‘The gap isn’t closing!’ – Gael Monfils backs Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to continue dominance
Gael Monfils does not believe that the rest are any closer to the best than previous years, insisting that Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer are still as strong as they always have been.
The younger players on the ATP Tour have appeared to be closing the gap on the ‘big three’ over the last 12 months, with Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev Grand Slam finalists and Masters winners, and Stefanos Tsitsipas winning the ATP Finals.
However, the major titles still elude them, with Nadal and Djokovic taking two each last season, and Monfils says no one else has proven they can perform on the biggest stages yet.
“I don’t know if the gap is closing, but I feel that those top three guys, as you call them, they’re still winning quite a lot,” Monfils said.
“There’s no doubt about that. Now we have a few others winning as well. But it’s pretty even in the way that they’re still winning most of the time and then some players get some opportunities.
“So I think it’s pretty even in the way that the gap, if you have a gap, it’s still the same, I guess.”
Monfils himself is coming into 2020 on the back of a tremendous season which saw him break the top ten in the end-of-year rankings.
That has left him with lofty ambitions for this season, but he insists he is not putting any pressure on himself.
“I had a great year last year and I tried to set my goals a bit higher than it was for last year.
“So, obviously, I really want to be in the top five, so I will do anything that’s possible, working-wise and with my team, to find the keys to try to enter this very short circle.
“It will be hard with the guys that are coming up and also with the older players.
“I think the top-50 is very strong. So I don’t put any pressure on myself. I try to do what I can do best.”
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