For some 15 years, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have been the dominant figures in men's tennis, taking the majority of the notable titles and finishing at the top of the standings in all but one season between 2004-2019!
Despite their age, Rafa, Novak and Roger were the players to beat once again in 2019, winning five out of nine Masters 1000 titles and with Rafa and Novak who shared all four Majors to move further ahead of all the rivals.
Still, the younger generation had great results in the season behind us and they seem ready to challenge them even harder in 2020, the fact Novak is fully aware of. The Serb mentioned Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem as the most serious contenders for the top in the years to come, losing to the Greek in Shanghai and the semi-final at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Friday.
Stefanos became the sixth-youngest ATP Finals champion in November, setting high goals ahead of 2020 when he wants to challenge the 'Big 3' and fight for Major crowns. On the other hand, Dominic Thiem has also improved his offensive skills a lot, claiming the first Masters 1000 crown at Indian Wells and reaching the second Roland Garros final in a row after that thrilling victory over Novak Djokovic, whom he also beat at the ATP Finals.
"The new guys are going to start winning Slams but we are trying to prolong that kind of a change, Djokovic said. "It is going to happen sooner or later, the new generation is getting closer and closer. You have Dominic Thiem, who has played two back-to-back finals at Roland Garros and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who won the ATP Finals in London; they are definitely out there challenging the best players in the world.
They want to be the best players in the world and they will eventually get there. Those names are already established in the top-10 and our task is that it doesn't happen very soon, but it seems like it's coming closer and closer."