Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal warned Next Gen ‘coming’ for them as two threats named

Rafa Nadal reacts to winning French Open at Roland-Garros

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Ion Tiriac has sent a warning to Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal that tennis’ next generation are coming for them and has tipped two younger players to challenge their supremacy. Despite playing well into their thirties, Djokovic, Nadal and Roger Federer have continued to dominate the Grand Slams but Tiriac has backed two up-and-coming talents including Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz.

“A future No 1,” was how Tiriac described Alcaraz to Eurosport Spain. “And I hope he is also a great character because tennis is going to need a great character in the place of these three who are leaving.

“There are people like Alcaraz. Like [Holger] Rune, who can be a great player but has a few problems, his mother, this and that, but he hits the ball very well. The new generation is coming for sure.”

During Rune’s French Open quarter-final defeat to Casper Ruud, he insisted his mother leave the player’s box. Having lost the first set 6-1, Rune was looking for inspiration to get back into the game and shouted “leave, leave, leave!” at his mother in Danish before she left the arena.

The drama in that match didn’t end there as Rune barely shook Ruud’s hand, and the two clashed in the dressing room.

“The team is really nice and sweet, but then he [Ruud] goes straight to me and shouts ‘JAAA’ straight up in my face,” Rune told Danish daily Ekstra Bladet. “I thought ‘what the hell are you doing?’ You just do not do that. You can cheer as much as you want on the court, I do it myself when I win. But that’s just a lack of class. He should have had more respect.”

Ruud’s father Christian insisted that this wasn’t true, and then Rune’s mother Aneke hit back at those claims. “The father was not there when it happened, he had left. It was only the physical trainer or therapist,” she told BT. “It was while Holger was waiting for doping control, so the father cannot comment on that. One thing is that you shout in my son’s face. Another thing is that the father is lying to the press.”

Alcaraz will be competing in his second Wimbledon this month as he reached the second round last year, and is hoping to win his first Grand Slam in England. “Of course I see it as a possibility,” the world No 7 said. “It is the dream that I am looking and working for every day.

“Everyone remembers the 2008 final between Nadal and Federer. It is considered one of the best matches in history and it was spectacular. Rafa has won historic matches several times at Wimbledon and I say to myself: ‘I wish I could be there playing these kinds of matches.’”

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