The Next Generation of Tennis Players Who Have A Bright Future
The 2017 season could have provided the best opportunity for the young guns of the sport to win big titles and make their mark. The Big 4 (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray) looked to have lost the stranglehold they had maintained on the tennis world for the past one-and-a-half decade.
Since the start of the 2005 season, they have won all but 6 Grand Slams, have lost just 3 ATP World Tour Finals, and have won the gold medal in all three singles tournaments of the Olympics (2008, 2012, 2016). Long story short, they have basically been the most dominant group in tennis history.
But come 2017, and the scene was looking quite doubtful for the Big 4. The old duo of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were coming from long injury layoffs, and Novak Djokovic was struggling to find his form, which had almost made him invincible as he dominated the sport in 2015-2016 (only till the 2016 French Open though). Only Andy Murray looked fit enough to be a serious contender for the big titles of the 2017 season.
However, as the season progressed, Andy Murray eventually had to pay the price of his incredible run in the second half of the 2016 season, which saw him win 7 titles (including his 2nd Wimbledon title), the Olympic Gold Medal for a second time, and also becoming the first British man to hold the No.1 ranking and ending the year as the World No.1 since the introduction of the computerised rankings.
This should have been the perfect scenario for the next generation to rise to the occasion and win some big titles of their own. However, the unexpected and almost non-sensical resurgence of Federer and Nadal, which saw them win all the 4 Grand Slams of the season and occupy the top two spots on the rankings at the end of the year, not allowing the young guns to win as many titles as the experts would’ve fancied them to win at the starting of the season. Even so, Alexander Zverev, the 20-year old German, told Federer after the final of the Hopman Cup this year to ‘relax, as it makes the young guys look bad’.
Still, we did see last year that the dominance of the Big 4 was slowly starting to end, and the young guns were now and then rising to the occasion. What better time then, to check out the next generation of tennis players that have a huge potential to succeed in the near future.
Here are five players I believe have a bright future ahead of them.
Note: Players, not more than 21 years of age as of April 2018 have been considered.