South Africa’s Tennis star Lloyd Harris feels it is time for the younger generation to take over from the Big three. Daniil Medvedev ended Novak Djokovic’s inspiring run in the final of the US Open as the Russian won in straight sets by 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have dominated the sports in the last 15 years. The trio has won 60 slam titles amongst themselves and their supremacy has been second to none. However, one feels that Roger Federer, who has always enthralled the Tennis fans with his flamboyant game, is at fag end of his career.
Federer didn’t play in 2020 because of his knee surgery after the Australian Open and then played in French Open and Wimbledon in 2021. On the other hand, Rafael Nadal has also been troubled by a foot injury and had to pull out of Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics, and US Open.
Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem have each won US Open whereas Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have shown that they are very close to bag their maiden title. Furthermore, players like Matteo Berrettini, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Andrey Rublev, Carlos Alcaraz, Denis Shapovalov, Hubert Hurkracz, and Casper Ruud have come up in the ranks.
“Absolutely, it’s been coming for a while. It’s been hard for the younger generation to just crack into those Grand Slams,” said Harris. “Novak’s just been unstoppable until this very last match… I just think he came up against an extremely difficult opponent on the day. Daniil played some really good tennis and [he] just kind of reflects this newer generation.”
On the other hand, Alexander Zverev has shown good form in the recent past. The German won Gold in Tokyo Olympics and then also won the Cincinnati Open.
“There was Zverev winning the gold medal, Medvedev winning the other (Canadian) Masters in the summer… so this young generation is really coming through. “If you look at the top 50 now, I think there are more young guys in there than there’s been in the last 20 years. “It just shows you. Felix (Auger-Aliassime) had a tremendous run as well as (Hubert) Hurkacz got a Masters win in Miami, (Casper) Ruud winning three titles. This new generation is coming through nicely and these are the guys I grew up with.
“It’s incredible how we’re all within one year from each other, [born] between 1996 to 1998 almost, which is pretty incredible. “So, yes, I’ve known these guys for a long time, we’ve been competitive in the juniors already and it’s nice to see all of us progressing and now I think it’s time to kick out that ‘Big 3’ and let the younger generation take over,” Harris said.