What's the story?
In a recent interview, Spain's David Ferrer commented on the NextGen of men's tennis and suggested that they are finally ready to challenge the Big 3 in a meaningful way, which they have thus far failed to do at the Grand Slams.
In case you didn't know...
Ferrer recently brought his tennis career to a close after 20 years on the tour. During his impressive career, the Spaniard reached the final of the French Open and was consistently placed in the top 5 of the tennis rankings.
Ferrer is regarded as one of the best players to never win a Grand Slam tournament. Like Tomas Berdych, who also recently retired, one gets the feeling that had he played in a different generation he would have probably managed to win one.
The heart of the matter
Ferrer, who has plenty of experience playing against the Big 3, was asked his views about the future of tennis and he remarked that the NextGen are ready to fight for the biggest titles.
"There are young tennis players who are coming through, winning important tournaments like Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, Alex de Minaur and Jannik Sinner. The gap is closing and the next couple of years should be good," the Spaniard was reported as saying.
Whilst most agree that this will likely happen in the next couple of years, Ferrer went one further and suggested that it could happen sooner than we expect.
"Next year, one of the NextGen will get a chance to win one of the Grand Slams because Tsitsipas recently won the ATP Finals and this tournament is like a Grand Slam," he added.
Whether a NextGen member will win a Slam in the coming year remains to be seen, but Ferrer's sentiment that the gap is closing is undeniable. The 2020 Australian Open will tell us how right he was in his assessment.