In a recent interview with the New York Times, Patrick McEnroe explained how Next Gen are still far behind the Big 3 Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in terms of attractiveness. Patrick analyzed: “The biggest problem in today’s tennis does not lie in the level of the Next Gen.
Players like Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev have already shown that they can express a very high level. They have defeated the Big 3 on more than one occasion and the change at the top is increasingly imminent.
At the same time, it must be admitted that young people do not contribute to the popularity of tennis like their predecessors. Over the past decade and a half, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have sold a lot of tickets in the first week of the Grand Slams that Next Gen dreams of.”
What could happen now
In the meantime, the ATP would have drawn up the first part of the 2022 calendar. From what has been learned, in January it will be played only in Australian territory, with the confirmation of the ATP Cup before the Australian Open.
The second half of 2021 was full of twists and turns and provided some clues for the future. Novak Djokovic has shown that he can still play at very high levels, having won three majors this year and having just touched the Grand Slam.
The world number 1 also made it to the final at the US Open, but unfortunately he was unable to complete the job. The Serbian champion finished the season at the top of the ATP ranking for the seventh time in his career, a record that allowed him to break Pete Sampras.
At the same time, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev confirmed that they had reduced the gap that separated them from the 20-time Grand Slam champion, especially on hard courts. The German beat Djokovic at both the Tokyo Olympics and the ATP Finals, while the Russian prevented Nole from winning the US Open.
The next season will be steeped in meaning. Fans are hoping that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will be able to treat themselves to one last ride in 2022.