Who will replace Djokovic, Nadal, & Federer?

Who will replace Djokovic, Nadal, & Federer?

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer are usually referred to as the “big three” of tennis. The superstars have dominated the sport in the male division for over two decades and have been ranked as world No.1 for a combined period of 937 weeks (equivalent to 17 and a half years). Within that time, they have won a total of 66 Grand Slams, and the three are on top of the all-time major title list – Djokovic has 24, Nadal 22, and Federer 20.

However, the domination of the Big Three is set to end sooner than later, with Roger Federer already retired and Nadal set to retire in 2024. While that will be the end of the greatest tennis era, it will also open up opportunities for new world no. 1s and Grand Slam winners. But who among the top and upcoming stars are the tennis betting favorites to take on the mantle? Here’s a look at the most likely.

Carlos Alcaraz

Alcaraz is widely considered to be the brightest young talent in tennis. In fact, he’s not just a talent but an exciting present. Despite being only 20 years old, Alcaraz has already been ranked as world no. 1 and is the youngest man and first teenager to achieve the rank in the Open Era (19 years, 4 months, and 6 days old). He is currently ranked by the ATP as world no.2, behind Djokovic.

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Alcaraz has so far won thirteen ATP Tour-level singles titles, which include two Grand Slams and five Masters 1000 titles. His first Grand Slam victory came in 2022 at the US Open, where he was seeded as no.3. He defeated Casper Ruud in the final to achieve his maiden no. 1 rank after an impressive year. In 2023, he won his second Grand Slam at Wimbledon, defeating Novak Djokovic in five sets. His next title would come at Indian Wells, a tournament that he also used to tie his biggest rivalry at 4-4. This rivalry is with another contender of the Big Three replacement, Jannik Sinner.

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Jannik Sinner

Jannik Sinner is the main rival of Carlos Alcaraz, and he is fresh from winning the Australian Open 2024. In the tournament, it was Djokovic who entered as the no.1 and was highly expected to defend the title he won in 2023. However, Sinner halted him in the semifinals, becoming the first player not to face a break point against Djokovic in a completed major match.

The 22-year-old Italian then went on to win the title after beating Daniil Medvedev in a thrilling five-set encounter. The win was Sinner’s first Grand Slam title, and it added to his other 11 ATP singles titles.

Sinner is currently ranked as world no. 3 by the ATP, and this makes him the highest-ranked Italian tennis player in history, male or female. His nickname is “Iceman,” based on his calmness under pressure when on the court.

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Holger Rune

While Daniil Medvedev has been mentioned for years as the one take on from the Big Three, his inconsistency, age, and the rise of young guns have now pushed him back. One of the most highly-rated players at the moment is Holger Rune, who is only 19 years old. The Danish star is an exceptional talent, and he turned professional in 2020 at the age of 16. He then became the youngest player to reach the quarterfinals on an AT Tour event since 2014. From there, he went on to win his first ATP Challenger title in June 2021 and then won his first Masters 1000 title at the 2022 Paris Masters.

Although his career is still quite young, his exceptional talent has seen him ranked as part of the next Big Three by a huge chunk of the Tennis world, including Novak Djokovic.

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