Djokovic: 'The Next Gen is still behind Roger Federer, Nadal and me'

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Djokovic: 'The Next Gen is still behind Roger Federer, Nadal and me'

Novak Djokovic reached his ninth final at the Australian Open by beating tournament revelation Aslan Karatsev in three sets in three sets. On Sunday the world number 1 will hunt for his third consecutive title at Melbourne Park, which would allow him to forfeit the 18th Major in his career (thus taking Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to -2).

The Serbian phenomenon will meet Daniil Medvedev in the final, who left Stefanos Tsitsipas no chance in the semi-final that took place on Friday. The young Russian seems to have made the definitive leap in quality and has already beaten Nole during the Nitto ATP Finals last year.

Numerous insiders are convinced that 2021 is the right year for the definitive replacement at the top of men's tennis. In an interview granted to Barbara Schett for Eurosport Netherlands, the 33-year-old from Belgrade was asked if Next Gens are now close to taking the lead.

The eight-time Australian Open champion answered the question in the negative.

Novak Djokovic on the Next Gen

"There's been a lot of talks about the new generation coming and taking over the three of us (Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal)," Novak Djokovic said.

"But realistically that isn't happening still." However, Djokovic still insisted that they have 'a lot of work to do' in order to beat the top dogs when it matters the most. "I mean, we can talk about it all day if you want.

But with all my respect for the other guys, they still have a lot of work to do," the Serb said. When asked about the delibilating pressure on the Next Gen to succeed, Novak Djokovic suggested that the younger players should consider themselves privileged to be in the position they are in.

"Pressure is always there, it’s part of what we do, but pressure is also a privilege," the World No. 1 said. "It means you are in the mix, that you’re still doing something that is important and valuable for you and the rest of the tennis world.

Certainly they will be the leaders of the future of tennis, without a doubt, but I’m not going to stand here and hand it over to them. I’m going to make them work their ass off for it,” Djokovic said. While many disbelieved his injury plea, the Serbian has announced that he will soon release a documentary on his recovery.

This will come as a big surprise to all the critics of the World No. 1. Moreover, Djokovic also explained the process of his recovery after he got injured in the third-round match.