Andy Murray has claimed the next generation of tennis stars are still miles away from the Big Three of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The world No.1 won his 18th Australian Open title yesterday by ending Daniil Medvedev’s 20-match winning streak.
The Serbian superstar destroyed the new world No.3 in straight sets in only 113 minutes.
It means 15 of the last 16 Grand Slams have been won by the Big Three – with only Dominic Thiem’s victory at last year’s US Open interrupting the long sequence.
Murray, who won the last of his three Majors at Wimbledon in 2016, was forced out of the Australian Open after testing positive for Covid-19.
But the Scot said: “I expected the final to be closer to be honest but I also know how good Novak is there and when he’s on his game and obviously highly motivated.
“I saw before the final Medvedev said something along the lines of Novak having immense pressure on him, which is true but those guys have been at the top of the game, they’ve been dealing with immense pressure their whole careers and they know how to deal with it and perform at their best level when it matters.
“It’s different standing to return or to serve in a grand slam final than a quarter-final or a semi-final.
“When you’re coming up against someone who’s won 17 of them, or 19 or 20 of them, which these guys are doing now, it’s pretty intimidating.
“The younger guys, for me, they’ve not shown that they’re particularly close.
“Obviously what happened at the US Open, Thiem obviously did what he had to do to win the event but if Novak hadn’t put a ball through the line judge’s throat, it would be the same outcome I think.”
Murray will make his first return to the full ATP Tour at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier tomorrow when he faces world No.83 Egor Gerasimov of Belarus.
Nick Kyrgios revealed at the Australian Open that he found playing Murray more difficult than the Big Three.
The Aussie has a 2-0 winning record against the world No.1.
But Murray said: “Sport generally, especially an individual one, tends to be about match-ups. I think Nick’s beaten Novak a couple of times when they’ve played. When I’ve played against him, I’ve been successful.
“There are some players that I might find harder playing against than someone that seems like they’ve been more successful.
“It just comes down to match-ups. Maybe Nick is saying it because he doesn’t like Novak, I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter to me.”