Federer has given a straightforward verdict on Alcaraz’s chances to equal what the Big Three have achieved at the Grand Slam stage
Roger Federer’s exit from tennis marked the end of an era and definitely the start of the end of the most prominent period in the history of men’s tennis where the Swiss, together with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – hailed as the Big Three – won 63 of the last 75 Grand Slams. With Federer out, the battle reduces down to Nadal and Djokovic to take their major tally forward, but the duo face rising threat from the Next Gen, who have slowly, but made their presence being felt. Carlos Alcaraz, who recently won the US Open earlier this month, has been considered the biggest threat for Nadal and Djokovic with experts backing the 19-year-old to emulate the Big Three’s Grand Slam feat. And Federer has given a straightforward verdict on Alcaraz’s chances.
It has been a stupendous season for the young Spaniard where he had started by defeating both Nadal and Djokovic on back-to-back days at the Madrid Open. He eventually ended the Grand Slam season with a win in US Open where he played three consecutive five-setters and subsequently rose the world no.1 ranking as well.
The glorious run has left many believing that Alcaraz has the ability to pull off what Nadal, Federer and Djokovic has achieved in Slams. But Federer wants to wait and see how things pan out for Alcaraz in his career, saying that he would probably want to have that discussion after the Spaniard has won five-seven Slams.
“You don’t want to have that price tag – ‘you’re the one who’s going to win 20-plus’, Federer has said so,” he said. “I think that’s not fair because nobody can predict that type of number.
“Once you reach maybe five, seven, you can say like: ‘OK, now we can start talking. But we never talked about 20 with me. We always talked about maybe you could reach 15 (to beat the previous record, set by Pete Sampras). It just starts to increase more and more.”
However, Federer does believe that the next generation players will have the ability to get to the mark of 20 Grand Slams.
“You know, everything’s slow nowadays. Indoors is not what it used to be. It wasn’t like this type of surface (pointing to a wooden floor), where it was like lightning.
“That’s why I think there will be more players in the future with I’d say five-plus slams. Because once you get on a roll, you can stay on a roll. I do believe at some point, somehow, there will be definitely a few players with 20-plus Slams. I’m convinced about that.”