McEnroe: Next generation struggling because 'Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray are too good'

  • The future stars of tennis have underperformed in Grand Slams.

  • McEnroe also picks the youngsters he would love to coach.

Nick Kyrgios and Alexander Zverev have been touted as the next big stars in tennisGetty

Tennis legend John McEnroe believes the new generation of tennis players are struggling to win titles because of the quality of the Big Four.

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray dominated 2016 while the current calendar year has been all about the career resurgences of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who have split the four Grand Slams between themselves.

While certain young players have impressed this year such as Alexander Zverev, who notably has five titles along with Nadal and Federer which is the Tour's highest this year, the next generation have underperformed in the Grand Slams.

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It has begged the question for tennis fans on whether these players can win a Grand Slam until the Big Four have retired, especially when one considers that the likes of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic all won their first major titles at very young ages.

Nadal previously warned the next generation that emulating him and the rest of the Big Four will not be easy but McEnroe says the problem does not lie with the youngsters' abilities but the players that they have to compete with.

"Firstly, because Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray are too good, perhaps the best ever, although I'd say it is [Rod] Laver," McEnroe said when asked why the next generation are taking so long to win titles, as quoted on Marca.

"They are good, hungry and talented and young players have sometimes failed to take advantage of their opportunities."

McEnroe also pinpointed certain youngsters he would love to train, picking Nick Kyrgios, who he coached at the Laver Cup, as his top choice.

"For me, I'd say Nick Kyrgios," he added. "Then there's Alexander Zverev too, he's certain to be a No. 1."

"I enjoyed training Milos [Raonic] but I identify more with the new Canadian [Denis Shapovalov]. He has a style and personality that's similar to mine."

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