I think we are slowly experiencing a generational shift in men's tennis. In 2021 I think it's finally going to be more clear.
Nadal might still win the French Open though. But otherwise, it looks like players like Medvedev, Zverev, Tsitsipas, and Thiem will all be equal favorites to win Grand Slams as the big three. Yes, experience and confidence are key factors and most people would still back Djokovic to win a GS final against Medvedev for example, but I think the ATP Tour is more open than it has been in years.
Yes, Federer will be back next year. Djokovic will be hungry to win more slams and break more records and Nadal is Nadal at Roland Garros. Still, my feeling is that we will have at least two “fresh” GS winners next year. I also believe it won't be as easy for the three GOATs to pick up titles as it has been in the past.
Zverev looked to be in great form. Remarkably so despite the current allegations of abuse against him. But he lost in the final of the Paris Masters to an impressive Medvedev.
Yes, Djokovic and Thiem didn't play this week. But looking at how Zverev played against Nadal in the semi-finals and considering that Thiem broke the GS bubble earlier at the Australian Open – 2021 must be the year that the tennis tour opens up, right? The GOAT domination is over.
If you're into betting on tennis, there will be some interesting matches at the ATP Finals in London next week before we rest and get ready for the 2021 season. Check out Odds Manager for some interesting betting possibilities.
We've said this before…
I already wrote a post or two about the “changing of the guards” last November. Yes, it did happen in a way in this short and strange season, but I think the process has definitely started. Players like Zverev, Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Thiem all look more confident and more ready to stake a claim to the biggest titles. Thiem already won his first one and should be the favorite together with Nadal and Djokovic to win the Australian Open in 2021 (if it happens – but let's assume it will).
Personally, I am a fan of Fed, Rafa and Novak's achievements. Their domination in this highly competitive sport is nothing short of spellbinding. But I think at some point, a change is needed. When the Big Three stops playing we will miss them greatly, so let's prepare for that by getting some other players to be impressed and entertained by.
Do you have any favorites of the new crop of players? What do you think about the generational shift in men's tennis? Please comment below.