The Big Three vs The GenNext. The battle rages on as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer try to maintain their hold at the top of the ATP rankings and the Grand Slam events while the leaders of the GenNext of players, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, Daniil Medvedev of Russai, Dominic Thiem of Austria and Alexander Zverev of Germany try their best to overtake them in the rankings.
As the season draws to a close it is clear that the Big Three will continue to hold on to the first three places in the ATP rankings and while the Grand Slams are over there was a significant happening in the Shanghai Masters last week that did not go unnoticed. The defeat of Federer at the hands of Zverev and Tsitipas’ victory over Djokovic – both in the quarterfinals – meant that the GenNext had taken a further step towards overhauling the Big Three in the rankings next year. Whether they will end their Grand Slam domination – The Big Three have won the last 12 Grand Slam titles – is a moot point but scoring another point in favour of the GenNext was the fact that Medvedev won the title defeating Zverev in the final after getting the better of Tsitsipas in the penultimate round.
The one major tournament left in the season is the ATP Tour finals to be held in London next month and that should be able to give tennis followers a clearer idea of how the season could unfold in 2020. For the record Zverev won the ATP Tour finals last year and continued to make reasonably good progress in 2019 being currently ranked No 6.
After the Big Three the next four ranked players in order are Medvedev, Thiem, Zverev and Tsitsipas. And while on points secured The Big Three are away ahead – especially Djokovic and Nadal – there is not much to separate the four leaders of the GenNext of players. That in itself is going to be a delicious sub-plot of the 2020 season as they endevour to leapfrog over one another in their bid to break into the top three.
But of course the main plot will centre round the battle between the two generations. Thiem is a clay court specialist – he has finished runner-up to Nadal at the French Open both this year and 2018 – but the other three have excelled on other surfaces too. And even if their performance in Grand Slams is indifferent with only Medvedev making it to the title round at the US Open this year their overall record could stand them in good stead. All in all interesting happenings around the ATP Tour are on the cards in 2020.