John McEnroe: We're seeing the end of an era
Tennis great John McEnroe believes the era of the Big Three is finally coming to an end.
Roger Federer has fallen, Rafael Nadal has missed the entire clay court swing and Novak Djokovic is fading, according to John McEnroe.
Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have dominated the grand slams for the better part of two decades, but their grips on the pinnacle of men's tennis is loosening.
Federer bid an emotional farewell to the game in September last year and with Nadal being plagued by injury, the King of Clay leaves a gaping hole in the 2023 French Open draw. Finally, Djokovic's fitness has been called to question and at 36 years old, time is against him.
Speaking to <em>Eurosport</em>, McEnroe believes that while pundits have been talking about the Big Three being toppled by the next generation for, well, almost as long as a generation itself, this may truly be the curtain call.
"We're approaching obviously the end of an era," said the seven-time major winner.
"I mean, this has been going on for 15 years, if not longer, so it's unbelievable, but everything at some point ends.
"Novak is 36 now and he seems to be incredible for the most part and his body still seems to be able to do what he wants, but at some point, you think in the near future, that's going to change. It's just a question of how long can you keep going, that's why you're seeing young guys, finally...
"It's taken almost a generation and skipped like all these people that didn't win much like [Alexander] Zverev, [Daniil] Medvedev won one, [Dominic] Thiem won one. There's a lot of guys that didn't win any."
McEnroe went on to say that a pair of 20-year-olds - superstars Carlos Alcaraz and the relentless Holger Rune - have jumped up the pecking order.
"Now you got these 20-year-olds in Alcaraz and Rune, who's the next guy, I pick him as the third or fourth guy ahead of these other guys," continued McEnroe.
"The young bucks are finally starting to emerge, but you have to wait and see if they're mentally ready to you know, Alcaraz proved he was at the US Open but now you have to see if Rune is capable of making that step to win something like this, but right now if you asked me, I would say Alcaraz would be the slight favourite to win [the Frenc Open]."
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