Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are getting older with each passing season. Federer is turning 40 next year and Nadal is also on the wrong side of the 30s. Both of them have been great icons in the sport’s history. They created their own era, but now, the next-gen players will soon take over their reign.
WTA World No. 6 Karolina Pliskova‘s coach Sascha Bajin was recently asked about who could dominate in the next few seasons. The German coach named three players. He expects Novak Djokovic to keep his number one status, followed by Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev. “I say that Novak Djokovic will be ahead of Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev,” Bajin said in an interview.
(Quotes have been translated)
Could Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev be successors to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer?
Djokovic is on par with Nadal and Federer, but 2020 has shown a small transition. The world saw a new Grand Slam champ as Thiem won the US Open 2020. Also, Medvedev rose up in the latter stages to finish the season with a 10-match winning streak and two titles at Paris Masters and ATP Finals 2020, respectively.
Bajin had recently got into a partnership with Karolina Pliskova for the upcoming season. Pliskova was a former World No. 1 but doesn’t have a Grand Slam to show for the top ranking. Bajin wants his prodigy to be at the top of the WTA charts and on the top step of a Grand Slam. He said:
The 2020 season came to a spectacular end at the regular season-ending ATP Finals 2020.…
“If I don’t say Karolina now, I’ll shoot myself in the leg. I will say one thing to Pliskova and I firmly believe that I can help her. I don’t know the places two and three. I’m only interested in position one and I hope that we’ll be there.”
When could the transition happen to the young players from Nadal and Federer?
Rafa Nadal in an earlier interview said that the young players will soon take over. This is inevitable, and they will take control of various tournaments. He indicated that at the big tournaments, the next-gen is already fighting.
Players like Thiem and Medvedev have already risen to the top five of the rankings and are closing in on the top two. But Nadal is also confident that Federer, Djokovic, and himself still have a few more years of fight in them. So it remains to be seen when the full transition will happen.