MUMBAI: Dropping one of the best three gamers of all time could be a large blow to any sport however ATP chief Andrea Gaudenzi says tennis is robust sufficient to thrive after Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic dangle up their rackets.
Federer returned to the courtroom this week after 14 months on the sidelines, and Nadal and Djokovic are going nowhere quickly, however they’re all properly previous the age of 30 and the ATP will ultimately must placed on tournaments with out them.
“I’m not nervous in any respect for our sport, if we do the precise factor,” Gaudenzi advised Reuters this week.
“And that does not imply taking something away from these three guys. They’re in all probability one of the best gamers our sport has ever had and perhaps shall be for a really, very very long time.”
Federer, who turns 40 in August, and 34-year-old Nadal are tied for the boys’s document of 20 Grand Slam singles titles, with 33-year-old Djokovic in scorching pursuit on 18.
American Pete Sampras, who retired in 2002, is subsequent on the record with 14 majors – a mark many thought would by no means be bettered.
“It may be very, very troublesome to realize that kind of information, although I mentioned the identical factor when Pete Sampras retired,” Gaudenzi mentioned, earlier than including with fun: “I assumed there will not be anybody ever beating Pete’s information.
“Right here we have now three guys doing that. So by no means say by no means.”
The so-called Huge Three proceed to lure followers to the stands even after twenty years on the tour, whereas their industrial pull nonetheless mesmerizes manufacturers and advertisers.
Solely 11 of the final 68 Grand Slams have been gained by different gamers however Gaudenzi is satisfied extra champions and fan favourites will emerge, if not essentially instantly.
“We’ve got to be life like, even in case you look again you recognize you construct these personalities through the years,” he mentioned.
“We had been involved after Sampras retired. And it isn’t that when Roger began successful instantly we mentioned, ‘Oh! That is the man who’s going to save lots of us’. He grew into that.
“We shall be able to constructing new personalities, new champions that can entice the eye of followers.”
Gaudenzi is assured tennis is well-placed to compete in rapidly-changing international leisure market, even when he thinks extra work must be completed on how the product is obtainable to the general public.
“The rationale I am extraordinarily optimistic is as a result of tennis matches completely into the distribution of content material these days, by way of volumes, completely different time zones,” the Italian mentioned.
“It is international, gender impartial, we’re one of the best sport by way of equality for ladies, and it is simply tremendous entertaining.
“You would argue, sure it is too lengthy. However we are able to really format it with short-form and long-form highlights.
“It is the best way we distribute it, it is the best way we package deal it, it is the best way we promote it, it is the best way we govern it, that is largely the place I see alternative. That is what we have to change.”