Four players primed to be next Andy Murray after Djokovic names new ‘Big Three’

Novak Djokovic has already named the three players he expects to take the reins from himself and Rafael Nadal to dominate tennis for the coming years after clinching his seventh ATP Finals title in Turin. The Serbian has been hugely complimentary about Jannik Sinner, who stunned Djokovic earlier in the tournament before succumbing to a loss in front of his home crowd. But with the ‘Big Three’ supposedly already decided, there is room for a surprise challenger to disrupt the flow like Andy Murray has done.

Djokovic appears more convinced than ever that Sinner will be among the leading pack of the new generation of men’s tennis stars, along with two-time Grand Slam winner Carlos Alcaraz and 20-year-old Holger Rune, after claiming he will stop playing tennis when he starts to lose to the talented trio.

“Carlos, Jannik, and Holger are the big three.. the next big three, if you want to call them. They are going to carry this sport,” Djokovic said. “I will hang on for as long as I feel like hanging on, as long as I’m able to win against them on the big stage. I’ll still keep going because why stop if you’re still winning the biggest titles. Once they start to kick my butt, then I will consider probably having a little break or maybe a permanent break from professional tennis.”

In terms of finding the next Murray, it would be difficult for any of the current crop of players under 25 to put themselves forward, given Murray won three Slams and finished runner-up on eight occasions. Express Sport looks at four players who make the leap and fill Murray’s spot as the biggest challenger to the new trifecta of Sinner, Alcaraz and Rune.

Click here to join our WhatsApp community to be the first to receive breaking and exclusive tennis news.

READ MORE Djokovic emotional as Alcaraz and two others singled out after ATP Finals win[REACTION]

Jack Draper

If his early performances in his career are anything to go by, Draper might be Britain’s best chance of moulding another Grand Slam winner after Andy Murray. The pair showed they have already bonded while playing together at the Davis Cup and having Murray’s approval will help him go a long way in the game.

The 21-year-old has already reached a career-high ranking of 38 before the Australian Open this year and he reached the fourth round at the US Open – his best performance at a Major so far – to highlight his growing stature in the game.

For a while, it looked like Cam Norrie was going to hold the torch for British men’s tennis, and that still might be the case as he is ranked in the top 20, rightfully earning the British No 1 tag. But Draper’s potential hints there is more to come and with 12 ITF titles to his name already, it won’t be long before he is celebrating success on the ATP Tour stage too.

  • Support fearless journalism
  • Read The Daily Express online, advert free
  • Get super-fast page loading

Murray and Raducanu hand unintended gift to fellow Brit star as surge continues[INSIGHT]
Andy Murray putting ‘questions’ in Katie Boulter’s head as Brit’s legacy hailed[LATEST]
Andy Murray withdraws from Davis Cup showdown against Novak Djokovic’s Serbia[NEWS]

Ben Shelton

Shelton is still somewhat new to the highest level of men’s tennis after making only his fifth main draw appearance at the US Open, where he reached the semi-finals before going out to Djokovic. On his route to the last four, he knocked out fellow American players Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul – a powerful statement at his home tournament at Flushing Meadows.

If there is one criticism of the youngster, it is that his confidence can often transform into arrogance, and his decision to rub salt in the wounds of Sinner backfired when Djokovic copied his phone celebration. Some might say that having the world No 1 imitate you is the best form of flattery, though.

Beating Sinner at the Shanghai Open this year proves he can cut it against the Big Three now and possibly in the future – and he may be the USA’s best hope of celebrating their first men’s singles Grand Slam winner since Andy Roddick’s solitary triumph in New York back in 2003.

Lorenzo Musetti

Still only 22, the Italian has some improvements to make in the major tournaments after failing to get past the third round of a Grand Slam in his career so far. But away from the four Majors, Musetti has demonstrated his ability.

He already has five top-10 scalps under his belt, most notably pulling off a shock when he overcame Djokovic to knock him out of the Monte Carlo Masters this year. Ruud and Alcaraz are on his victim list too, with Musetti proving to be something of a clay court specialist.

Sinner may be leading Italy’s hopes in terms of ending their 47-year wait for a Grand Slam winner since Adriano Panatta’s success. But Musetti’s ability to beat his fellow top-25 players should not be underestimated and his current collection of two ATP titles is likely to grow quickly as he continues his development.

Sebastian Korda

Ranked 23rd in the world, the American high-flyer is enjoying the best form of his career so far. He started the year on a high with a quarter-final appearance at the Australian Open before a first-round exit at his home tournament at the US Open.

Hopes are high that Korda can prove to be the exception to the modern production line of ‘next gen’ players, as he typically plays with a classic right-handed forehand and two-handed backhand. The 23-year-old has also beaten Medvedev twice in 2023, a feat that should not go unmentioned when assessing his chances of rising up the rankings.

He has made a habit of losing important matches in recent times, losing five of his six ATP finals – with his sole success coming against Marco Cecchinato at the Emilia Romagna Open in 2021. And while he will be looking over his shoulder at the likes of Shelton, Tiafoe and Paul, there is nothing to suggest he cannot turn those losses into wins in the future.

Source: Read Full Article