John McEnroe names two players who could replace Novak Djokovic to rival Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner

Ewan West
John McEnroe, Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner
John McEnroe has discussed Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner

Tennis legend John McEnroe has named the two young ATP stars most likely to replace Novak Djokovic and rival Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz.

The seven-time Grand Slam singles champion identified Ben Shelton and Holger Rune as the players who could fill this role, while assessing that Sinner and Alcaraz are “a step way above these other guys.”

Alcaraz and Sinner are the only ATP players under the age of 28 who have won a Grand Slam title and they have separated themselves from their rivals in the same age bracket.

Three of the last four Grand Slam events have been won by either Alcaraz or Sinner, with tennis legend Novak Djokovic the only other man to claim a Major in this period.

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Alcaraz, 21, is a three-time Major champion, having won the 2022 US Open, the 2023 Wimbledon Championships and the 2024 French Open.

The Spaniard is currently ranked third and is looking to defend his crown at Wimbledon, where he will face Medvedev in the semi-finals on Friday.

Sinner claimed his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2024 Australian Open in January and he became the ATP world No 1 for the first time after the French Open last month.

The 22-year-old Italian tasted defeat for just the fourth time this year when he fell in five sets to Medvedev in the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Speaking on BBC 5 Live Sport, McEnroe was asked which young players could become the ‘new Djokovic’ to compete with Sinner and Alcaraz, who were compared to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

“I would put Shelton. I’m not sure I’d put Rune ahead of Shelton at this point. I’m hoping, maybe it’s just because we’re hoping in America he breaks out big. But he’s got that spark,” the former world No 1 said on the 6-Love-6 Wimbledon radio programme.

“One of those guys hopefully. Maybe there’ll be someone that surprises us. But clearly Sinner and Alcaraz have taken it a step way above these other guys.

“And as far as who’s going to win more? That’s like asking before, who’s going to win more, Djokovic or Nadal? Way back when.”

Shelton and Rune, who are both 21, both reached the last 16 at Wimbledon, where they were beaten by Sinner and Djokovic respectively.

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