Tennis / "It's time to kick out BIG 3,and let the younger generation take over" - Lloyd Harris
Lloyd Harris believes that Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal & Roger Federer are going downhill, and the time is ripe for young players to start playing a role in the tournament.
Although Djokovic won three of the four Grand Slams offered this year, the Serb showed many weaknesses in the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open. On the other hand, Nadal and Federer have been struggling with long-term physical problems, which is why their future is under the scanner.
The 24-year-old South African dark horse Lloyd Harris made his first Grand Slam quarter-finals in the just-concluded U.S. Open. In a recent interview, he bluntly said: "It's time to kick out Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal & Roger Federer, and let the younger generation take over"
In a recent online media interview, Lloyd Harris was asked if he feels that Djokovic, Nadal and Federer are slowing down. The South African gave a positive answer. However, he was quick to point out that Djokovic is almost unparalleled in the Grand Slam this year, and only Medvedev's great efforts can stop the Serbian.
"Absolutely, it's (cracks in Djokovic, Federer, and Nadal's stranglehold) been coming for a while," Harris said. "It's been hard for the younger generation to just crack into those Grand Slams. Novak's just been unstoppable until this very last match... I just think he came up against an extremely difficult opponent on the day. Daniil played some really good tennis throughout the whole summer and [he] just kind of reflects this newer generation."
The 24-year-old cites recent successful examples of Alexander Zverev and Daniel Medvedev to further illustrate his point that the younger generation is making progress among the Big Three.
"There was Zverev winning the gold medal, Medvedev winning the other (Canadian) Masters in the summer... so this young generation is really coming through," Harris said. "If you look at the top 50 now, I think there are more young guys in there than there's been in the last 20 years."
"When you play against Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, there is no extra motivation" Lloyd Harris said
Lloyd Harris has made great strides on the ATP Tour this season. The South African recently won big victories by Reilly Opelka, Karen Khachanov and Denis Shapovalov, and he believes this gives him the confidence to beat the Big Three.
"And also now with my recent wins, having more belief, even if you go up against a Rafa, Roger or Novak... you've got to have the belief to beat them and I know I can... so why not, you know it's going to be an extremely difficult match and you've got to be ready for a challenge that's for sure," said the South African.
Harris explained and emphasized that facing legends such as Djokovic, Nadal and Federer in large stadiums is something players like him cherish.