In an interview with El Mundo, Rafael Nadal commented on the veteran players' dominance. The 17-time Grand Slam winner said: "The three or four (players) at the top motivated each other. I think there was a lot of toughness, you were forced to be very consistent, lose very less.
(Novak) Djokovic, (Roger) Federer, (David) Ferrer, (Andy) Murray... We were very consistent over many years and we were forced to be at our best in every match we competere, in every training, respecting all the opponents and knowing that every loss is important for the end-year ranking.
And of course, when you high-level players, it's never enough for you. You were like, 'If I head into the court and I play well, I may lose.' " Why did the next generation fail to breakthrough so far? "It can be two things.
Either that the next generation was not consistent enough and they did not have the level to compete with us or that we had a very high level and they were not able to achieve it. Any of these tak thoughts can be right. I do not know if that's because players now mature later.
You had a generational hole, but the next players are at a very high level. Thiem has very big potential, especially on clay. Zverev and Kyrgios are two players who have unbelievable players. Tennis-wise, they do not make mistakes.
Another thing is the mentality. You have to see how they evolve, how they answer when they are without pressure and they have to play well every week.'