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Murray Sees Youth Shift Coming to ATP

Andy Murray knows all about transition tennis and envisions a generational shift coming to men's tennis.

Speaking to the media in Indian Wells ahead of his first BNP Paribas Open appearance in four years, Murray was asked if we could see young men square off for a Grand Slam title in the coming years in the way the US Open women's final featured 18-year-old Emma Raducanu top 19-year-old Leylah Fernandez last month.

Toni Nadal: Confident Rafa Will Win More Majors

The former world No. 1 suggests youth will rise on the ATP Tour, but not fully take over until Big 3 champions Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have stepped aside.

"I think you will probably start to see that a bit more in the men in the coming years,” Murray said. “Since the last few years when Serena’s had some injury problems also had some timeout having her child—that kind of created some opportunities, I think, for some other players to win some 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 stop playing it will become more open on the men’s side."

Ten of the current ATP Top 15 are age 25 and younger.

Still, the two-time Olympic gold-medal champion does not envision any replicating Big 3 Grand Slam success in the coming years and doesn't believe men's tennis will consistently produce young champions as women's tennis has throughout the years.

"I don’t see anyone really doing what those guys have done at the top of the men’s game," Murray said. "I think it’s a little bit of it that’s a physical thing as well. On the women’s tour anyway traditionally you’ve had more younger Grand Slam champions that’s always been the case.

"And I don’t know if it’s maybe because there’s a few more years of physical development for the guys to catch up with the top male players. I don’t know if that’s as much a factor on the women’s side. Certainly, I think across history there’s been a lot more younger Grand Slam champions on the women’s side."

Tennis Express

Wild card Murray could come face to face with Generation Next in Indian Wells. Murray opens against flat-hitting French left-hander Adrian Mannarino with the winner advancing to a second-round clash vs. Spanish teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz.

Photo credit: International Tennis Federation