Men's tennis is much more than the Big Four these days, but Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal should not be discounted, says Novak Djokovic.
Though he and Andy Murray had dominated most major events of late, the world No. 1 points out that other players have also established their presences.
"Stan Wawrinka is somebody that went under the radar, and he won three Grand Slams," said Djokovic. "[Marin] Cilic won a Grand Slam and [Juan Martin] del Potro, too. Those are the players that deserve, always, to be mentioned as the best players in the world."
An emerging group of young players is adding to the competition at the top of the game, the Serb acknowledged.
“And now you have the new wave of tennis players,” he said. “A new generation is coming up; already-established Top 10 players [including Kei] Nishikori and [Milos] Raonic, that played Grand Slam finals themselves and won some big tournaments.
"And then you have [Nick] Kyrgios and [Borna] Coric, these kind of players that are young and motivated to show to the world that they can compete on the highest level."
While neither Federer nor Nadal will be in the Top 5 next week, Djokovic suspects that they're not done yet.
"It's kind of expected to have some new faces in this sport,” the 12-time Grand Slam champion said, “but I still wouldn't rule out Roger and Rafa, and I would not take them out of that context of the best players in the world."
Nadal, currently fifth, will drop to No. 6 in the rankings. Federer will fall from No. 7 to No. 8.