Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have amassed 53 Grand Slam titles between them and are odds-on to add to their honours this week.
All three stars are through to the Wimbledon semi-finals, despite being in the latter stages of their careers.
For many years it has been predicted that the NextGen stars would rise up and dethrone the tennis heavyweights.
But time and time again they continue to fail, and Federer thinks he knows why.
“I mean, I think it’s definitely not a – how do you say – regular time in tennis in the men’s game because I don’t think we would have thought that Novak, me, and Rafa, all of us, was going to be so solid, so dominant for so many years,” Federer said.
“I think that, number one, [we] stopped a lot of runs from the younger guys.
“Number two, I’m not sure, were they as talented as Rafa, Novak, and myself and others? Maybe also not.
“I think also the way the points are structured, they’re so far right in the draw that you have to go so deep as a younger guy that you also maybe lack your ranking to be top four or top eight easier. I feel like there is sort of different levels to it.
“If you’re top 32, that’s good at Slams. If you’re top 16, it’s good. Top eight is another step. I feel like it’s hard to get into the top eight and stay there, let alone top four, just because there’s some guys in there that are very tough.
“The only way to get in there at the moment, it seems like, if you win a Slam. Otherwise you need so many more points in the 1000s.”
Federer is hunting a ninth Wimbledon title ahead of his crunch semi-final showdown with Nadal.
And the Swiss star has explained how each legendary player has been so dominant in their own specific area.
“Rafa takes care of the clay there. Novak is in every Masters 1000 on hard court. I float around. You add [Andy] Murray to it, Stan [Wawrinka] to it, guys that made their move later on, [Juan Martin] del Potro to it, you realise there’s not that much to get,” he added.
“I think it’s a combination of many things. But it might all change again. Obviously, the way the ranking system works, other things – I mean, I grew up in the bonus points. I don’t know if you remember those times.
“If you beat, let’s say, No 1 in the world, you got a hundred points at a slam, 50 points at another tournament. If you could make big-time results, you could all of a sudden just jump in the ranking much more. The following year you couldn’t defend those points if you didn’t have exactly the same draw.
“It is what it is right now. I just think it’s kind of tough to get to the top because Novak and Rafa are still so, so good. It just makes it more difficult like that.”
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