In part two of his exclusive interview with Tennis365, tennis super-agent Patricio Apey talks about the young guns’ chances of ending the Big Three’s Grand Slam dominance and Andy Murray’s latest comeback attempt.
Apey is the mentor of ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas while he also oversaw the formative stages of Murray’s career.
Do you believe the young guns at the ATP Tour are ready to make their mark in 2020 and finally start to take some of the major titles away from the ‘Big Three’?
Patricio Apey: “There are a few players that are already beating the Big Three throughout the year. The big question is when (not if) they can do so in Grand Slams, which is the big question. Stefanos beating Roger in Australia last year was a big step rather than beating him or Nadal or Djokovic in Masters 1000 titles, which is also important but now the young guys need to make their mark in the Grand Slams. Exciting times ahead for tennis.”
How has talent management changed during your time in the sport? Is it more challenging now than it was when you were with Andy Murray at the start of his career?
Patricio Apey: “The principles of helping a player develop on court first and foremost remain the same. Without being a champion there is no reason to plan the business side of things. If you look back to when Andy Murray started in the pros circa 2005/6 the British stage had already been made much bigger thanks to Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski in the decade or so before him.
“Andy the basically had the big stage (and expectations) all to himself as relates to a British hope at say, Wimbledon. Fast forward 15 years and the same stage, in a global level, has been made enormous by the Big Three, and these young players are being dropped into this stage, and it is a great opportunity as well as a privileged responsibility to the sport. Exciting times ahead for tennis I say.”
How impressed are you with Andy Murray’s latest comeback attempt?
Patricio Apey: “What has been made clear by Andy is his love for the sport of tennis. One of the most admirable qualities that I saw in Andy from a young age, was that he has never ever been motivated by money, rather his love of the game and his deep-rooted desire to compete and win. The majority of players that face such serious injuries simply give up. It is much easier to do so.
“However, as Andy has proven, without owing anybody an explanation as to why, is that he has a never-ending, burning desire to compete. It is as if he wants to pay respect to his sport to give absolutely everything he has to give and he serves as a great inspiration to younger generations as to how to go about competing, and respecting the competition of his sport. I only hope that he stays in tennis in some capacity when he retires – the sport will be better for it.”
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