The Big Three of tennis comprises Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and the recently retired Roger Federer.
The Big Three dominated men’s singles tennis for over two decades, occupying eight times the top-three positions of the year-end ATP rankings.
As the playing days of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are getting closer to conclusion, several young players are showing signs of being the next stars.
The Big Three is a common nickname in tennis that refers to the trio of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
The Big Three dominated men’s singles tennis for more than two decades. And it’s no surprise that many tennis fans consider them the greatest players of all time.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have collectively won 63 major singles tournaments. Nadal has won 22, Djokovic 21 and Federer 20.
The trio occupied the top-three positions of the year-end ATP rankings eight times; 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2018 and 2019.
Roger Federer recently announced his retirement from tennis. And it’s just a matter of time before Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic bids farewell to the beautiful game.
Well, which tennis players are likely to replace the Big Three and achieve the same success as them in the coming years?
This article will discuss five players who could be the next generation of tennis stars.
1. Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz, born May 5, 2003, is undoubtedly the next big thing in the tennis world. The Spanish international, who was barely known two years ago, is currently ranked as the world No. 1 singles by ATP.
Carlos Alcaraz has already played and won against some of the biggest names in tennis, such as Rafael Nadal. He defeated Novak Djokovic and Nadal at the Madrid Open this year.
At 19, Carlos has already won six ATP Tour Singles titles, including two Masters 1000 titles and the 2022 US Open.
Typically considered a clay-court player, Carlos is the first teenager in the Open Era to top the men’s rankings. It is with no doubt that the future of tennis is in safe hands if Carlos Alcaraz continues to shine.
2. Stefanos Tsitsipas
Stefanos Tsitsipas is a Greek professional tennis player born on August 12, 1998. ATP ranked Stefanos world No. 3 on August 9, 2021, making him the highest-ranked Greek player in history, alongside Maria Sakkari.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is one of the players who could achieve the same success as the Big Three. In 2021, he became the first Greek player to reach a Grand Slam final.
The 24-year-old has won nine ATP singles titles, including two Masters 1000 championships. Stefanos impresses many with his first-serve speed, accuracy and stylish backhand.
3. Matteo Berrettini
Mateo Berrettini is among the few players who have developed their game in a way which it suits every surface. ATP ranked the Italian as the world No. 6 in singles in January 2022.
Matteo has won seven ATP Tour singles titles and two doubles titles. He is the first man born in the 1990s to reach the quarter-finals or better at all major four battles.
The 26-year-old amazes many with his sheer power and serve speed of up to 135mph. When talking of players to replace the Big Three, he definitely has to get a mention.
4. Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev has built a name for himself in the tennis world by defeating several top-seed players in Grand Slams.
He is known for his agility and speed while on the court. Zverev has been a permanent fixture in the top ten of the ATP rankings since July 2017.
The 25-year-old has won 19 ATP Tour titles in singles and two in doubles. Alexander Zverev is the only active player outside the Big Four who has won five Masters 1000 titles.
5. Daniil Medvedev
Daniil Medvedev is currently ranked world No. 4 by the ATP. He had been ranked as the singles world No.1 for a total of 16 weeks.
The Russian tennis player has so far won 14 ATP Tour singles titles, including the 2020 ATP Finals and the 2021 US Open.
During the 2020 ATP Finals, Daniil Medvedev became the first and only player to defeat the top three ranked players en route to the year-end championship title.
Daniil Medvedev became the first man outside of the Big Four to hold the world No. 1 ranking since Andy Roddick in February 2004.
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