Roger Federer shakes hands with Alexander Zverev after match in Shanghai 2019.jpg

‘Young players lack the guts to topple Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal,’ says Boris Becker

Boris Becker has criticised the young talent on the ATP Tour, claiming Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have been given too easy a ride.

Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer have won the last 12 Slams between them, and a staggering 55 between them.

And that, according to Becker, just isn’t good enough if you are a young player with aspirations to win major titles.

Speaking on Eurosport’s Tennis Legends vodcast Boris Becker said: “I think a change of guard has happened in the women’s game.

“We have been talking about the men’s game all the time but it really has happened in the women’s game – whether it’s Coco Gauff or Bianca Andreescu or Naomi Osaka or all the other teenage girls – they have broken through and are winning.

“On the men’s side, I think its called maturity. It’s harder on the men’s side – three (sets) out of five, they come to the Grand Slams, expectations are high, everyone wants the young generation to win and I think that mentally they can’t cope with the pressure.

“I don’t think it’s physical, I don’t think it’s technical, mentally they can’t cope with the pressure of expectations.

“The young guns are missing a bit of guts. A bit of balls. A bit of ‘Ok, I’m here and I want to win and I’m going to do whatever it takes.’

“They all fit into the system a little bit and the question is who is advising them, who is coaching them.

“I think the whole picture knowing what it takes to win a major is not there with the younger players.

“They think it’s about tennis; it’s not about tennis, it’s about attitude and putting it out there on the line.

“I find there is something missing that would change that. You want to see the young players beat the top three when they are still playing well.

“You don’t want to see Federer at 45 years old still winning against someone half his age! I think we should, in context, be a little more critical of them to wake them up.

“Everyone is catering to them and sugarcoating them – they are not winning any majors! That’s not good!”

To see the Tennis Legends vodcast in full, click here, and watch the Australian Open live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.