Djokovic, Nadal and Federer successors determined after 12-year first

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer could have found their successors after three young stars replicated one of their achievements 12 years later. For the first time since 2011, three players have been able to reach the semi-final in both Indian Wells and Miami in the same season. And Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner and Daniil Medvedev could follow in the Big Three’s footsteps after a strong sunshine swing.

Alcaraz has long been touted as the successor to Djokovic, Nadal and Federer’s legacy. And the world No 1 may have found two other players to establish a new Big Three with after three men reached the semi-final of Indian Wells and Miami for the first time since 2011.

As well as the Spaniard, Medvedev and Sinner have produced back-to-back semi-final appearances in Indian Wells and Miami this year. Alcaraz defeated both men back-to-back to lift the title in Indian Wells earlier this month and is now looking to complete the sunshine double by clinching the trophy in Miami.

He will first have to get past Sinner, who will be looking for revenge after losing their match at the same stage of Indian Wells just two weeks ago. The pair have already established an exciting rivalry in their young careers that has been compared to Federer and Nadal.

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Former world No 3 Juan Martin del Potro branded the pair the “Federer-Nadal of the next few years” after watching their five-hour-and-15-minute epic at the US Open, won by eventual-champion Alcaraz. And the 19-year-old himself often talks up his rivalry with Sinner, with the pair meeting five times in the past.

Alcaraz leads their head-to-head by three wins to two losses after winning the decisive match in Indian Wells earlier this month, but Sinner could draw level on Friday. The world No 1 made an unusual gesture before their clash in California as he tweeted out to share his excitement at playing Sinner.

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“Can’t wait to play Jannik tomorrow! No matter who won, I think our previous matches have been great fun for the fans, and also for us!” he wrote. And Medvedev could be just the man to turn their rivalry into a group of three just as Djokovic did with Federer and Nadal.

The 27-year-old is already vying to face Alcaraz again after losing the Indian Wells final 6-3 6-2 in what was their second career meeting and their first since Wimbledon 2021, when the Spaniard was ranked outside of the world’s top 70. “I would definitely love to play him on other surface, like maybe a little bit faster hard courts to see if I could do better,” he said afterwards, and he could get the chance on Sunday if both men win their semi-finals.

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