World No.1 Rafael Nadal backs the next-generation players to win a big tournament in the 2020 season. However, the Spaniard is fearless and ready to face an uphill task ahead of him against the young players. Will the next-gen stars dethrone the ‘Big 3’ to win a major title? Nadal explains.
Nadal admits that men’s tennis will change sooner or later. The Mallorcan explicates it is an inexorability that the tennis career of the ‘Big Three’ is nearing the closing stage. In addition, accepts the ‘brutal’ reality that they cannot go on forever.
Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have won 51 out of the last 59 grand slam tournaments. Only twice in the last 59 major events has a final taken place without one of the Big Three featuring in the title match. Despite their dominance, the 19-time Grand Slam champion feels that those hoping to take over are gathering momentum.
Rafael Nadal dauntless about the challenges from young guns in 2020
“It’s normal that there’s a buzz around them and it will get louder because we’re getting older every day and they’re getting better every day.“ Nadal said during a recent interview with as.com.
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“Every year they’re improving. I think that they can win the biggest tournaments like Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Thiem did this year. I think that Denis Shapovalov is going to make a big step up this year and (Jannik) Sinner’s trajectory is incredible.
The Balearic also suggested that the next-gen players are here to stay. He says that the trio will still be around but the cycle of life is brutal and at some point, that’s going to change, and sooner rather than later.
“There’s obviously some reason we have 20, 19 and 16 Grand Slams between us. We’ve been able to find a way to remain competitive and to keep being successful,” Nadal concluded.
What does the future hold for the next-gen?
This season has seen both Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev clinch their maiden Masters 1000 titles. Meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas claimed the ATP World Tour Finals title.
Nadal also got a taste of the threat he could potentially face the next season at the US Open 2019. The Spaniard had to dig deep to see off Daniil Medvedev in a thrilling five-setter.
It will be interesting to see what will occur in 2020 with the new generation. However, Nadal admits that change will eventually happen. Whether if he likes it or not.
Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are also tied up in a race for more Grand Slam titles with very little to differentiate between them. The three goliaths of the sport will, therefore, aim to give tougher battles to the young players. Rafael Nadal will kick-off his 2020 season at the ATP Cup, which will start on January 3rd.
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