Since Roland Garros 2017, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have shared 12 Major titles, winning six each and leaving the remaining three to Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem. Despite their age, Nadal and Djokovic are still the players to beat at Majors, continuing the GOAT race against Roger Federer and keeping the Next Gen rivals away from tennis glory. Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas have been the most outstanding players born in 1996 or later, winning the Masters 1000 titles and stealing the last three ATP Finals.
Despite their obvious improvements and fearless tennis against the rivals from the top, the mentioned group is yet to break the spell and steal the Major trophies from the Serb and the Spaniard. Patrick Mouratoglou believes that the young guns are getting closer, although they still can’t match Nadal’s and Djokovic’s level at Majors, the most prestigious events of our sport. Mouratoglou understands they are getting closer, but they are yet o shift into a higher gear and beat both Nadal and Djokovic in the best-of-five matches en route to a Major crown. Zverev, Tsitsipas and Rublev will have a chance to achieve that at the upcoming Roland Garros, but it won’t be easy to oust Rafael Nadal from his kingdom or beat Novak Djokovic.
Patrick Mouratoglou still gives Nadal and Djokovic the edge over the young guns.
“The Next Generation has not taken over yet, in my opinion, despite many people saying that they have. Rafa and Novak are still at the top of the game. Very clearly, Novak is less interested in tournaments outside Majors, and his results show that. Still, when he comes to Majors, he is always at the top of his game; and we can tell the same for Rafa. For the moment, we can’t say that the youngsters are taking over. They’re getting closer and closer, that’s for sure. I think that Novak feels that the guys are getting closer and closer, and it’s probably stressful for him. Is the margin as big as before? Definitely not.
The margin is getting smaller and smaller, but I want to see a new generation guy win a Major over Rafa and Novak, which still hasn’t happened yet. Rafa knows that he has to win other tournaments to be competitive at Majors; it’s always been his pattern. Roger has had a long injury that lasted much longer than we expected. Roger knows that he turns 40 this year. He can do anything else but focus on Majors, building his schedule around those to stand a chance. Every year when I’m asked about Roland Garros, I give the same answer. I say that the only thing we don’t know when Roland Garros starts is who Rafa will beat in the final. That’s the only question, as we know other answers,” Patrick Mouratoglou said.