Andre Agassi says next gen can’t show too much respect to Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic
The likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem are “knocking on the door” at Grand Slams and realising they can’t afford to respect the Big Three too much, according to Andre Agassi.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have dominated tennis for nearly two decades as they have shared 58 majors since Federer won his first Slam in 2003.
However, there have been signs that the next generation is ready to take over as Thiem broke the younger brigade’s major duck when he won the US Open in 2020.
Medvedev has also challenged as he finished runner-up at the 2019 US Open final and the 2021 Australian Open final.
WATCH: The amazing story of how Andre Agassi read Boris Becker’s serve by watching his tongue
Eight-time Grand Slam winner and former world No 1 Agassi says now that the younger players have had a taste of things, they need to push themselves to the top level.
“The next generation is on its way,” Agassi told the Beer Biceps YouTube podcast. “You see them with Tsitsipas winning Monte Carlo, you look at Medvedev pushing, knocking on the door of all these Slams.
“You look at Zverev, you look at Thiem. I mean, these guys, I think they realise now that they can’t afford to respect the [Big Three] as much as they have been.
“They need to start owning it then pushing themselves to that next level. It’s a tough task, I don’t know when that’s gonna happen… but I do believe we’re in the process of seeing some of those new generation players pushing into the top.”
When asked what it takes to push to the next level, Agassi explained how the likes of Jim Courier, Pete Sampras and Michael Chang “charged right through” and won a major before he did.
He said: “You have to believe, I’ll give you an example.
“I turned pro at 16, and I broke into the top three in the world in two years when I was 18 years old. I didn’t win a Slam until I was 22.
“Courier, Sampras and Chang, because they saw I [reached the top-3] they just charged right through and won a Grand Slam before I did.
“Even though it seemed like they were years behind me in the evolution of our careers.
“Once somebody shows that it’s not Herculean, you can actually do it, and people start believing it, then you’ll see a locomotive train just pushing in that direction. But you have to believe it.”
How Novak Djokovic will end the GOAT debate once and for all
With Djokovic now level with Nadal in 22 major wins, tennis legend John McEnroe has predicted how many more he will win.
Novak Djokovic proud of ‘special journey’ to 22nd Grand Slam title
Novak Djokovic’s victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas gave him his 10th title in Melbourne, a year after being deported.
Elena Rybakina hits back over ‘fake news’ about her ‘passionate coach’ Stefano Vukov
“I want to clarify any misinterpretations,” says Elena Rybakina.
Novak Djokovic has ‘at least three more Grand Slams’ in him – John McEnroe
How many more Grand Slam titles can Novak Djokovic win? John McEnroe expects plenty more from world No 1.
Novak Djokovic breaks down after ‘biggest victory of his life’ at Australian Open
Novak Djokovic joined Rafael Nadal at the top of the men’s list for most Grand Slams.
Stefanos Tsitsipas hails Novak Djokovic as the ‘greatest that has ever held a tennis racket’
Stefanos Tsitsipas hailed Novak Djokovic as the greatest ever following Australian Open final.
WATCH: Raw emotion from ‘superhuman’ Novak Djokovic after he returns to his perch in Australia
Novak Djokovic let it all out after winning the 2023 Australian Open.
The King Returns: Novak Djokovic wins 10th Australian Open, returns to No 1, joins Rafael Nadal on 22 Slams
Novak Djokovic, who also becomes world number one, defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets.
Top 10 men’s title winners in the Open Era: Novak Djokovic moves ahead of Rafael Nadal and closer to 100th title
A 10th Australian Open title sees Novak Djokovic move ahead of Rafael Nadal.
Aryna Sabalenka ready to battle at top of women’s game after Australian Open win
A terrific Australian Open final indicated Iga Swiatek will soon have company at the top in Aryna Sabalenka.