Three-time Wimbledon winner Boris Becker has revealed that he is impressed by Roger Federer's feat in the Australian Open last month where he won his 20th Grand Slam title, beating Marin Cilic in the finals in a five-set classic. However, he does not expect the run to continue forever and he will eventually be superseded by the next generation to come through.
Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev have been primed as the players to make it to the top with the German becoming the youngest top-five player since 2007 despite not making into the final of a Grand Slam in his short career thus far.
Becker is currently six months into a newly created role as the German Tennis Federation's head of men's tennis and is overseeing Zverev as part of Germany's Davis Cup squad.
Zverev made it to the round of 16 of the Australian Open but lost to South Korean prodigy Hyeon Chung, another player who Becker believes could have a bright future. The unseeded Asian went on to defeat former world no.1 Novak Djokovic to set up a date with Federer in the semi-finals but was unable to continue his upsurge and had to retire with a foot problem.
However, Becker has urged everyone to be patient with these upcoming stars as they have the talent to make it big in the circuit as the dominance of the "Big 4" withers away.
"I know what these guys are going through. It's not always easy – it's easier from the outside,'' said Becker, as quoted by Courier Mail. "Nick and Sasha (Zverev) are two of the best ones we've had. We have to give them some more room to breathe and develop.
"We loved watching Roger win, but it won't last forever. The future is what we see here. They are different characters and I'd include Chung in that list. We just need to give them more time.
"Sasha has to get used to the fact he's one of the best players in the world now and expectations are always sky high. Unless you reach a final, people call it a bad tournament, which is not true.''
Meanwhile, Kyrgios put in an impressive performance in the round of 32 tie, beating France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but failed to get the better of number three seed Grigor Dimitrov, who made easy work of the game. However, despite the loss, Becker believes that Kyrgios showed enough promise to emerge with a lot of respect from the game.
"Even in the match he lost (to Grigor Dimitrov in Melbourne), he kept his composure and fought well. It's a natural evolution he's going though – it's called growing up,'' he said. "Sacha (Zverev) is only 20 years young. I'm happy he's committed for Davis Cup because they have so many other options. He lost to Chung, who turned out to be a giant-killer. In retrospect the loss wasn't so bad.''