Who will replace Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic? Andy Murray shares his views
Andy Murray has named three players whom he believes will eventually replace tennis’ Big Three, but he warns it is unlikely they will end Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic’s dominance in the next 18 months.
Federer (38), Nadal (33) and Djokovic (32) have won 54 Grand Slams between them and they only seem to be getting better with age as they have shared the last 11 major titles.
And the question on most tennis fans’ lips is: When will the so-called Next Generation take over the baton from the veterans?
Former world No 1 Murray warns the changing of the guard won’t happen overnight.
“I can see something happening in the next couple of years. Maybe the next 12-18 months I don’t quite see it. But in 18 months to two years I think we’ll see some changes up there,” he told ATPTour.com.
“I think it will mainly come from the younger ones. That’s not to say that some of the older guys couldn’t potentially win a Slam. I just don’t see one of them becoming dominant. Potentially some of the younger guys get up to the top four or five in the world and stay there for a long period.”
But who has the potential to replace Federer, Nadal and Djokovic at the top?
Murray believes Felix Auger-Aliassime (19), Stefanos Tsitsipas (20) and Alexander Zverev (22) are best poised.
“I like Felix. I like his game; physically he’s very strong and he looks good mentally,” the three-time Grand Slam winner said. “He’s still young so he’ll need a little time. Tsitsipas has a really nice game; he’s a good athlete and his personality is great. He’s fun to watch. He has an all-round game that allows him to play well on all surfaces, which is important if you want to get up there and stay up there.
“Obviously Zverev has a lot of potential and he’s won the most of the young guys. If you have a few bad months it’s easy for people to forget that and start writing you off. But he’s a young guy who can improve a lot.
“They would be the three right now. But there could be 17-, 18-year-olds out there who I haven’t seen play much who could break through.
“Dominic Thiem has been in Slam finals and is improving all the time. He’s got a great work ethic and a big game. I see him coming through and he could potentially win majors. But in terms of dominating, I think the guys at the top will stay around a little too long for that to happen.”
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