Former British tennis star Greg Rusedski thinks there will be a more open fight for the Grand Slam titles next year.
In an interview with Tennis365.com, the Montreal born 45-year old said he expects Novak Djokovic to start as favourite for all four majors, but hinted that the two players who beat the Serbian in his last two tournaments could make the step up.
The current world number one was defeated by Russian Karen Khachanov in the Paris Masters final and followed that up, by losing in another final, this time at the ATP Tour Finals in London to German Alexander Zverev in straight sets.
Rusedski, who reached as high as number four in the rankings, sees that the aura of the men who have dominated the game for over a decade now maybe lessening.
In reference to Khachanov and Zverev, Rusedski said:
“The era of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer cannot go on forever and I believe that tennis will have a bright new era with the players coming through.”
He further went on to say that the wait for a new grand slam champion maybe around the corner. He remarked the wait that fans might not last long as the next generation of youngsters could come into the reckoning sooner than later.
Zverev who skipped the Next Gen series to concentrate on the ATP Tour Finals has brought in former great from the Czech Republic Ivan Lendl as his new coach, and Rusedski was cautious in his assessment of that decision. He said, the German was just 21 and there was a lot of time ahead of him.
The 1997 US Open finalist says that the up and coming generation has to crave success. The desire, according to the former Briton, needed to be as big as their talent.
He used the current crop of champions as an example to follow, as he added:
“You look at Novak, Rafa and Roger, and not only are they wonderful players, but they are also incredible athletes and have shown so much dedication for so many years. It is a combination of so many factors that make these guys special.”
Rusedski, who has been active in the media since retirement, and has written articles in several British newspapers as well as working in television on the Grand Slams, claimed that interest in tennis will still be high even when these three men have retired.