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The so-called ‘next gen’ on the ATP Tour has been trying to break through the legends of our sport for quite some time now. However, despite so many talented players involved in the top 20, two guys are still snatching the majority of major titles. Of course, I am referencing Djokovic and Nadal here. In 2022, the first three Grand Slam titles have been shared between these legends. Nadal won both the French Open and the Australian Open. And more recently, Djokovic claimed the Wimbledon title.
For me, this year has created even more pressure surrounding the next-gen. To put it bluntly – exactly when are these guys going to come through and knock the greats off their pedestal? For several years now we have anticipated a changing of the guard, so to speak. But at 35 and 36 years old, Djokovic and Nadal seem to be going nowhere. So there is an obvious question that needs to be answered.
I’ve given my thoughts on this debate right here!
When Will the GOATs Be Dethroned?
I have chosen to list Nadal and Djokovic as the ‘GOATs’ as it’s simply impossible to describe one GOAT at the moment. The race for the most slams is on, and until they both retire, a definitive answer cannot be given. And with Federer now into his 40s, I have chosen not to include him in my analysis. So really, I am debating the idea of when Djokovic and Nadal will stop winning slams here.
I’ve looked at many aspects to come up with my predictions, and I hope you enjoy reading the information presented below:
My Prediction – A New Winner in 2024
Although Nadal and Djokovic are into their mid-30s, I still cannot see them being truly dethroned within the next 12 months. Of course, I understand that Medvedev has broken the trend with his US Open victory in 2021. But on the whole, Nadal or Djokovic are still winning all of the majors. I don’t see this changing in 2023, especially with Djokovic looking as good as ever during the recent Wimbledon event. As for Nadal, if he can keep the injuries at bay, I feel he still has a great shot at winning the French Open next year.
Of course, he also has what it takes to win the other majors too. So really, I cannot envisage one of the next-gen guys winning a title until 2024. Medvedev and perhaps Zverev are the only exceptions to this, in my opinion.
Guys That Are Likely to Break Through
When people say ‘next gen’, they are referencing the younger guys on tour. And for me, there are six guys that have a shot at breaking the trend of majors for both Nadal and Djokovic. These guys include Tsitsipas, Ruud, Rublev, Sinner, Auger-Aliassime, and my personal tip to become the next legend of the game – Carlos Alcaraz. All of these guys have gone deep in majors already, so they clearly have what it takes.
But really, I think it will be Carlos Alcaraz who comes through and takes the throne from these legends.