Welcome to the 'Next Big Thing' club, Karen Khachanov

Karen Khachanov's impressive win against new No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Sunday's Paris Masters final established the 22-year-old Russian as the latest in an impressive list of players hailed as the "Next Big Thing." It's a popular pastime, finding the successors to the Big Four.

Khachanov is a rangy 6-foot-6 power-server whose recent wins (he also swept Moscow) vaulted him to No. 11 in the rankings -- and up the NBT ladder.

"He deserves the label," Craig O'Shannessy, an adviser to Djokovic and analyst for the ATP told ESPN.com. "I see him as a top-five guy. His defense is good; he moves well for his size and he hits a very big ball on the forehand side. That's the difference between him and, say, [Alexander] Zverev. Plus, Karen volleys well, and his attitude is ridiculously good."

If it sounds too good to be true, perhaps it is. After all, we've been here before. The parade of "Next Big Things" sometimes seems endless. Yet only three men outside the Big Four have broken through to win a major since the French Open of 2005.

Because of Khachanov's accomplishment, how about we refresh your memory with a list of those NBT players of the past five years who finally had their breakthrough moment (in chronological order)?

Grigor Dimitrov

Age: 27
Rank: No. 19 (Career-high: No. 3, Nov. 20, 2017)
Next Big Thing moment: In 2014, Dimitrov made the semifinals at Wimbledon and won three titles as he rose from No. 23 to No. 11.

Since the day he came on to tour, Dimitrov was dubbed Baby Fed because of his smooth style, particularly in his one-handed backhand. His breakout in 2014 was followed by a year of turmoil and regression, and it's been that way ever since. Dimitrov did mount another charge in a surprisingly consistent 2017, capped by an impressive win at the ATP World Tour Finals. That result that vaulted him to No. 3 in the rankings. But he's fallen off the pace again.

Nick Kyrgios

Age: 23
Rank: No. 37 (career-high: No. 13, Oct. 24, 2016)
Next Big Thing moment: Kyrgios' upset of Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2014 catapulted the mercurial Aussie to stardom.

It became clear soon after that breakout tournament that, for all his talent, Kyrgios was not destined to take a straight and narrow path to the top. His complicated personality, as well as that unusual, hit-or-miss game, have kept him on a winding trail leading to who knows where. Add the frequent injuries and cavalier attitude and all those rousing paeans to his talent just make you shrug.

Taylor Fritz

Age: 22
Ranked: No. 47 (career-high: No. 19, April 2, 2018)
Next Big Thing moment: An 18-year-old wild card at the ATP 250 event in Memphis in 2016, Fritz upset Steve Johnson and Ricardas Berankis to become the youngest American to reach an ATP final since Michael Chang in 1988.

Is it possible to want something too much? Despite his obvious volume of talent and excellent physique (he's a lean 6-foot-4), Fritz has been hampered by his earnestness and all those comparisons to Pete Sampras. Paul Annacone, a Tennis Channel analyst who's been helping Fritz, told ESPN.com: "Taylor has worked hard at trying to play perfect tennis, which is the wrong mindset. You have to work hard so that no matter what level you bring on a given day you are able to win with it."

Dominic Thiem

Age: 25
Rank: No. 8 (career-high: No. 4, Nov. 6, 2017)
Next Big Thing moment: Early in 2016, Thiem won titles, on a clay and hard court, then punched through to the semifinals at the French Open. He rose from No. 20 to No. 9 at year's end.

Thiem's biggest problem can be summed up in two words: Rafael Nadal. Were it not for the greatest clay-court player of all time, the Austrian baseliner could have as many as three French Open titles and a handful of Masters wins earned on Euroclay. But Thiem has been unable to step up very effectively at the other three majors. Still, he has an infinite capacity for work, a blazing serve and forehand, and he's improved on hard and grass courts.

Alexander Zverev

Age: 21
Rank: No. 5 (career-high: No. 3, Nov. 6, 2017)
Next Big Thing moment: If you were paying attention, Zverev's triumph against No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in the 2016 St. Petersburg final (Zverev's third final of the year, but his first win) was the launching pad for the then 19-year-old sensation.

Zverev already owns three Masters 1000 titles. But there's a reason he hired coach Ivan Lendl. It's that underwhelming record in the majors, the sense Zverev is spinning his wheels. O'Shannessy believes Zverev has a tendency to back off on his forehand "when push comes to shove," and that he also gets down on himself too easily. "You see him lose a lot of deciding sets that aren't very close," O'Shannessy said. "He stops hitting his forehand, he throws his arms up, he looks at his box and just spends too much time beating himself up."

Denis Shapovalov

Age: 19
Rank: No. 27 (career-high: No. 23, June 11, 2018)
Next Big Thing moment: Shapovalov, a Canadian, knocked out Juan Martin del Potro and Nadal in back-to-back matches en route to the semifinals at the Canada Masters in 2017.

This has been a year mainly of treading water -- and learning -- for Shapovalov. He's coming to grips with the pressure and new challenges of his position. "A young guy has to adjust to two things when he breaks through," O'Shannessy said. "Guys start to figure out ways to play him, and he can't go out there feeling like he has nothing to lose anymore."

Hyeon Chung

Age: 22
Rank: No. 25 (career-high: No. 19, April 2, 2018)
Next Big Thing moment: Chung stunned everyone when he broke through to the Australian Open semifinals this year, beating Zverev and Novak Djokovic along the way.

Chung, the surprise champion of the 2017 #ATPNextgen finals, was forced to retire because of blisters in Melbourne. Plagued by injuries, he did well enough just to hold his ground going forward. The problem for Chung is that his only real weapon is his legs, and that might not be enough these days. Chung's serve is still open to attack, and his forehand, while improved, is still not very impressive.

Frances Tiafoe

Age: 20
Rank: No. 40 (Career-high, No. 38, Aug. 13, 2018)
Next Big Thing moment: At Delray Beach in March, Tiafoe took down del Potro, along with Chung and Shapovalov, to win his first ATP Tour title.

Tiafoe backed up his breakthrough with some excellent performances, including a fourth-round performance in Miami, but he was 2-5 against generational rivals through the rest of the year. "We still have to see if the way Frances hits that unconventional forehand, with that big drop of the wrist, will hold up under pressure," O'Shannessy said. "The serve and backhand are great, but his agility could improve."

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Age: 20
Rank: No. 15 (Career-high, current)
Next Big Thing Moment: In Barcelona in April, Tsitsipas upset a number of excellent clay-court players, including No. 3 seed Thiem, before he was stopped in the final by Nadal.

The best men's player ever to come out of Greece, Tsitsipas was ranked No. 63 during Barcelona, but he consolidated his breakthrough impressively. "I think he's as high as he'll get for a little while because it all came so fast," O'Shannessy said. "Guys are scrambling to figure him out and then he may fall off a bit."

Borna Coric

Age: 21
Rank: No. 12 (Career-high, current)
Next Big Thing moment: In June, Coric stunned Roger Federer on the grass in the Halle final. He would tag Federer again in the Shanghai Masters semis last month.

Doesn't it seem like he's been around forever? In 2015, this impetuous, self-confident Croat declared, "When I'm at my best I am more like [Novak] Djokovic game-wise. When I'm not, I'm more like [Andy] Murray." A prodigy, Coric did not break through overnight, due largely to his lack of a major weapon and a forehand that can still be broken down. "He has trouble with that forehand when he has to hit on the run," O'Shannessy said, "But that backhand is solid."