World No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz acknowledges that the Big Three remain a major force at Grand Slam level, but noted that the newcomers are getting closer to unseating them. Novak Djokovic won the first three Grand Slams of the 2021 season, but Daniil Medvedev prevented the Serb from achieving a calendar Grand Slam and won his record 21st Grand Slam at the US Open.
Medvedev had an outstanding performance in the US Open final as he defeated Djokovic in straight sets to win his first Grand Slam. Hurkacz’s best Grand Slam result came at Wimbledon last year, where he beat Roger Federer in the quarter-finals before losing to Matteo Berrettini in the semi-final.
“Daniil was able to beat Novak in the US Open final and I think it’s coming, it’s just around the corner. I think everyone who is close, close to the top-10, is trying to improve their game and they are Working hard
I think he is getting very, very, very close to being able to play very close matches with the top guys themselves. So I think he’s moving in that direction,” Hurkacz told Essentially Sports. Hurkacz had hoped to make a strong showing at the Australian Open and potentially win his first Grand Slam title, but his campaign at Melbourne Park came to an end in the second round following a shock loss to Adrian Mannarino.
Djokovic on the way he was treated in Australia
In a recent interview, Novak Djokovic had some harsh words about the way he was treated in Australia ahead of the season’s first Grand Slam last month. “A very ugly image of me was created [in Australia].
They humiliated me, if I may say so, on a world level. That is why it is important that I always have the opportunity to say something,” Djokovic said. “If someone wants to ask me something, I will answer.” An emotional Djokovic further claimed that the only reason he wanted to play at Melbourne Park was because it was where he had been most successful.
For reference, the Serb has won the tournament a record nine times. “For me, sport has always been above politics. Some think that I politicized this whole situation, that I deliberately wanted to enter the country and attract attention.
They think that I entered politics more than sports. But the opposite is true,” Djokovic said. “I left because I am an athlete. I left even when [the Australian Open] is where I recorded my best results. I wanted to respect my colleagues, and that’s why I didn’t [speak] until it was over.”