It won’t be an adventure: towards the end of the “Fab four” era. Sinner and Alcaraz have already picked up the scepter


By John

It was only a matter of time. Also because a lot of time has already passed since the decline of the Fab Four of world tennis in favor of the new guard was announced. But of tennis’ “new guards” and generations of aspiring world number one, the four musketeers of tennis (Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andry Murray) have crumbled at least a couple. Yet in sport, the best metaphor for life, eternity does not exist. You can extend your stay in the elite (in this case tennis) to the limit of the human, but then the “biological” clock is merciless for everyone. The merit of the Swiss, the Spanish, the Serbian and – in part – the British – was to tend towards that famous eternity, moving the hands of the famous clock as far forward as possible. First the flag of the United Kingdom and of Andy Murray was lowered, decimated by injuries and a dancing hip that ousted him from the enlarged podium before his time. Then it was Roger Federer’s turn, who after having revived the glories of his youth, creating a second career, had to surrender to the inevitable onset of physical problems. Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic still remain on the circuit, even if the Spaniard has just returned from months and months of stoppage and his recent return to the field has spoken clearly: the sunset is near. Only Nole remains highly competitive. So competitive that he still holds the ranks of number one in the world. Of course, for him too, age is advancing inexorably (he will turn 37 in May), but never as much as nouvelle vague behind his back. The die has been cast, there isn’t much left, and at least a couple of overtakings are on the horizon.

It won’t be an adventure

Jannik Sinner now doesn’t just keep up with Djokovic, he does more: he beats him. Both over short distances and on the Serbian’s favorite terrain (three sets out of five). Also on the same page is the Spaniard Carlos Alcarez, two years younger than the Italian athlete but so far ahead of everyone else that he took the number 1 seat in world tennis (in 2022) at 19 years and four months , already winning two Slams (Wimbledon and Australian Open). That’s why we are here. That’s why it won’t be an adventure. The era of the Fab Four is about to end after four decades (and more) of total domination. Whether it will be an Italian-Spanish dualism or there could be variations on the theme (it will depend a lot on Medvedev’s moons, for example) only time (always him) will tell. At the moment though tertium non datur.