There is a lot of talk of the physical nature of the game, or that older players are staying healthier for longer, so hogging the upper reaches of the rankings longer, making it harder for the young guns to break through. I do think there is something in that, but players like Grigor and Bernard have arguably broken through already. They are making a living and not having to play qualifiers, and have a bit more control of their schedule. The question is why are they failing to make that final push towards the top 10?
Of course it's unreasonable to expect them to beat a top 10 player, never mind a member of the big four routinely, but it is also true that from a younger age, Andy along with Nole and Rafa were giant felling fairly regularly.
I think it could simply be that today's top players, the young guns of five years ago, were simply better than the young guns of today and were going on to be better than the top players of that era. It is perhaps a bit of a freak that Rafa, Nole and Andy were all born within a year of each other. If their parents had only spread things out a bit, we might not have seen the same bunching, then apparent drop-off. It's often been said that Andy might have won more majors if today's era wasn't as strong, but playing in a strong era has made him a better player. The same presumably applies to the rest of the top 10 players, who have been fighting to keep up.
Clearly there are also psychological barriers, which might be made worse by the tour hype of a "Big Four" and talk of a golden era, and that today's young players are rubbish, but I'm sure there were times when today's top players folded to the higher ranked player under pressure which are conveniently forgotten. Then again, Federer was almost untouchable when Andy first beat him, much to the surprise of everyone, including Andy!
I have for a while now decided that the young guns of today do have what the young guns of five years ago had. They do not seem to have the tenacity of Nadal, Djoko and Andy. Sometimes I feel they do not want to work really hard to achieve the heights like those three did and still do, especially Tomic. He makes me feel he wants it on a plate without any effort.
I think Andy would agree wholeheartedly with that statement given how often he's criticised the attitude of our younger players. Tomic, unfortunately is a spoilt brat.
I have a lot of admiration for players like Dimitrov who come from countries where the going is generally tough and Djokovic has said that he would probably never have become the player he is had it not been for the severe adversity he faced in his own country. Living through wartime conditions must be incredibly difficult.
Watched the replay and liked every bit of it.
That's because you knew the score!