg told Eurosport.
Six-time Grand Slam champion Edberg feels Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are also inching closer to their first Major title. However, he perceives Thiem to be a step ahead of every other young tennis player.
“But at the same time, Zverev has shown a lot of potential, sort of lost track a little bit, but it doesn’t take much to get back on the right track again. Tsitsipas has shown. He’s definitely knocking on the door as well. I probably can add a few others. But Thiem, I would say at the moment,” he added.
He believes the NextGen must win on the Major courts while the ‘Big Three’ of tennis is still on top. It would ensure the evolution of the sport and mark the changing of the guard.
“Over the last 10, 12 years, it’s been three, four players dominating the game. Lately three players and if you look at the last couple of years, they’ve won all the Grand Slams. They’ve been incredible for this sport. It would have been nice to have a new young winner while Novak and Roger and Rafa are still around.”
Edberg feels the process of creating a new Grand Slam champion will take some time, but it is certain to happen.