USA's Frances Tiafoe recently shared his thoughts on how the Next Gen could soon displace the 'Big 3' - Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - from the top echelons of the sport. Speaking to Argentinian sports daily Ole, Tiafoe claimed that the youngsters will be able to bridge the gap between themselves and the famed trio in a few years.
According to the 23-year-old, some of his Next Gen peers - especially those who have broken into the top 10 - are already challenging the Big 3.
"In a little while we will defeat them," Frances Tiafoe said. "In the top 10 there are five young people, many add tournaments, others are already playing games and putting them on the ropes."
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic once again denied the charge of the Next Gen at this year's Australian Open. He fought past a string of younger opponents - Daniil Medvedev, Aslan Karatsev, Alexander Zverev, Milos Raonic, Taylor Fritz and Tiafoe himself - to triumph in Melbourne for the ninth time.
Incidentally, Djokovic had laid down a marker for the Next Gen before the Australian Open final, by insisting that their takeover wasn't "realistically happening". The Serb's warning to the Next Gen turned out to be ominous as he triumphed a day later, crushing Daniil Medvedev - who is perhaps the best contender at the moment to topple the Big 3.
"It will be tough when Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer retire" - Frances Tiafoe
During the interview, Frances Tiafoe also talked about the current rivalry between Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the 'GOAT title. The American asserted that tennis fans will miss the trio dearly once they hang up their racquets.
"However, this moment is unique," Tiafoe said. "We are not going to witness another with three players who play so well and dominate for so long. It will be tough when they retire."
The trio of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have monopolized the Grand Slams for well over a decade, and have continued to dominate even after going past their peak. And while there are several Next Gen players on the tour who put up impressive results, none of them have been able to deliver on the big stage.