Next Gen players


Before the start of the 2017 Indian Wells tournament, the ATP held an event featuring a few of the players in contention for the qualification to the inaugural edition of the Next Gen Finals. Fans had the chance to meet and hear from the future stars of the mens game.
Two years later, let’s have a look at their career so far.

Taylor Fritz

Age: 21 (28.10.1997)
Turned pro: 2015
Best ranking: 40
Titles: 0
Best Grand Slam result: 3R Australian Open 2019

Fritz became the youngest American to reach an ATP final since Michael Chang in 1988, when he advanced to the Memphis final in 2016 (l. to Nishikori, coached by Chang). Despite being ranked in the top 50, he doesn’t have any significant results or victories yet.

Read more:
Fourth Memphis title for Kei Nishikori
Sweetheart Sunday at the Memphis Open

Daniil Medvedev

Age: 23 (11.02.1996)
Turned pro: 2014
Best ranking: 15
Titles: 4
Best Grand Slam result: 4R Australian Open 2019

Medvedev had his big break last year with 3 titles in Sydney, Winston-Salem and Tokyo. He’s one of the in-form players of the start of the season: he reached the Brisbane final, captured his fourth career title in Sofia and advanced to the semifinals in Rotterdam. He’s also the only player to have taken a set to Djokovic at he recent Australian Open.
In 2018, Medvedev led the ATP Tour with 38 hard-court victories (38-15). It will be interesting to see how well he’ll do on clay.

Read more:
Sofia 2019: Daniil Medvedev cruises to the title
Brisbane 2019: Nishikori claims the title

Borna Coric

Age: 22 (14.11.1996)
Turned pro: 2013
Best ranking: 12
Titles: 2
Best Grand Slam result: 4R Australian Open 2019

He’s only 22 but it seems he’s already a veteran on the tour: aged 17 he defeated Nadal in Basel in 2014, he made his entry to the top 50 one year later, and won his first ATP title in Marrakesh in 2017.
Feeling his game and ranking weren’t evolving enough, Coric changed his whole team last year. Since then, he defeated Zverev and Federer in Halle for the biggest title of his career so far, and he defeated Del Potro and Federer en route to his first Masters 1000 final in Shanghai, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.
He also played an important part in Croatia’s Davis Cup triumph.

Karen Khachanov

Age: 22 (21.05.1996)
Turned pro: 2013
Best ranking: 11
Titles: 4
Best Grand Slam result: 4R Roland Garros 2018

Khachanov defeated 4 top 10 players to claim his first Masters 1000 trophy in Paris last November: John Isner, Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic. It was his third indoor title in 2018 after also triumphing in Marseille and Moscow. As a result he was an alternate at the ATP Finals.
He struggled so far this year, with first round exits in Doha, Sofia, Rotterdam and Dubai.

Read more:
Open du Nord 2015: Khachanov wins the title

Reilly Opelka

Age: 21 (28.08.1997)
Turned pro: 2015
Best ranking: 56
Titles: 1
Best Grand Slam result: 2R Australian Open 2019

The new John Isner? Opelka, the tallest player on the circuit (2.11m), defeated Isner in the first round of the Australian Open and again a few weeks later in the semifinals of the New York Open, with both players combining to strike 81 aces (43 for Opelka) – an ATP record for a three-set match. He then defeated Canadian qualifier Brayden Schnur to capture maiden ATP title.

Stefan Kozlov

Age: 21 (01.02.1998)
Turned pro: 2013
Best ranking: 115
Titles: 0
Best Grand Slam result: Q3 Australian Open 2018

The only one so far who did not have his big breakthrough.
In 2014, Kozlov reached two junior Grand Slam finals, where he lost to Alexander Zverev at the Australian Open and Noah Rubin at Wimbledon. He won a few Challengers titles here and there but never managed to qualify for a Grand Slam’s main draw. His current ranking is around the 300th place.

Three more players, Alexander Zverev, Hyeon Chung and Frances Tiafoe were part of the Next Gen campaign:

Alexander Zverev

Age: 21 (20.04.1997)
Turned pro: 2013
Best ranking: 3
Titles: 10
Best Grand Slam result: QF Roland Garros 2018

The leader of the Next Gen players.
At 21, Federer had won 4 titles: an ATP 1000, 500 and two 250 events. At 21, Alexander Zverev has won 10 ATP titles, including four Masters 1000 along with two 500, five 250 and the 2018 ATP Tour Finals. But he has again and again underperformed at Grand Slams: 3 third round eliminations at majors last year and a defeat in straight sets to Milos Raonic in the fourth round of the Australian Open this year. He hired Ivan Lendl to help him progress, let’s see how far he can go.

Hyeon Chung

Age: 22 (19.05.1996)
Turned pro: 2014
Best ranking: 19
Titles: 0
Best Grand Slam result: SF Australian Open 2018

Winner of the inaugural NextGen ATP Finals in 2017, Chung reached the Australian Open semifinals a few months later thanks to wins over Zverev and Djokovic. He then reached the quarterfinals at Indian Wells (l. to Federer) and Miami (l. to eventual winner John Isner), and the Munich semifinals (l. to Zverev). He did not compete at Roland Garros or Wimbledon, and reached the second round of the 2018 US Open.
Plagued by injuries, he has an up and down career so far (he has a 1-4 record in 2019), and lacks a big weapon in his game.

Frances Tiafoe

Age: 21 (20.01.1998)
Turned pro: 2015
Best ranking: 29
Titles: 1
Best Grand Slam result: QF Australian Open 2019

The future of US tennis? Tiafoe became the youngest American to win an ATP title since Andy Roddick in 2002, when he claimed the Delray Beach title last year.
He made the quarter-finals at the Australian Open this year after wins over Kevin Anderson and Grigor Dimitrov, before being stopped by Nadal.

Read more:
Estoril 2018: Joao Sousa triumphs
Estoril Open 2018: Sousa and Tiafoe to clash in final

NextGen ATP players

A few more young players to watch:

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Age: 20 (12.08.1998)
Turned pro: 2016
Best ranking: 10
Titles: 2
Best Grand Slam result: SF Australian Open 2019

The talk of the season so far.
Winner of his first ATP trophy in Stockholm last year, Tsitsipas made the headlines with his win over Roger Federer en route to the 2019 Australian Open semifinals. He then captured the title in Marseille and advanced to the Dubai final (l. to Federer).
Currently second at the Race, he is the second Next Gen player (after Zverev) to reach the top 10, and many see him as a future world number one.

Dubai 2019: Federer and Tsitsipas face off in the final
Rogers Cup 2018: Nadal ends Tsitsipas run, wins 80th title
Stefanos Tsitsipas makes Greek tennis history in Barcelona

Andrey Rublev

Age: 21 (20.10.1997)
Turned pro: 2014
Best ranking: 31
Titles: 1
Best Grand Slam result: QF US Open 2017

Part of this new generation of Russian players who intend to follow the footsteps of their glorious countrymen Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin.
In 2017, as a lucky loser, Rublev won maiden title in Umag, on clay. A few weeks later, he upset Grigor Dimitrov and David Goffin to become the youngest US Open quarterfinalist since Andy Roddick in 2001. He reached the Doha final (l. to Monfils) in 2018, but had to deal with a recurring back injury and fell out of the top 100.

Alex De Minaur

Age: 20 (17.02.1999)
Turned pro: 2015
Best ranking: 24
Titles: 1
Best Grand Slam result: 3R Australian Open 2019

The Australian was named the 2018 ATP Newcomer of the Year: he began the season at rank 208, and made his way to the Brisbane semifinals and Sydney final. He also reached the Washington final (l. to Zverev).
This year he captured his maiden ATP trophy in Sydney, defeating Gilles Simon in the semis and Andreas Seppi in the final. Is he the big champion Australia has been waiting since Lleyton Hewitt’s retirement?

Denis Shapovalov

Age: 19 (15.04.1999)
Turned pro: 2017
Best ranking: 23
Titles: 0
Best Grand Slam result: 4R US Open 2017

A player there’s been much talk about is Denis Shapovalov. He first made a name for himself when he defeated Del Potro and Nadal to reach the Rogers Cup semifinals in 2017. He reached the last 4 in Madrid last year.

Felix Auger-Aliassime

Age: 18 (08.08.2000)
Turned pro: 2017
Best ranking: 58
Titles: 0
Best Grand Slam result: Q2 Australian Open 2019

Another young Canadian is making wave these days: Felix Auger-Aliassime. He recently reached the Rio final after wins over Fognini, Garin, Munar and Cuevas and the Sao Paulo quarterfinals. rom number 185 to a career-high number 58 in the span of 10 months, Felix is one player to watch this year.

Who do you think will have the biggest career? Who will win a Grand Slam first?

Photo credit: Tony for Tennis Buzz

Indian Wells 2017

Thanks a lot to Tony for sharing his story and pictures!

Participated in the WTA Draw Ceremony with 2009 BNP Paribas Open Champion Jelena Jankovic and 17-year-old rising star CiCi Bellis.

Tony with CiCi Bellis and Jelena Jankovic

The NextGenATP players are here to help with the draw and so am I at the BNP Paribas Open.

NextGen ATP players

Taylor Fritz, Daniil Medvedev, Borna Coric, Karen Khachanov, Reilly Opelka, Stefan Kozlov:

NextGen ATP players

Picking Federer in the Men’s Main Draw, so you can thank me if that 4th Round Roger/Rafa match happens!

Tony with Ryan Harrison

Check out the men’s singles draw and the women’s singles draw.

More:
Indian Wells 2017: Roger Federer at practice
Indian Wells 2016: Rafael Nadal at practice
Meeting Pete Sampras is a dream come true

Julien Cagnina, Open du Nord 2016

The Open du Nord is a Futures level tournament held each year in Lille, Northern France since 1991. Past champions include Ronald Agenor, Greg Rusedski and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Playing this year: veteran journeymen, young hopes like Corentin Moutet and Corentin Denolly, but also a former top 50 player, Andreas Beck. Ranked 33 in 2009 and finalist in Gstaad, he is now ranked 321 and is looking forward to improve his ranking, following a back injury.
Singles champion in 2014 and defending champion in doubles, Yannick Mertens is the first seed this year. Karen Khachanov – then ranked 363 – captured the title last year. He since moved up to rank 154.

L’Open du Nord est un tournoi Futures qui a lieu à Lille chaque année depuis 1991. Ronald Agenor, Greg Rusedski et Jo-Wilfried Tsonga figurent parmi les anciens vainqueurs. On retrouve cette année dans le tableau à la fois des vétérans des tournois Challengers et Futures, des jeunes espoirs comme Corentin Moutet et Corentin Denolly, mais aussi un ancien top 50, Andreas Beck. 33ème mondial en 2009 et finaliste à Gstaad, il est aujourd’hui 321ème et cherche à retrouver son meilleur niveau suite à une blessure au dos.
Vainqueur en simple en 2014 et tenant du titre en double, le Belge Yannick Mertens est la tête de série numéro un cette année. L’an dernier c’est le Russe Khachanov, alors classé 363ème mondial qui l’avait emporté. Il a depuis gagné 200 places au classement.

Antal Van Der Duim defeats Andreas Beck

A surprising win by Van Der Duim over the tournament’s favorite, Andreas Beck. Van Der Duim breaks early and wins the first set 6-4. Beck reacts and breaks early in the second set. Van Der Duim dominates the game from the baseline and breaks back, but a bad tiebreak costs him the set. The level of play rises in the decider, and the Dutch wins 6-4 6-7(2) 6-3. A good match and a deserved victory for the Dutch who also qualifed for the doubles final (pairing with countryman David Pel, he lost to the Russian pair of Denis Matsukevitch and Daniil Medvedev).

Victoire surprise de Van Der Duim sur le favori du tournoi, Andreas Beck. Un break en début de set suffit à Van Der Duim pour empocher le 1er set 6-4. Beck réagit en breakant en début de 2ème set. Van Der Duim domine du fond de court et débreak, mais un mauvais tiebreak lui coûte le set. Le niveau de jeu s’élève lors de la dernière manche, et le Néerlandais l’emporte 6-4 6-7(2) 6-3. Un très bon match et une victoire méritée pour Antal Van Der Duim, aussi qualifié pour la finale du double (associé à son compatriote David Pel il perdra face aux Russes Denis Matsukevitch and Daniil Medvedev).


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Karen Khachanov

Perhaps tired by his marathon match against Quentin Halys the day before, Rudy Coco could not do much to counter Karen Khachanov, who wins in straight sets, 6-1 6-4.

Aged 18, Khachanov trains at the 4Slam tennis academy in Barcelona, with former number 40, Galo Blanco.
He won 2 Futures tournaments last year, in Taipei and Mulhouse, and has 3 victories over top 100 players: Victor Hanescu (then ranked 63 in St Petersburg, 2013), Albert Ramos (72, Moscow 2013) and Janko Tipsarevic (27, Moscow 2013). He also represented his country in Davis Cup, and became Russia’s youngest ever Davis Cup player during Russia’s tie against South Africa in 2013.

After having seen him playing in Moscow in 2013, Yevgeny Kafelnikov predicted his young compatriot would be top 20 at the end of 2015.

Actually ranked 363, he should join the top 200 pretty soon. A player to follow in the years to come.

As for his opponent of the day, Rudy Coco, he’s quite a spectacular player by his playing style first but also by his attitude on court: he talks, and grunts, and talks and shouts, and talks. A charismatic player, he was really nice with the kids after the match.

Peut être fatigué par sa demie finale marathon de la veille, Rudy Coco n’a rien pu faire pour contrer la puissance de Karen Khachanov, qui s’impose en deux sets 6-1 6-4.

Agé de 18 ans, Khachanov s’entraîne à l’académie 4Slam à Barcelone, avec son coach l’ancien top 40, Galo Blanco. Il a remporté 2 Futures l’an dernier (Taipei et Mulhouse), et a déjà 3 victoires contre des joueurs du top 100: Victor Hanescu (alors classé 63è, à St Petersbourg en 2013), Albert Ramos (72, Moscou 2013) et Janko Tipsarevic (27, Moscou 2013). Il a aussi représenté son pays en Coupe davis et est d’ailleurs devenu le plus jeune joueur russe de Coupe Davis de l’histoire lors de la rencontre Russie-Afrique du Sud en 2013.

Après l’avoir vu jouer à Moscou en 2013, Yevgeny Kafelnikov a prédit que son jeune compatriote serait dans le top 20 fin 2015.

Classé 363è mondial, il devrait rapidement faire son entrée dans le top 200. Un joueur à suivre dans les années à venir.

En ce qui concerne son adversaire du jour, Rudy Coco, c’est un joueur spectaculaire tant par son style de jeu que par son attitude sur le court: il parle, il grogne, parle, crie, parle. Un joueur charismatique, très sympa avec ses jeunes fans après la finale.


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Karen Khachanov

Pro tennis was back in Lille last week, three months after the historic Davis Cup final. The Open du Nord, a $15,000 Futures tournament, is of course much less prestigious than the Davis Cup, but it is always fun to get to watch some live tennis. Lower tournaments are also a good opportunity to discover young players in the making like Karen Khachanov and Quentin Halys, or some charismatic veteran players like Rudy Coco.

This tournament was full of surprises: the number 1 seed, Boy Westerhof (No. 1) was upset in the first round by qualifier Corentin Denolly; in the quarterfinals the defending champion Yannick Mertens (No. 263) and Jonathan Eysseric (No. 278) were beaten by Constant Lestienne (No. 459) and Quentin Halys (No. 619).

Khachanov, Lestienne, or Halys Coco, who will join Ronald Agenor, Greg Rusedski and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as winner of the Open du Nord?

Le tennis pro était de retour à Lille la semaine dernière, trois mois après la finale de Coupe Davis. Bien sûr, l’Open du Nord, un tournoi Futures 15 000$, est bien moins prestigieux que la Coupe Davis, mais c’est toujours agréable de regarder du tennis live, quelque soit le niveau, non? De plus les tournois Challengers et Futures permettent de découvrir de jeunes espoirs, comme Karen Khachanov et Quentin Halys, ou des vétérans charismatiques comme Rudy Coco.

Les surprises se sont enchaînées durant le tournoi: Boy Westerhof, tête de série numéro 1 et 252ème mondial a été battu par le qualifié Corentin Denolly, 17 ans et 1036ème mondial dès le 1er tour; en quarts de finale, le tenant du titre, Yannick Mertens (No. 263) et Jonathan Eysseric (No. 278) ont été battus respectivement par Constant Lestienne (No. 459) et Quentin Halys (No. 619).

Khachanov, Lestienne, Halys ou Coco, qui va rejoindre Ronald Agenor, Greg Rusedski et Jo-Wilfried Tsonga au palmarès de l’Open du Nord?

Karen Khachanov (No. 363) vs Constant Lestienne (No. 459)

The 18 yr old Russian takes the control of the match from the first point on, and wins easily 6-4 6-0. Khachanov, whose biggest weapons are his powerful forehand and serve, has already 3 victories over top 100 players (Hanescu, Ramos and Tipsarevic). I guess we’ll hear more from him in the years to come.

Le jeune Russe prend le contrôle du match dès le premier point, et l’emporte facilement 6-4 6-0. Khachanov, dont les points forts sont le coup droit et le service, a déjà 3 top 100 à son tableau de chasse (Hanescu, Ramos et Tipsarevic). Un joueur à suivre, qui pourrait faire parler de lui sur le circuit ATP dans les années à venir.


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