Denis Shapovalov: 'Young guns are ready to challenge Nadal, Djokovic, Federer'

Tennis - The young Canadian thinks the upcoming generation is ready to take the throne away from the legends

by Jovica Ilic
Denis Shapovalov: 'Young guns are ready to challenge Nadal, Djokovic, Federer'

Just as always in the last 15 years, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are still the players to beat on the men's Tour, finishing in the top-3 12 years after they did that for the first time in 2007. Still, the upcoming generation of players born in 1996 or later is ready to challenge three legends for the throne in 2020, with Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Denis Shapovalov, Karen Khachanov and others who will try to change the order and fight for the Major crowns as soon as possible.

Together with Dominic Thiem who is a little bit older, the youngsters have been taking some significant tournaments away from Nadal, Federer and Djokovic, including the Masters 1000 events and the ATP Finals, and Denis Shapovalov thinks that should become a trend in the next couple of years as well.

Scoring that sensational victory over Rafael Nadal at the age of 18 at home in Canada, Shapovalov knows how to fight against the 55-time Major champions, hoping for more of the same after making a winning start at the ATP Cup following that tight victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas.

"I think there's a lot of talent out there, the whole bunch of great players on every single team in our group, so it's an inspiring box. I think it's probably one of the best groups in terms of rankings-wise and just players in general.

We are all fun to watch, with different personalities and abilities. I was ecstatic after finding out I can play versus Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Alex de Minaur. ATP Cup is a great way to start the season, test your skills against the rivals from the top and see where your game stands at the moment.

I think sooner or later, and probably sooner, the young guys will start knocking on the door and claim Major titles after pushing the 'Big 3' to the limits, something that was evident at Masters 1000 events in 2019. Daniil Medvedev almost clinched the US Open crown and the youngsters are close to breaking through.

I'm sure that 2020 is going to be very significant for the young guys, together with the next couple of years that should bring a lot of challenges and excitement."

Denis Shapovalov