Andy Murray has now withdrawn from Brisbane and looks unlikely for the Oz open! Both Nadal and Djokovic are out at the moment with long term injuries and only Roger remains standing of the famous 4! But, even Roger is only human and not likely to last much longer or will he.... I certainly hope so!
We have been so lucky to have witnessed these 4 great players battling it out for well over 10 years producing some of the best tennis ever seen. They have all inspired each other to even greater heights and just when you thought that one player was dominant then one of the others in the "gang" would muscle in and steal the number one spot from their grasp.
I sincerely hope that the 4 of them can continue to dominate tennis for a few more years but it's looking unlikely and without their rivalry tennis will be the poorer for it.
So who will fill the void? It's not just about actual playing quality but we need players with mental steel and phenomenal competitiveness! Based on those qualities I'm not sure that I could count on any of the current crop of pretenders to rise to the throne.
Zverev, Dimitrov, Goffin or Thiem are perhaps the best of the rest but are any of them capable of inspiring a world audience to attend tournaments or pay for an online subscription to watch them? All great players but trying to follow what we've experienced in recent tennis history, this may be just too much to ask.
Apart from the obvious players above I could see the Canadian Shapovalov (18 years old) breaking through or Chung (21 years old) the young south Korean and possibly Tiafoe the 19 year old American who has an explosive game. The 3 of these players have a bit of personality as well as lots of ability which is what the game needs. Kyrgios is obviously a great player and loves the big stage but unless he gets a brain transplant his moments of magic may be all too fleeting?
And then we have 3 young Scottish players called Aidan McHugh, Hamish Stewart and Ewen Lumsden to look out for in the near future. If Andy Murray has inspired them enough and they work extremely hard then who knows.............. The dream has to be there and then all the hard work and perseverance!