World No. 1 Novak Djokovic insists that the new generation has been there for quite some time and Alexander Zverev winning the Tokyo Olympics and Daniil Medvedev claiming the US Open title should not come as a surprise.
Djokovic, who was aiming to win a record 21st Grand Slam title, suffered a 6-4 6-4 6-4 loss to Medvedev in the US Open final.
“I think it has already started in a way, with Dominic Thiem winning here last year. Daniil, I don’t know if he’s No. 1 now or is soon-to-be No. 1. Look, it’s normal. The transition was inevitable,” Djokovic said.
“The older guys are still hanging on. We’re still trying to shine the light on the tennis world as much as we possibly can. I’m speaking on my own behalf. I still want to keep going, try to win more slams, play for my country. Those are the things that motivate me the most I think at this point.
“But the new generation, if you want to call them this way, is not anyone new. It’s already current, established. Of course, they are going to take over. I think tennis is in good hands because they’re all nice guys and very, very good, high-quality tennis players. They got something to offer on and off the court.”
Djokovic hopes the younger player will successfully succeed the Big Three
“We are hoping that the transition will be smooth in terms of the attention and the popularity of this sport. It’s very important. We all, of course, want to win on the court, but at the same time we all at the top represent this sport. We need to be aware of that, take this responsibility and try to bring more fans to the world of tennis,” Djokovic added.
“At the end of the day that’s what counts and that’s what keeps our sport alive. That’s what gives an opportunity to younger players or lower-ranked players to live out of this sport. We’ve got to do a better job there, absolutely. I think at the top of the men’s game things are looking really good. I think at the grassroots we got to do a much better job collectively, so…
“Hopefully that will be the case.”