‘The average level has risen a lot’ – Top analyst says younger players can now topple big three

Alex Corretja believes we are closer than many realise to a changing of the guard in tennis, the younger players closing the gap on the big three.

The ‘big three’ – Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic – have dominated tennis for a decade-and-a-half, amassing 58 major titles between them.

This year has not looked any different, Federer’s absence aside, with Djokovic already winning the Australian Open and Nadal once again the overwhelming favourite to win the French Open.

However, it has also been a good 12 months for what were previous called the ‘next gen’ players.

Alexander Zverev reached his first Grand Slam final at the US Open, losing to Dominic Thiem who won his maiden major. Zverev also won the Madrid Masters recently.

Meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas was an Australian Open semi-finalist, beating Nadal along the way, and won his first Masters in Monte-Carlo, and Daniil Medvedev reached the Australian Open final.

“For me, we are closer to the transition because those below have already seen that they can,” Corretja said.

“The average level has risen a lot and those of the Next Gen have more experience now, and are 10 years younger [than the big three].

“They lose due to lack of experience, not due to lack of physique or power. They are getting closer and closer.”

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