The changing of the guard in men’s tennis has been going on for over five years now. Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer still operate within the top spots of the world rankings; despite having a combined age of over 100-years.
The trio has won 54 of 64 Grand Slams since 2003, while all but one of the last 14 Australian Open titles have gone the way of one of the top three. Including this year when Djokovic beat Nadal in straight sets.
Where is the Next Gen
Tennis fans have been waiting for a young player to come through and dethrone the existing golden generation. This year could be the year of Alexander Zverev’s crowning moment.
Zverev became the first German since Boris Becker to win the ATP Finals late last year, and in doing so, he matched the record of Djokovic as the youngest player to achieve the feat. In accomplishing this feat, he has proven to doubters that he can compete with the top players in the world.
Zverev struggling in Slams
However, the world No. 3 has acknowledged that there may be some element of a mental block during the Grand Slams, as he is yet to go past the quarter-final stage of one of the big four tournaments. He believes he was unlucky in 2018’s Grand Slams, but he will need to do better than his French Open effort last year to answer any lingering questions that he can hang with the best.
This question over the German remains as he was comprehensively beaten in the fourth round of the Australian Open by Milos Raonic. The inconsistency in his game is an element that must disappear if he has any hope of reaching the level of the greats.
Zverev’s demise at the Miami Open
During the Miami Open he fell in the first round against David Ferrer; despite entering the tournament as the second seed and being among the favorites with tennis betting sites like Novibet. It remains to be seen whether his recent form is down to the turmoil off the court surrounding his ex-coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, but to win the first set before going onto lose the match isn’t what you expect from a player with so much potential.
Just looking at Zverev suggests that he should be a serious contender in the men’s division. He stands at a massive 6-foot-6, and his power is enough to blow any opponent away. But, undoubtedly he is missing the correct guidance that all of the current top players have.
Does Zverev have the right team?
The scenario regarding Ferrero is less than ideal for the 21-year-old. The ex-player was highly critical of the set up that the German had put together and suggested that it was hindering his performance rather than helping. Zverev was quick to deal with the issue and fired the Spaniard, and replaced him with Murray’s ex-coach Ivan Lendl.
The talent is there, and on his best day, he can compete with the best. Just take the ATP semi-finals and final as an example of that. He is only one of four players ever to have beaten Federer and Djokovic in back-to-back games during the same tournament. The other players on this list are Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, and David Nalbandian.
There have years of doubt over the golden generation and so many false dawns. But, in Zverev we could just be seeing somebody who is here to stay. With Nadal and Federer slowly phasing out; it puts the young German in pole position to win his first Grand Slam.
THE REAL DEAL?
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