Wimbledon: Who will fill the Nadal and Federer void?
Since 2003, Wimbledon’s centre court has witnessed 12 of its last 13 men’s singles finals at least one of Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal, while between 2006 and 2008 the pair met in three consecutive and epic showpieces. For their fans, and for themselves, those days are coming to an end.
Nadal is already absent from SW19 with a wrist problem, while injuries have dogged Federer’s entire season.
There’s a good chance neither finalists initials this year will be ‘RN’ or ‘RF’ and only in Andy Murray’s victorious 2013 has that happened in the last 13 years.
For 34-year-old Federer especially, Wimbledon has become a second home, ever since he famously defeated Pete Sampras in a famous changing of the guard clash in 2001.
SW19 will feel the duo’s absence, having long-since taken both players into their hearts.
A new generation is emerging, but when these two tennis behemoths hang up their racquets for good, who will step up to fill the void?
Arguably the next big thing in tennis. A run to the semi-finals in the French Open – where he pushed Novak Djokovic hard – was the latest indicator that Austria’s Dominic Thiem has a big future.
The 22-year-old displays one of the calmer demeanours on court, and he has a particularly fearsome attribute to his skillset – a single-handed backhand. Remind you of a certain Swiss maestro much?
This hot-headed Australian certainly won’t replace Nadal or Federer in their on-court mannerisms, but his style of tennis has echoes of both players.
The 21-year-old has upset plenty of fans with his tantrums in his short career, but give it time and Wimbledon will love to hate him. Or should that be hate to love him?
Tipped by many to be a future number one, Zverez is just one of two teenagers in the ATP top 50.
Ranked 28, Zverez is much higher than fellow 19-year-old Borna Coric, and the big German – he’s 6ft 6in – looks set for a huge future.
He reached the third round of the French Open last month, and was a runner-up at the ATP Gerry Weber Open last week – beating none other than Federer in the semi-finals.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.