Djokovic: 'Roger Federer, Nadal and myself are still giving them hard time'

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Djokovic: 'Roger Federer, Nadal and myself are still giving them hard time'

Many hoped that the Australian Open 2021 would allow the Next Gen to break once and for all the dominance of the Big 3. The title went instead to the usual Novak Djokovic, who won his ninth title at Melbourne Park by annihilating a dull Daniil Medvedev in the last act.

The number 1 in the world has imposed itself thanks to the score of 7-5 6-2 6-2, reaffirming its superiority on these fields and putting his 18th career Slam on the bulletin board. The 33-year-old Serbian is now just two points away from eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Nole's Happy Slam dominance seemed close to completion after the Belgrade tennis player injured in the third round against Taylor Fritz, an abdominal problem that affected him for much of the second week. Djokovic struggled with both Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev, but in the semifinal and final he showed a performance worthy of his best days.

In a press conference after the victory, the 18-time Grand Slam champion highlighted how Next Gen still has a lot of work to do.

Novak Djokovic on the Next Gens

“People have been talking about the next generation takeover like it already happened, but the top spots of the rankings are still held by Rafael Nadal and myself,” said Novak Djokovic in the interview.

In the same interview, Djokovic admitted that the next-gen players are in some great form. However, he also reflected that he along with Rafa and Roger Federer is still giving them some tough competition. “They are already there, but Rafa, Roger, and myself are still giving them hard time,” added the 9-time Australian Open winner.

Novak Djokovic has had a complicated time ever since he arrived in Australia last month. Between his controversial letter to Tennis Australia asking for a relaxation in quarantine rules and his injury scare in the third round (which he later confirmed to be a muscle tear), Djokovic once again made headlines for the wrong reasons.

"Even though I have been fortunate to win many Majors and play in many Major finals in my life, I do enjoy the success every single time even more because I know that the longer the time passes, the more difficult it's going to become for me to get my hands on the major trophy," Djokovic said.

"You have, of course, new young players coming up that are as hungry as you, maybe even hungrier, and they're coming up and they're challenging me and Roger and Rafa," he added.