Youngsters coming through
By Roger Childs
The Shanghai Masters concluded over weekend when Daniil Medvedev (23) beat Alexander Zverev (23) 6-4. 6-1. But where were the legends — Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer? Nadal wasn’t playing and the top seeds Djokovic and Federer went out in the quarter finals.
The other two semi finalists were Marco Berrettini (22) and Stephanos Tsitsipas (21)
The pundits have often been speculating over the last few years when the young bloods would displace the 30+ trio of masters. However, Rafa, the Joker and Fed have won 52 out of the last 59 grand slam titles and all 12 in the last three years. They are not looking to pass the torch just yet. Djokovic did win the recent Japan Open Masters tournament.
Won’t give up without a fight
Age shall not weary them.
There have been a number of younger players picking up the occasional win against the top three over the years, but consistency has eluded them. The legends have the big match temperament and are often able to recover from the loss of an early set or being down 0-40 on serve. It is not uncommon for Nadal, Djokovic and Federer to fire down a series of aces when they are in trouble.
Despite being 33, 32 and 38 respectively, the big three are superbly fit and have no weaknesses. They will be around for a while yet. The acid test for the end of 2019 is the London Barclays Indoor tournament in November. In this contest the top eight men’s players compete in a round robin in two groups of four to find the semi-finalists.
It will interesting to see how the chasing pack shapes up in this climax to the ATP year.