Daniil Medvedev says it is "logical" that the age of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic has made it easier to play against the 'Big Three' of men's tennis.
For so long, that triumvirate has dominated the ATP Tour, with Djokovic winning three of the four grand slams on offer in 2021 – denied only a clean sweep by Medvedev at the US Open.
Nadal has struggled with a foot injury for most of the year, though, a problem that saw him miss out on Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and Flushing Meadows after losing to Djokovic in the French Open semi-finals.
Federer, similarly, has missed large parts of the 2021 term after requiring a third operation on his right knee in the space of 18 months.
Medvedev accepted Djokovic had proven "he can beat everyone" in another sensational season, but – while heaping praise on a golden generation of tennis – the Russian said it is natural that time has caught up with all three.
"It would be silly to deny it…[it's] logical," he told reporters about the prospect of younger players replacing the greats at the top of the men's game.
"It is something natural. It is not something that I decide. It is evidence. They get old and now it is easier to play against them."
Medvedev only dropped one set across the entire tournament en route to securing a maiden slam at the US Open.
However, Medvedev was reticent to say the shift in power has taken place.
"I do not dare to speak of a generational change in tennis," Medvedev said.
"It is the best generation in the history of tennis.
"Nobody can come close to the results they have achieved.
"We all want to defeat that troika. And they don't want to lose either."
Medvedev then focused on his own progress, having pulled out of the Kremlin Cup citing injury problems from an early exit in Indian Wells.
"I want to win more Grand Slams," he continued. "I also want to be number one and be at the top of tennis for many years. But you can't win every tournament, it's impossible."