Andy Murray and Ash Barty pay tribute to each other
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Andy Murray has given his verdict on why young players on the ATP Tour have been unable to replicate the recent success of Emma Raducanu. The 18-year-old is the latest in a long line of young Grand Slam champions on the WTA Tour alongside the likes of Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu, while the youngest active male Major winner is 25-year-old Daniil Medvedev.
Raducanu made history as the first qualifier to win a Grand Slam title when she lifted the US Open trophy last month, failing to drop a set across three matches at just 18 years old.
While few have been able to complete the seemingly impossible like the Brit, there has been a string of WTA players able to win a Major under the age of 21 in recent years, including Jelena Ostapenko, Naomi Osaka, Bianca Andreescu and Iga Swiatek.
Meanwhile, the ATP only saw their first Grand Slam champion born in the 1990s last year, when then-27-year-old Dominic Thiem won the US Open, and this year 25-year-old Medvedev was able to add his name to the list when he was victorious in Flushing Meadows.
Murray has been able to win three Grand Slam titles and reach world No.1 in the ‘Big Three’ era and spent several years as one of the top players stopping younger competitors from winning the biggest titles in the sport, and believes things will start to change once the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic eventually retire
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“Well I think you probably will start to see that a bit more in the men I would say in the coming years,” he said, speaking on Raducanu’s success and the number of young champions on the women’s tour.
“I think since, the last few years when Serena’s had some injury problems and also had some time out having her child, you know that kind of created some opportunities I think for some other players to win the bigger events and the women’s game certainly has been very open in recent years.
“I would expect that probably when the top guys in the men’s start to probably stop playing that it will become more open in the men’s side.”
The 34-year-old also had his own opinion on why the young ATP stars have failed to replicate the teenage success seen on the WTA Tour, and admitted that even when the Big Three did retire, no one would be able to match their success.
Murray continued: “I don’t see anyone really doing what those guys have done at the top of the men’s game.
“And I think there’s a little bit of it that’s a physical thing as well potentially.”
The current world No.121 questioned whether it took longer for young ATP players to physically develop enough to match the older players at the top of the game, and whether this stopped them from winning the biggest titles until their mid twenties.
“I’d say across the women’s tour anyway, traditionally you’ve had more younger Grand Slam champions, that’s just always been the case, and I don’t know if it’s maybe because there’s a little bit more, a few more years of physical development for the guys to catch up with the top male players,” he added, speaking at the ATP 1000 event in Indian Wells.
“I don’t know if that’s as much of a factor on the women’s side.
“But yeah, there’s certainly been, I think across history there’s been a lot more younger Grand Slam champions on the women’s side.”
The Big Three are notably all absent from the Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells this week, while Murray is playing the event for the first time since 2017.
Having received a wild card, he faces world No.51 Adrian Mannarino in his opening round.
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