Andy Murray says the younger players are ‘nowhere near’ to matching Novak Djokovic, and only a twist of fate stopped him winning the US Open last year.
Djokovic was defaulted from the tournament in New York when he accidentally hit a line judge with a loose ball.
Dominic Thiem went on to win the tournament, beating Alexander Zverev in the final as the tournament completely opened up without the defaulted Djokovic, the injured Roger Federer, and the absent Rafael Nadal.
Daniil Medvedev was then comprehensively outclassed by Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open, and Murray believes it was a huge reality check for the younger players.
“The younger guys, for me, they’ve not shown that they’re particularly close,” Murray said.
“I expected the final to be closer. But it’s different standing to return or to serve in a Grand Slam final than a quarter-final or a semi.
“When you’re coming up against someone who’s won 17 of them it’s pretty intimidating.
“Obviously at the US Open, Dominic Thiem did what he had to do to win the event.
“But if Novak hadn’t put a ball through the line judge’s throat, it would have been the same outcome I think.
“The guys have been at the top for so long that they have won on every surface and have been really good on all courts.
“The guys trying to get to those positions don’t necessarily play as well on all of the surfaces, so that reduces the opportunities to potentially win Slams.”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?