Men’s professional tennis is currently in the midst of a clear change. Dani Medvedev (25, Russia, 2nd in the world), Stefanos Tschipas (23, Greece, 5th), Alexander Tsverev (24, Germany), Andrei Rublev (24, Russia, 7) Above) and Matteo Beretini (25, Italy, 9th), the number of players under the age of 25 reached five, thanks to the enthusiasm of the young players. The ‘Big 3’, which has dominated for more than 10 years, is not the same as it used to be, with Roger Federer (40, Switzerland, 8th) showing signs of aging. However, in order for young stars to put an end to the ‘big 3 era’, they need to inform the world that a new era has come by winning a major. At the last US Open, Dominique Thiem (28, Austria, 4th), one generation ahead of them, climbed to the top, but there is no major winner among stars under the age of 25 yet.
The 2021 French Open, which started on the 30th of last month, is a golden opportunity. Due to the fact that the ‘Big 3’ are tied to one zone in the draw, only one of Novak Djokovic (34, Serbia, 1st), Rafael Nadal (35, Spain, 3rd) and Federer will advance to the finals. Federer was even sent off in the round of 16 due to an injury. It was highly likely that one of the next generation would make it to the major finals.
In the race for a ticket to the final, Tschipas and Tsverev survived to the semifinals. Tschipas defeated Medvedev 3-0 (6-3 7-6 <7-3> 7-5) in the men’s singles quarterfinals on the 10th day of the tournament at Stade Roland Garros, Paris, France on the 9th. He pushed hard from the first set against Medvedev, who was evaluated to have the greatest chance of defeating the big three among the next-generation runners, and eventually won the match. This is the fourth time in his career, following the 2019/2021 Australian Open and last year’s French Open, he will play in the semifinals of the major tournament.
On the same day, Zverev defeated Alejandro Davidovich Pokina (46th, Spain) 3-0 (6-4 6-1 6-1). After making it to the finals at the 2020 US Open, he was able to seize the chance to win a major that he missed last year.
First of all, Chichipas is the most likely of the two players to advance to the finals. Because they have a huge lead with 5 wins and 2 losses in their opponent’s record. However, the big stage of a major tournament creates a variable. This is the first time that two players clash in a major tournament, and the player who overcomes the pressure of the two can seize the opportunity to challenge the ‘Big 3’.
Reporter Pil-woong Seo [email protected]
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