Djokovic said it would be unwise to omit Federer and Nadal from an assessment of the world’s top players despite a new wave of talent which is fast closing on the elite ranks.
This week’s updated ATP tennis rankings are missing both Federer, 35, and Nadal, 30, who have 31 Grand Slam titles between them, for the first time since 2003.
“It’s kind of expected to have some new faces in this sport, but I still wouldn’t rule out Roger and Rafa and I would not take them out of that context of the best players in the world,” Djokovic said at the Shanghai Masters.
He said he had never used the term “Big Four”, used to group himself, Federer, Nadal and Andy Murray, who have dominated the rankings and major tournaments for a decade.
“And now you have the new wave of tennis players, a new generation is coming up,” he said, singling out Australia’s Nick Kyrgios and the 19-year-old Croatian, Borna Coric.