Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have had something of a monopoly on Grand Slam trophies for the better part of 14 years, as Agassi put it, winning a staggering 58 titles between them. “You've seen three guys win 58 Grand Slams… 14 years almost Grand Slams, where only three guys are winning and they have to beat each other.
Can you imagine if one of these guys was playing tennis during a time when the other was not there, how many could they have? Agassi said. He added that in Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, the tennis world has seen arguably the best on grass, clay and hard courts and to have them playing in the same generation is "like Wow!" Andre Agassi says the next generation is on the way Agassi said it took 70 years for five tennis stars, him fifth, to win all the Grand Slams, and the big three did it in a single generation.
The eight-time Grand Slam champion said that while the troika is likely to dominate the Major Leagues for some time, the Next-Gen is gaining ground and will eventually be ready to take over the Big 3 in time. “The next generation is on the way, you see even last week with (Stefanos) Tsitsipas winning in Monte Carlo, you look at (Daniil) Medvedev pushing, knocking on the door of all these Slams, you look at Zverev, you look at Thiem… I think it they realize they can't afford to respect the Top 3,” Agassi said.
In that context, former World No. 1 and Career Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi recently gave his thoughts on the difference between the Next Gen and the Big 3 (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic). According to Agassi, the younger players have shown a lot of respect to the legendary trio, and that has hurt them.
Andre Agassi pays tribute to Roger Federer
Andre Agassi believes that if any of these players is to truly unseat Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic from the Slam throne, they need to push themselves further.
He went on to claim that the transition may already be in the works, albeit slowly. "They need to start owning it then pushing themselves to that next level," Agassi said. "It's a tough task, I don’t know when that's gonna happen.
But I do believe we're in the process of seeing some of those new generation players pushing into the top." Agassi cited the 2005 US Open final in this regard, and talked about the all-rounded nature of Federer's game.
"Roger Federer, for example, I mean, I played him in the finals of 2005 US open and there was no safe place on the court," Agassi said. "At the time he probably had the best forehand in the world. He always aced Roddick more than Roddick aced him.
So you have to give his serve credit; you have to give his return credit; his movement was a joke; his hands at the net were a joke; the versatility (was such) that he might have had five things individually better than everybody else on tour."