Ivan Lendl Unsure Who Will Ascend Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic




Dominic Thiem‘s 2020 US Open triumph led many to believe that the next-gen was ready to dominate tennis in the next few years. For that to happen, the next-gen needs to topple the ‘big 3’ of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. However, former tennis player Ivan Lendl is still unsure about the current crop of young players, given their awful credentials at Grand Slams.

Former Grand Slam champ Ivan Lendl spoke about his former prodigy, Alexander Zverev. Lendl also raised a concern pertaining to the next dominating force after the ‘big 3.’

“I don’t really know, I think he clearly has some weaknesses in his game. He needs to improve,” Lendl said on Zverev.

Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev holds the runner-up trophy following his loss in the men’s singles final match against Dominic Thiem at the 2020 U.S. Open. Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports.

“The other thing we don’t know what is going to happen now is this generation going to take over in 3-4 years when Roger, Rafa, and Novak are done or somebody younger is going to come up there and just dominate,” Lendl said.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic were Grand Slam champions before they turned 22

Lendl also said that the next-gen hasn’t played many crunch Grand Slam finals involving Roger, Rafa, and Novak; hence, judging them at the highest level is difficult.

“We know they have won at certain levels, we know they have won the level below But until they get into the crunch in a major final we really do not know what’s in there. We have seen that to some extent this year at the US Open,” Lendl said in Patrick McEnroe’s podcast- Holding Court.

Dominic Thiem wins US open 2020
Dominic Thiem celebrates with the championship trophy after his match against Alexander Zverev in the men’s singles final match at the 2020 U.S. Open. Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports | Reuters.

Ivan Lendl on who was favorite for US Open 2020

Lendl is also keen to see how the young players will perform in Grand Slams when they are favorites. He cited US Open 2020 and explained his point.

“We had semifinalists and the question was who is the favorite, what’s going to happen. I was asked that question and well we have two points to make, we don’t know what’s going to happen because we have no record on to go on with the guy’s performance in this situation. They have not been in it and the two guys who have been in the major finals, Thiem and Medvedev have not been in this situation as favorites.”

Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer are still the favorites in any Grand Slam they play. Whenever that changes, it will be interesting how these young players will perform.

When Thiem was hailed as the favorite for US Open 2020, it did play with his mind and there was a drop in performance. But right now, there isn’t a particular name who could possibly challenge the ‘big 3’ and dominate tennis.

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