Men’s tennis has been largely dominated by the “Big 3” – Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Over the past decade, the three have won around 90% of Grand Slam titles. However, with the rise of Next Gen superstars, a changing of the guard is imminent.
Although Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem have each won a Grand Slam, they haven’t been able to show the consistency the Big 3 are famous for. But a group of young players are emerging quickly with the potential to win their first Grand Slam in 2022.
5. Carlos Alcaraz
Often considered the next Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz wowed everyone with his exceptional gameplay. The Spaniard rose to prominence by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2021 US Open. The 18-year-old won the 2021 Croatian Open this year and became the winner of the ATP Next Gen final.
4. Andrei Rublev
Another rising star, Andrey Rublev is an exceptional hard player. He also showed his prowess on clay this year by beating Rafael Nadal at the Monte Carlo Masters.
Although he did not make it past the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam, the talented Russian will have his eyes fixed on the victory of his first Major in 2022.
3. Matteo Berrettini
World number 7 Matteo Berrettini has been in great shape in recent seasons. The Italian finished second at Wimbledon in 2021 and will be eager to get his hands on a Grand Slam trophy in 2022.
Berrettini’s best chances of winning a Major will be on hard courts, where he can make the most of his massive serve and rocket forehand.
2. Stefanos Tsitsipas
In 2021 Stefanos Tsitsipas reached a career high of world No.3. The Greek star has had a great start to the season, winning the Monte Carlo Masters and the 2021 Lyon Open.
Although he was injured towards the end of the season, Tsitsipas will be looking forward to getting back on the pitch in 2022 and fighting for his first Grand Slam title.
1. Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev has accomplished almost everything in tennis … except winning a Grand Slam. He captured gold for his country at the Tokyo Olympics, won the ATP final in 2021 and finished the season as world No.3.
Zverev’s best performance in a Slam came at the 2020 US Open where he lost heartbreakingly to Dominic Thiem in the final. Its brilliant gameplay has even won praise from Novak Djokovic, who believes the German will soon win his first Grand Slam.
These are the five players most likely to open their Grand Slam accounts next season. It will be fascinating to see if they can finally end the domination of the “Big 3” and take their rightful place in tennis history.
Also read: “Alexander Zverev may become world No.1 next year” – Boris Becker