Alex de Minaur heads to Eastbourne this week after his Queen’s club semi-final with a growing belief that the NextGen is starting to put pressure on the ATP Big 3.
The Australian ranked 18th said that while he and his contemporaries are not there yet, there is change afoot.
Threats to the 15-year run of supremacy from the top dogs include world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, US Open winner Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Roland Garros finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas among others.
“We’re all doing what they can to take over,” the second seed this week at Devonshire Park said on a rainy Tuesday which looked like wiping out play.
“The Big 3 (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic) have been untouchable.
“A lot of that is experience, but every match we play, we learn a lot and work to improve.
“You have to lose respect for those guys – but that’s a good thing. You have to treat playing them as just another match.
“We may not be winning yet but we are getting close.”
The Spain-bred Aussie based in Alicante added:
“Time is on our side, every match and every day that goes by gives us a bit more of a chance.
“But those guys are definitely not done yet – they’re still playing incredible tennis to this day.
“It will be tough, but we are ready for the challenge.”