Lorenzo Sonego recently spoke about the opportunity that all the players had at the Miami Open, where Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were all absent. Sonego also opined that Daniil Medvedev is the strongest and the most consistent player on the ATP tour after the 'Big 3'.
Sonego is currently ranked 34th in the world, and on Sunday he lifted the Sardegna Open trophy by beating Laslo Djere in the final. But the 25-year-old is perhaps best known for defeating Novak Djokovic en route to reaching the Vienna final last November.
In an interview with Gazzetta, Lorenzo Sonego was asked about his thoughts on the absence of the Big 3 at the Miami Open. Sonego described their collective absence - which was happening at a Masters event for the first time since the 2004 Paris Masters - as a 'nice relief'.
"Not having them around, let's say it's a nice relief," Sonego said. "A bit like when as a child you can have your home free to celebrate."
When asked who he saw as the new leader on the circuit in the absence of the Big 3, Lorenzo Sonego was quick to pick Daniil Medvedev.
"I would say Daniil Medvedev, he has already overtaken Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (in the rankings)," Sonego said. "Among the new players, he is certainly the strongest and the most consistent."
(Quotes have been translated using Google Translate)
Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal return in Monte Carlo this week while Roger Federer could be back in Madrid
Having missed the Miami Open, two of the Big 3 - Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal - return to action at this week's Monte Carlo Masters. Roger Federer, meanwhile, is scheduled to next play the Madrid Masters in early May.
After a first-round bye in Monaco, Novak Djokovic will face either Miami runner-up Jannik Sinner or Spanish veteran Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round. The Serb could then run into Miami winner Hubert Hurkacz in the third round.
Rafael Nadal, an 11-time champion at Monte Carlo, will face either France's Adrian Mannarino or qualifier Federico Delbonis in the second round. A potential third-round showdown against 14th seed Grigor Dimitrov could be next for Nadal.
Both Djokovic and Nadal are competing on the tour for the first time since the Australian Open in February. Federer on his part is in the middle of a training block, with the aim to get himself in top shape for Wimbledon.