Stefan Edberg names player ‘closest’ to taking over from Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic

ATP Tour
Dominic Thiem shadow

Stefan Edberg believes a couple of players are knocking on the door to replace Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the top, but feels one player in particular is “closest”.

The Big Three of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have dominated tennis for the past two decades, especially in the Grand Slams as they have won a combined 56 majors.

The pressure on the so-called Next Gen has increased in recent years to take over the major baton from the trio, but Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are not letting up as they have won the last 13 Slams and regularly occupy the top positions in the ATP Rankings.

Former world No 1 Edberg feels Dominic Thiem, who has finished runner-up in the Grand Slam finals, is the man who is likeliest to make the breakthrough.

“He showed he could have won the Australian Open this year very easily,” the Swede told Eurosport. “That was a big chance for him. If Rafa wasn’t there, he’s going to win the French Open one day. He’s probably the closest one today, I would say.

“But at the same time, [Alexander] Zverev has shown a lot of potential, sort of lost track a little bit, but it doesn’t take much to get back on the right track again.

“[Stefanos] Tsitsipas has shown some… He’s definitely knocking on the door as well. I probably can add a few others. But Thiem, I would say at the moment.

He continued: “Over the last 10, 12 years, it’s been three, four players dominating the game. Lately three players and if you look at the last couple of years, they’ve won all the Grand Slams.

“They’ve been incredible for this sport. It would have been nice to have a new young winner while Novak and Roger and Rafa are still around.

“It’s probably going to take some time for these young players because you need to win a Slam to start with and maybe need to win two, three, and then you’re sort of people start knowing about you.”

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