What we learned from the Madrid Masters 2017
Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and more feature in our must-have-watched list - talk about the immense talent on display!
Alexander Zverev is a future No. 1
Although we have seen the old guard rule the roost – with Roger Federer dominating the hard-court season and Rafael Nadal following up in the clay court swing (Nadal is lossless on clay so far this year), we’ve also seen that tennis is by no means only focused on the two former No. 1s. With World No. 1 and 2 Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic struggling across the board, the younger generation of men’s players has more than stepped up to the plate.
Key among them is NextGen star Alexander Zverev, who has widely been pipped by multiple top players as being a future No. 1. The youngest top20 ATP player, Zverev last year beat Stan Wawrinka to win his first ever ATP title at St. Petersburg – and heading into the Madrid Masters this year, won his first ever home title – and his first one on clay, at the Bavaria International.
Zverev has followed that up with another strong showing at Madrid, beating two experienced campaigners, in the form of Grand Slam winner Marin Cilic (currently world No. 7) and former top 10 player Tomas Berdych. The young German managed a quarter-final finish in Madrid, scalping a set off clay-court veteran Pablo Cuevas before his eventual exit.
Seeded 16th at the Italian Open, Zverev is up against South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in Round 1 – not a difficult foe for him, and will have yet another chance to prove his clay-court prowess.
Having done well on all surfaces and adding some strong clay court wins to his kitty, Zverev really has proved he can be a future No. 1.
Another name key here is Borna Coric. Once touted as tennis’ next big thing, Coric had a few injury struggles that stunted his progress. But he too has shown strong wins on clay – and this year, at the Madrid Masters Coric, who lost in qualifiers to Mikhail Kukushkin, came back into the tournament as a lucky loser – only to oust World No. 1 Andy Murray from the tournament – in straight sets, 6-3 6-4, on the heels of beating a number of senior players.
Men’s tennis has immense promising talent, and these players have shown it.