Becker back­hand for ten­nis brats

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT -

BORIS Becker says younger play­ers on the men’s tour do not have the right mind­set to chal­lenge the “big three” of Roger Fed­erer, Rafael Nadal and No­vak Djokovic in the grand slams.

The trio have won ev­ery slam since 2017, with 33-yearold Nadal claim­ing the lat­est ti­tle at Roland Gar­ros on Mon­day, dis­patch­ing 25-yearold Aus­trian Do­minic Thiem in the fi­nal for a sec­ond straight year.

Becker, who won Wim­ble­don at age 17 and went on to win six slams, said it was the men­tal as­pect of the game more than any­thing that set Nadal, Fed­erer (37) and Djokovic (32) apart.

“I was just reading a stat that no ac­tive player out­side the big three un­der 28, apart from Thiem, has been in a grand slam fi­nal,” Becker said.

“That’s not good, that’s not a com­pli­ment for any­body un­der 28.

“And don’t give me that ‘the oth­ers are too good’.

“We should ques­tion the qual­ity and the at­ti­tude of ev­ery­body un­der 28, it just doesn’t make sense.”

Other play­ers to reach men’s grand slam fi­nals in the past three years were Juan Mar­tin del Potro, Kevin An­der­son, Marin Cilic and Stan Wawrinka — all aged 30 and above.

“As much as I re­spect Roger, Rafa and No­vak, young play­ers should show up,” Becker said.

“Even­tu­ally, they will be too old, but you want to see the pass­ing of the torch while they are still in their prime.

“There’s a cer­tain men­tal­ity that they [younger play­ers] don’t have, that the three oth­ers do have.

“It’s not the fore­hands, it’s not the fit­ness. It’s mind­set [and] at­ti­tude that makes the dif­fer­ence between win­ning and los­ing.”

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