Daniil Medvedev has said "it's not going to be shameful" if the next generation of stars are not able to match the career achievements of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, or Rafael Nadal.
The Big Three have all won 20 Grand Slam singles titles in legendary careers with the trio considered amongst the greats of the game for all they have achieved.
But Medvedev does not feel that he and others now challenging Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have to emulate their incredible feats in the sport.
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"When there was [Bjorn] Borg and [John] McEnroe, when they were close, finished their careers, everybody was like, ‘tennis is over, we won’t ever have any great players, it is finished’,” the Russian said.
"We did have some: [Pete] Sampras, [Andre] Agassi, they were at the top. [When] Sampras retired, [people were saying] ‘okay, tennis is over'.
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"Then we had Novak, Roger and Rafa. If you asked just before they came, everybody would say, ‘well, tennis will not be interesting anymore'.
"It’s the same here. Tennis is a great sport, so I don’t see why our generation would miss on something.
"Of course, maybe we don’t [win] 20 Grand Slams, yet nobody did before Roger, Rafa and Novak, so they were also worse than them.
It’s definitely not going to be shameful [if we win fewer Grand Slams].
Alexander Zverev won the ATP Finals for the second time as he defeated Medvedev, the defending champion, in straight sets in Turin.
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The German came through to win 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 15 minutes to secure a tour-best sixth trophy of the year and end a five-match losing run against his opponent.
It was the world number three’s 59th match win of a highly successful season as he posted a 32-4 record since his Olympic Gold triumph in Tokyo to suggest he will be a major force in 2022.
The attention will now switch to the 2022 season and the Australian Open in Melbourne in January with a particular focus on whether Djokovic will defend his title.
Djokovic has still not made up his mind as to whether he is willing to participate at the Australian Open, given the decision taken by Tennis Australia to accept only vaccinated players.
'We'll have to wait and see' - Djokovic still unsure about Australian Open participation
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