Open a glimpse into the future: Tsitsipas

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Stefanos Tsitsipas sees next month's Australian Open, potentially missing its three biggest stars, as a glimpse into the future.

But the world No.4 isn't worried, insisting the next wave of tennis talent have something new to offer the sport once Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer depart.

The so-called "Big Three" are all square on 20 grand slam titles, but it's possible none will line up at Melbourne Park in January for a shot at history.

Federer (knee) has already withdrawn while Nadal is recovering from COVID-19.

World No.1 and nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic's status remains unclear, given he has repeatedly failed to disclose his vaccination status.

Djokovic is on the entry list but yet to commit to the Australian Open following the COVID-19 vaccination mandate agreed by Tennis Australia and the Victorian Department of Health.

The Serbian was a late withdrawal from the ATP Cup due to commence on Saturday, his teammates on Thursday explaining he was still waiting to hear if he would be allowed to enter the country to contest the major.

Tsitsipas, who has recovered from elbow surgery to lead Greece at the teams event in Sydney, was diplomatic when asked for his thoughts on Djokovic's plight.

"The rules are rules and the rules are established for a certain purpose and a reason," the 23-year-old, who only recently received the COVID-19 vaccine, said.

"There are certain parameters that need to be followed to make things happen and if some players decide not to follow them it's their choice.

"I wouldn't say there's right or wrong here.

"I was really looking forward to coming to Australia, so I followed whatever was necessary to come.

"The Australian summer is one of my favourite parts of the season, I just love being here."

Tsitsipas said an Open without Federer (40), Nadal (35) and Djokovic (34) would naturally create opportunities for his generation and fans shouldn't be worried.

"That is how it's going to be generally in a few years time, potentially three years time," he said.

"So getting used to it early ... it's pretty much the new reality and let's see how tennis works out without the top three.

"I really want to see which players are going to prevail."

Tsitsipas, world No.2 and US Open champion Daniil Medvedev and world No.3 and Olympic champion Alexander Zverev are established, while Jannik Sinner (20) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (21) are No.10 and 11 in the world.

"We are able to bring tennis at a very high level; we have something different to offer than what Djokovic or Federer or Nadal have," Tsitsipas said.

"It's not our responsibility, we just have to work hard every single day, bring the best out of this game and set the bar high.

"I'm playing for myself and if young kids are inspired by what we do then we've done our job right."

THE NEXT GENERATION

* Daniil Medvedev (25, world No.2)

* Alexander Zverev (24, world No.3)

* Stefanos Tsitsipas (23, world No.4)

* Andrey Rublev (24, world No.5)

* Matteo Berrettini (25, world No.7)

* Casper Ruud (23, world No.8)

* Hubert Hurkacz (24, world No.9)

* Jannik Sinner (20, world No.10)

* Felix Auger-Aliassime (21, world No.11)

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