Dominic Thiem remains cautious about calling time on the iconic tennis Big 3, with the weeknd ATP Finals runner-up warning that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic still have years of shelf life.

Though Nadal and Djokovic were knocked out in London before the Sunday title match, world No. 3 Thiem is certainly not counting out the trio who have dominated the sport for a decade and a half.

“Roger, Rafa, Nole and also Andy (Murray), they did so much for the sport,” the Austrian who won the US Open two months ago said.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic Melbourne Australian Open Tennis. International Sports Fotos Ltd

“They brought so many new fans to tennis.

Roland Garros French Open 2019 Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

“There will be a time when they are not around anymore, and then it’s going to be so important to keep all the tennis fans with this great sport.

“I think that’s our challenge:  that we perform well, and play great in big tournaments, that we become huge stars ourselves.

“We still have many years ahead of us. We proved that we can play with the legends – that we can also beat them and win the biggest tournaments.”

Thiem  believes that the ATP generational shift still has some seasons to run.

“Over the next few years the Big 3 still will play for every big title, but I guess there’s gonna be a time when those guys retire… I don’t know, in three, four, five years. 

“Then I guess we will be the favourites for all the big titles. For tennis it’s exciting times ahead.”

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