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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I for one do not want the big three to retire anytime soon, at least not while they are in good enough shape to compete for the biggest titles. Still, we can probably sense the end coming for their respective careers. For the fans of those particular players, a certain emptiness will be inevitable when it comes to watching tennis. Anyone genuinely interested in the game will still keep watching, but finding someone new to cheer for will be a challenge. After all, it is more or less impossible to fill the shoes of the all-time greats. My question to fans of the big three is the following: Who are the player(s) you will start to cheer for once your favorite has retired. I will offer some speculations of my own, but I want everyone to find their own option.

Federer's possible successors: After Tsitsipas victory over Fed in AO, the young Greek certainly seems like a potential heir. Playing with a one-hander is just a start. Tsitsipas has a good serve and is no stranger to net-play, so in this regard he also resembles Federer. Certainly, he is unlikely to repeat Fed's success, but that goes for any young player. Obviously, Tsitsipas is not as flashy as Fed, rather he impresses with a mature shot-selection. For anyone that longs for some spectacular shot-making, though, Shapovalov probably is the preferred heir. When the young Canadien is on, he can seem almost unstoppable, but he has yet to gain consistency in his game. Will he improve in this regard and give Fed fans something to cheer for?

Djokovic: A fan of Djokovic would probably like to cheer for someone with an excellent return and, apart from that, a game without obvious weaknesses. The best young prospects resembling Djokovic might be Zverev and Coric. While both youngsters have failed to deliver at the slam level, both of them sometimes show Djokovic-like qualities for several matches in a row. Basically, they both have great strength in rallies, good returns and movement (in Zverev's case it's impressive for such a big guy) and they can keep the UE count really low for extended periods of time. Before they make it in a slam, they are not ideal replacements, obviously, but maybe they will improve in this regards. Possibly they are the best candidates so far?

Nadal: Maybe he is the hardest one to find a replacement for. Obviously, one would like to find someone that could be an unstoppable force on clay. While Thiem is very good on this surface, and also plays with huge topspin, to be fair he is a bit old by now. Possibly the Austrian can get a couple of French opens in his resume, but that's probably the best one can hope for. With Nadal being a lefty, one can see a certain resemblance with Shapovalo's forehand, though. Possibly some Nadal fans will find Shapo the most interesting young player to cheer for, even though the difference in UE count is about as big as it gets.

When planning this post, my first idea was to encourage only serious suggestions from the big three fans. But this is MTF, so what can I expect? Mock suggestions from those who dislike the big three players are inevitable. Some inspiration for any big-three haters:

A guy for Federer-fans to cheer for: I think a hater could pick Karlovic. "Here we have another player equally relying on just one shot. Probably he will keep going many years after Fraud retires."

A guy for Djokovic-fans to cheer for: Here I think a hater could do a bit of research and find a video of a player that misses several easy smashes in a row. Posting such a video and writing something like "this guy looks like a perfect replacement for Crocodile" would be the expected response.

A guy for Nadal-fans to cheer for: I think there are more than a few players with OCD-tendencies on the tour. Finding a video of such behavior and writing something like "this guy looks like a spitting image of Dull" would be an obvious option for a hater.

Seriously, though, I would like for the serious responses to outnumber the mocking ones.
 

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Worthy successors to the Big 3? That's easy - nobody. This is a very special era in tennis, to have three of the greatest of all time playing in the same era. To expect one of the NextGen to be able to fill the void is unrealistic. It could be another 10 years, if not 20 or 30, before we see another Roger, Rafa, or Novak.

As much as I like Coric, I can't shake the feeling during his matches that I'm watching a poor man's Djokovic. I didn't think of it until I read your suggestions for "replacements," but I'll probably start thinking of Tsitsipas & Shapovalov the same way.
 

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Federer -> Shapovalov.

Djokovic -> Zverev.

Nadull -> de Minaur/Munar.

Murray -> Coric.

Wawrinka -> Thiem.

del Potro -> Khachanov.

Berdych -> Medvdev.

Dimitrov -> Tsitsipas.
 

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How many times does it need to be said?

Karen Khachanov will be a Owner of Worlds.
 

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Federer - Leo, Lenny

Djokovic - Stefan

Nadal - no heir could be found <img src="https://www.tennisforum.com/images/smilies/shrug.gif" border="0" alt="" title="shrug" class="inlineimg" />
If we want to get technical from a legal perspective, none will have any heirs until they are deceased.

For Roger Vaderer there can be only one heir...
 

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It's a joke man, because of how Rafa feels about Carlos Bernardes, so him naming his son Carlos Bernardes was meant to be humorous. I'd settle for Rafael Nadal Jr. though!!
 

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Federer's possible successors: After Tsitsipas victory over Fed in AO, the young Greek certainly seems like a potential heir. Playing with a one-hander is just a start. Tsitsipas has a good serve and is no stranger to net-play, so in this regard he also resembles Federer. Certainly, he is unlikely to repeat Fed's success, but that goes for any young player. Obviously, Tsitsipas is not as flashy as Fed, rather he impresses with a mature shot-selection. For anyone that longs for some spectacular shot-making, though, Shapovalov probably is the preferred heir. When the young Canadien is on, he can seem almost unstoppable, but he has yet to gain consistency in his game. Will he improve in this regard and give Fed fans something to cheer for?
Shapovalov has a problem with consistency, which I attribute to the fact that he's still raw. He's mentally strong and has a great attitude. But certainly lots of room for improvement especially in his shot selection and tactical game. Tsitsipas is only a year older, but much more mature. I can't really say what he needs to improve, he seems complete (which of course doesn't mean that he cannot improve). But if Denis gains more consistency and control, I think he will be the greater player of the two.
Djokovic: A fan of Djokovic would probably like to cheer for someone with an excellent return and, apart from that, a game without obvious weaknesses. The best young prospects resembling Djokovic might be Zverev and Coric. While both youngsters have failed to deliver at the slam level, both of them sometimes show Djokovic-like qualities for several matches in a row. Basically, they both have great strength in rallies, good returns and movement (in Zverev's case it's impressive for such a big guy) and they can keep the UE count really low for extended periods of time. Before they make it in a slam, they are not ideal replacements, obviously, but maybe they will improve in this regards. Possibly they are the best candidates so far?
Zverev is the currently the best of the under 22 players, but I think he's too tall and gangly. No great champion has been exceptionally tall. He moves really well now, but I fear he will be dogged by injuries in his career because of his build. Both Coric and Chung have some of Djokos style, but I can't see either player having the talent to dominate.
Nadal: Maybe he is the hardest one to find a replacement for. Obviously, one would like to find someone that could be an unstoppable force on clay. While Thiem is very good on this surface, and also plays with huge topspin, to be fair he is a bit old by now. Possibly the Austrian can get a couple of French opens in his resume, but that's probably the best one can hope for. With Nadal being a lefty, one can see a certain resemblance with Shapovalo's forehand, though. Possibly some Nadal fans will find Shapo the most interesting young player to cheer for, even though the difference in UE count is about as big as it gets.
Thiem is a great clay court player, but again I can't see him dominating like Rafa on clay.
I can't see anyone doing that. Ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
How many times does it need to be said?

Karen Khachanov will be a Owner of Worlds.
When it comes to being promising I think Khachanov is right up there. His game reminds me more of del Potro, though, and that's why I didn't mention him in this context. Since no one is likely to repeat the success of big three I thought more of game-style than strength.
 
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