“They Will Take Over”: Novak Djokovic Impressed by Thiem, Tsitsipas, Zverev and Other Next-Gens

Published 05/11/2021, 5:59 AM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 10: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates victory after winning his singles match against Matteo Berrettini of Italy during Day 1 of the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 Arena on November 10, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)


In every sport, there are players who belong to a current generation and eventually with time are replaced by players from the younger generations. It’s a normal procedure that every athlete goes through.

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Similarly, in tennis, the likes of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal are in the twilight phase of their careers. There will be a time sooner or later when the young guns begin their domination over these three guys. 

Recently, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic highlighted this aspect and accepted that change is inevitable. He was happy with the recent wins of Stefanos Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo and Alexander Zverev’s win in Madrid. Over the past 12 months, the younger players have been able to beat the veterans regularly. 

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DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – FEBRUARY 29: Winner Novak Djokovic of Serbia and runner up Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece celebrate with the trophies after their men’s final match on Day 13 of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on February 29, 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

The 18-time Grand Slam winner spoke on this topic and stated, “The results prove that they are earning more than before. I mean, obviously, these guys are playing, you know, more or less every week. There are guys like Tsitsipas, Zverev, Berrettini, Rublev who win against all of us, who play a lot and move up the rankings.”

(Quotes are translated using Google translate)

Novak Djokovic insists the change of guard will take place eventually

In a year or so, besides the likes of Thiem, Zverev, Medvedev, and Tsitsipas, the emergence of new players like Rublev, Berrettini has increased the competitivity. It’s a natural process and the change of guard will take place in the future. However, one cannot remain certain how soon it will happen. 

BELGRADE, SERBIA – JUNE 14: Novak Djokovic (L) of Serbia and Alexander Zverev (R) of Germany pose for a photo prior to the Adria Tour charity exhibition hosted by Novak Djokovic on June 14, 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

The 33-year-old player further added, “Medvedev, of course, is also fighting for the top spots. Dominic Thiem, he’s been there for several years too. It is inevitable that they will take over. The changes to the top of the leaderboard will happen. Whether it’s in a month, a year, or whatever, I don’t know.”

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Djokovic is currently in Rome, bidding to win his sixth title at the venue. He knows the task won’t be easy as the competition has gotten tougher with the rise of the next generation. 

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Rohan Kollare

709 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and 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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