For Boris Becker, the tennis generation that follows the exceptional trio of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer is facing a “damn high hurdle” – not just in terms of the number of titles.

“It’s one thing to win Grand Slams, the other is to represent the sport,” said the former Wimbledon winner on the Eurosport podcast “Das Gelbe vom Ball”.

Becker explained: “With Federer, Nadal and Djokovic we have or had three idols who not only attracted tennis fans but sports fans in general. This has made our sport more global and richer. That’s why there is this prize money and advertising investment.”

The challenge now is: “Not only to win, but also to present something – and that is a completely different construction site.”

According to Becker, the generation change is in full swing. “Roger Federer is already gone, Rafael Nadal is already one step away for me. He will play Paris, after that I see a question mark. Novak Djokovic will definitely pull through this season, but if he manages 23 titles and turns 36 next year, then it’s a matter of time.”

Djokovic (35) triumphed for the 22nd time in one of the four major tournaments at the Australian Open on Sunday, catching up with his permanent rival Nadal (36). Federer (40) ended his career with 20 Grand Slam titles last year. For Becker, the Swiss is the “sports ambassador” par excellence: “The world has never seen anything like it,” said the 55-year-old.

The German offspring behind Olympic champion Alexander Zverev worries Becker, but this is not just a tennis problem.

“I saw the Tokyo Olympics and the medal table. Nobody was upset that we were so bad,” said the six-time Grand Slam champion and double Olympic champion from 1992: “With all due respect to all great athletes, for me it was an indictment of where German sport stands today.”

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