Dominic Thiem finally broke the Grand Slam stranglehold of the Big Three (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic) when he claimed victory in the 2020 US Open. The triumvirate, widely regarded to be the three best players of all-time, had shared the past 13 Slam titles between them – whilst holding an incredible combined total of 56 overall. With age and injuries beginning to catch up with the trio, the sport will soon have an enormous vacuum to be filled. At 27 years old, however, it may be too late for Thiem to establish himself as the new dominant force in the sport. We look at the next generation of players who look most likely to become the new long-term kings of men’s tennis.
Tsitsipas has already shown his big-game mentality with victories over each of the Big Three; including a Grand Slam defeat of Roger Federer at the Australian Open. The 22-year old Greek is a prodigious talent with a sense of fearlessness which serves as the foundation for an aggressive style of play. He is already ranked sixth in the world and has made it as far as the semi-finals at the Australian Open in 2019. Perhaps more notably, he claimed the year-end ATP Finals in 2019 beating Djokovic en route to a prestigious tournament victory.
Although his preferred surface is the hard court, his win over Nadal on clay at the Madrid Open certainly shows he is no one-trick pony. Tsitsipas will be determined to take his game to the next level and reach Grand Slam immortality in the very near future.
Medvedev has something of a ‘bad boy’ reputation after numerous high-profile spats with umpires and fellow players on-court. The Russian appears to be becoming increasingly adept at harnessing this anger for his benefit, however, as he charged to the semi-finals of the recent US Open. The previous year Medvedev delivered his best tournament performance as he took Rafael Nadal all the way to the last set in the final of the US Open.
His ability on hard courts is undoubted and this has been clearly reflected in the tennis betting odds for the Australian Open where he stands at 6/1 joint-third favourite to claim a maiden Grand Slam. Ranked fifth in the world and still showing signs of improvement, Medvedev has a strong chance of breaking his Grand Slam duck in 2021.
Auger-Aliassime is more of a raw talent compared to Tsitsipas and Medvedev but at 20 years old he has already displayed incredible potential. The Canadian starlet has been ranked as high as 19 in the world during his nascent career and has been commended by his peers for his dedication. Indeed, Novak Djokovic described him as ‘very mature for his age’ and praised his desire to learn and grow as a player whilst remaining respectful of his opponents on-court. The combination of huge talent and a commitment to hard work could lead Auger-Aliassime right to the top of the men’s game.
Predictions about the next-generation of dominant players have persisted for years, with the longevity of the Big Three surprising almost everyone. Father time is ultimately irrepressible, however, and the young players surely stand on the cusp of a new era for men’s tennis. These three players have every chance of being at the forefront of this brave, new world.
Tags: sports betting