Over the years, the young stars of tennis, often referred to as ‘the next generation’, have attempted, with limited success, to overthrow the dominance of the sport’s ‘Big Three’ – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The only success during this period came when Daniil Medvedev won the 2021 US Open, defeating one of the ‘Big Three’ on the way. However, on Sunday, Carlos Alcaraz’s victory over Djokovic in the Wimbledon final could signal the long-awaited arrival of the next generation of tennis talent.
Just as Roger Federer’s victory over Pete Sampras in the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2001 symbolized the passing of the torch to a new era, Alcaraz’s victory against Djokovic may mark the emergence of the next generation. Alcaraz believes that breaking Djokovic’s aura of invincibility could pave the way for young tennis stars to rise to prominence.
In an interview after the final, Alcaraz expressed, “To beat Novak at his best, at this stage, to make history, to be the guy to beat him after being unbeaten on that court for 10 years, is amazing to me. Well done for the new generation, well I hope to see him bang it up and make them think they are capable of doing it.”
Despite Alcaraz’ victory, Djokovic, 36, has shown he still has the skills to play some of the best tennis of his career. As Djokovic declared after his semifinal victory, “36 is the new 26.” With his impressive form and constant pursuit of success, Djokovic has enough potential to win multiple Grand Slam titles.
However, Alcaraz cautions against announcing premature changes in tennis. When asked about it, he replied, “To be honest, I don’t know…let’s talk about it in the next few years. In the future, we can talk about it, but for now, This is not the right time.”
In the Wimbledon final, a key moment that affected the outcome of the match was Djokovic’s 26-minute tough service game in the third set, which Alcaraz eventually won. This particular game consisted of 32 points, equal to the entire first set, and included 13 deuces and seven break points. Alcaraz’s ability to win at that crucial stage, despite being just 20 years old, showed his mental resilience.
In terms of playing style, Carlos Alcaraz is often compared to a mixture of Djokovic, Federer and Nadal. Djokovic himself acknowledged this, saying, “He has this mental flexibility and maturity for someone in his 20s… He has that Spanish bull mentality of competitiveness and fighting spirit… And I think he has that.” Some nice sliding backhands he’s got.” I found some parallels with my backhand.”
While Djokovic plans to continue his tennis career, he recognizes the potential for an exciting rivalry with Alcaraz at the top of the sport. As Djokovic expressed it, “He’ll be on tour for a long time… I hope we get a chance to play at the US Open. Why not? I think it’s good for the sport, another two in the world.” facing each other.” … It just can’t get any better for our sport in general, so why not?”