Pat Cash feels the younger generation of tennis players coming through will not be able to sustain the level set by the Big Four – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – in the last 14 years.
The 1987 Wimbledon winner has labeled the current crop of young stars 'lame' in front of the big four and believes that they cannot be consistent week-in-week-out like they have been. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray have won 49 of the 56 Grand Slams between them since 2004 with only five other players managing to break their strong hold.
Marat Safin, Gaston Gaudio, Juan Martin del Potro, Marin Cilic and Stan Wawrinka are the players that have won major tournaments beside the big four in the last 14 years. And only the latter among the quintet has managed more than one Grand Slam title during the said period.
Cash was referring to Australian young sensations Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios, who have failed to reach their full potential despite being touted for the top. The latter has been tipped for greatness by Nadal and Federer, but he has failed to even break into the top 10 despite showing plenty of promise.
Alexander Zverev, Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem among others are also part of the current generation tipped to take over from the big four in the coming years. However, they failed to take their chance even when Nadal and Federer were not at their best during the 2017 Australian Open, when the veterans made the final.
"The worst thing about Roger Federer, (Novak) Djokovic, (Rafael) Nadal and (Andy) Murray is they've put the bar so high that you can't possibly think everybody can be like that. Everyone else looks kind of lame compared to them. To be number one in the world, you have to be consistent every single week of the year and I couldn't work out what that secret was," Cash said, as quoted on www.tennisworldusa.org
"I wouldn't be expecting too much - you keep saying they've got time on their side but, after a while, you say: 'well, we're getting sick of saying that'. I'd like to see them doing well, but they're not going to be the most- consistent players of all time," the former Wimbledon champion added.