Everyone knows that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are progressively approaching the epilogue of their extraordinary careers. In addition to being the holders of almost every record that exists in men's tennis, the Big 3 have also played a vital role in attracting fans and sponsors.
The Swiss phenomenon, who returned to the field last week in Doha after more than a year of hiatus, will turn 40 next August and 2021 could be his last ride. The speech relating to Rafa and Novak is different, with the latter destined to play a leading role for a few more seasons.
There is no doubt that the ATP circuit needs new stars, able to not make the three sacred monsters regret too much in the years to come. Suffice it to say that Dominic Thiem had to wait for the US Open 2020 to become the first player born in the 90s to put a Major on the board.
In the course of a recent interview with Reuters, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi revealed that he is not too worried about the future.
Gaudenzi confident for tennis after after the Big 3
“I am not worried at all for our sport if we do the right thing.
And that doesn’t mean taking anything away from Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. They are probably the best players our sport has ever had and maybe will be for a very, very long time" - Andrea Gaudenzi stated.
Gaudenzi drew parallels with how, when Pete Sampras retired, men’s tennis lost an icon but then Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic slowly emerged. Likewise, he expects someone else to step up when The Big 3 retire. “It’s going to be very, very difficult to achieve that type of records, even though I said the same thing when Pete Sampras retired.
I thought there won’t be anyone ever beating Pete’s records. Here we have three guys doing that. So never say never”. He sees this as a normal cycle where legends retire and new champions emerge to take tennis forward.
“We have to be realistic, even if you look back you know you build these personalities over the years. We were concerned after Sampras retired. And it’s not that when Roger started winning right away we said, ‘Oh!
This is the guy who’s going to save us’. He grew into that. We will be capable of building new personalities, new champions that will attract the attention of fans”.