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5 of tennis' brightest young talents to look forward to in 2016

Alexander Zverev ATP Star of Tomorrow
Zverev was declared the ATP’s Star of Tomorrow this year
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 01 Jan 2016
Top 5 / Top 10

With tennis' greatest and most top-10 players getting older, fans will now be looking towards a new generation of players to see what they can do with tennis. And the talent hasn't disappointed either, with several young teenagers excelling on the circuit this year and showing they are ones to look out for in the future.Disclaimer: We consider the hot-headed Nick Kyrgios one to look out for, but the young Australian had his breakout season this year. After having beat Rafael Nadal last year, in 2015 Kyrgios took victories over two top-10 Swiss players, one of them the Greatest of All Time.Beating Roger Federer at this year's Mutua Madrid Open, Kyrgios also beat Stan Wawrinka at the pair's Rogers Cup match.However, in addition to his skill, he has also displayed an inability to rein in his temper, which is something he will want to look to do considering King of Clay Rafael Nadal declined to play a match with him this year.Another talent who has already had her breakout season, but is still a talent to look out for is Swiss Belinda Bencic. She's already being compared to former World No. 1 Martina Hingis, who is considered a tennis prodigy, and she is also being coached by Hingis' mother, Melanie Molitor.Only 18 years old, Bencic has already won two WTA singles and Doubles titles.is already a juniors World No. 1, and currently at 14th spot in the WTA rankings, a rank that is only expected to rise.She's beat players far more experienced than herself - most staggeringly this year, Serena Williams. The American was not the only World No 1 Williams caught this year, as she upset former top players Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic as well.Considering the two have already had their breakout seasons in 2015, they will not be part of this list.

#5 Alexander Zverev

Alexander ‘Sacha’ Zverev is the youngest player in the ATP Top 100, currently ranked 83rd. The German, of Russian descent, is similar to his women’s counterpart Ana Konjuh, with both players ranked 1st in the ITF juniors rankings the same year.

Winning his first ever ATP Challenger event last year, Zverev became one of the youngest ever winners of a Challenger title. He has done well at Grand Slams on the juniors circuit, reaching the finals of the French Open in 2013, managing a semi-final finish at the US Open that same year.

2014 was a good year for the youngster, who ended it with his first ever win at a masters tournament, beating higher-ranked Dutch ace Robin Haase.

This year has been especially good for the hard-working teen, who beat 60th ranked Sam Groth, and won the 2nd ATP title of his career at Heilbronn this year, just prior to which he moved into the top-100.

Courtesy his ranking, Zverev entered the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time this year at Wimbledon, and took 50th ranked Teymuraz Gabashvili, who has over 13 years more experience than himself, in a five-setter.

He managed a quarter-final finish at a Masters tournament this year, eventually going down to the third-seeded Marin Cilic in close sets.

The 18-year-old, who idolises Roger Federer, has been noticed by tennis enthusiasts and spectators, and with defeats over players with more than a decade of experience over himself and is definitely a promising young talent in the tennis world.

The German’s talents were recognised this year by the ATP, who awarded him the ATP Star of Tomorrow Award at the year-ending World Tour Finals.

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Published 31 Dec 2015
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