Even if Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal & Novak Djokovic are not that young anymore, beating them at Slams is 'really tough': Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev (L) and Roger Federer
Daniil Medvedev (L) and Roger Federer
Modified 24 Nov 2020

Daniil Medvedev was in top form at the Nitto ATP Finals 2020, where he beat the world's top three players to lift the trophy. Medvedev dominated his opponents throughout the best-of-three-sets format tournament, registering particularly impressive wins over Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

However, the Russian realizes that winning beating Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer at Grand Slams is still a whole different challenge. In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Daniil Medvedev spoke at length about how tough it is to overcome the Big 3 in the best-of-five sets format.

"It's not easy because these three are the three greatest tennis players of all time and there is no doubt about this. All the records they have broken are just simply sensational and nobody before could even come close to their records," Medvedev said.

Dominic Thiem had recently opined that the Next Gen players were getting close to taking up the mantle from the Big 3. But just like Medvedev, the Austrian also feels the younger stars need to up their game before taking on the seasoned pros at the Majors.

It is pertinent to note that Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are all in their 30s, with the Swiss legend set to turn 40 next August. On the other hand, the average age of the younger group is around 25.

Conventional wisdom suggests that the upcoming players should be dominating their veteran rivals in five-set matches owing to their higher stamina levels. However, that has not been the case at all.

2019 US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev acknowledged the struggle as he continued:

"So it's really tough … even if they're not that young anymore, to beat them and especially on Grand Slams. So we do our best, we practice hard. We do beat them many times, so hopefully, one day we can do this more and more."

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have won 57 of the last 69 Grand Slam titles

While the tennis universe has witnessed several players rise to the occasion and win the big best-of-three-sets tournaments, the best-of-five-sets format has been a different story. Even in the recently-concluded season, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open and the French Open respectively.

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

Dominic Thiem did manage to win the 2020 US Open, but it is important to note that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were both absent from that tournament, while Novak Djokovic got unfortunately defaulted in the pre-quarterfinals. Besides, Roger Federer and Djokovic were also the Wimbledon finalists in 2019.

It goes without saying that although the Next Gen has arrived, the Big 3 are still a tough nut to crack at the Majors.

Published 24 Nov 2020
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