Novak Djokovic: 'New generation will replace Nadal, Federer and me'

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Novak Djokovic: 'New generation will replace Nadal, Federer and me'

Twelve years after finishing in the top-3 for the first time, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are still at the top of men's tennis, keeping the youngsters behind them and adding more age records to their tallies.

Rafa, Novak and Roger have won the last 12 Major titles, with the Spaniard and the Serb claiming all four in 2019 while Roger missed the opportunity to join them there, wasting two match points against Novak in Wimbledon final.

Three legends claimed five out of nine Masters 1000 trophies in 2019 and it should be interesting to see them against the younger contenders in the season ahead of us, starting from Melbourne in a month. Novak Djokovic lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship and spoke about the upcoming stars and the fact they have to replace the current generation on the throne and the biggest tournaments.

While admitting the new guns are just around the corner, Novak also believes him, Rafa and Roger can challenge them for a couple of more years and try to defend their legacy at Majors. Novak and Rafa played in the final at the Australian Open this January while Roger claimed the crown in 2017 and 2018, hoping for another great run and the title chase in front of Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and other contenders.

"I think it's a logical and a natural cycle, like you would expect things to happen that way," Djokovic said. "Roger, Rafa and I were saying that indeed it's going to happen and that we eventually will be replaced in the top three spots.

The new guys are going to start winning Slams but we are trying to prolong that kind of a change. It is going to happen sooner or later, the new generation is getting closer and closer."