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US Open 2018: 4 youngsters ready to leave their mark on the tournament 

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592   //    21 Aug 2018, 13:34 IST

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Tsitsipas playing a dropshot

The last Grand Slam tournament of the year always proves an exciting time for tennis fans, as the whole circus moves to Queens, New York. Nearly eight months into the season and the players are now feeling the effects of the punishing and rigorous tennis calendar.

The US Open, nevertheless, has been a competition with a magnificent history and a genuinely vibrant energy and has been the scene of many iconic moments in tennis history. The hard courts of Flushing Meadows remains the place where Rafael Nadal completed the elusive career Grand Slam in 2010 and where Pete Sampras burst onto the scene as a supremely talented 19-year old back in 1990. British hopes and dreams were also realized in New York when Andy Murray became the first Brit to win a Grand Slam in 76 years, as he defeated the reigning champion Novak Djokovic in five sets.

Men's tennis' has been dominated by a select group for more than a decade now. There are, however, a group of rising stars who are poised and ready for their moment in the limelight. Alexander Zverev's second victory in Washington and Stefanos Tsitsipas' run to the Roger's Cup final, both show that the next generation are drawing the current crop of players. Could this year's US Open be the tournament where the young guns make an indelible mark on tennis history?

Stefanos Tsitsipas

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Stefanos Tsitsipas with Rafael Nadal before the final of the Rogers Cup

The 20- year-old Greek star first came to the attention of the masses when he made the final of the Barcelona Open, where he eventually lost to Rafael Nadal 6-1 6-2. On his way to the final, he defeated several top players including Dominic Thiem, Pablo Carreno Busta, and Diego Schwartzman, all of whom are very capable on the red dirt. 

Tsitsipas made a similarly impressive impact at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, where he conquered the challenges of Alexander Zverev, Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic before succumbing to Rafa once more. All of the names mentioned are in the top 10 and four of those mentioned have made the final of a Grand Slam. Reaching two finals on two different surfaces also indicates that he can adapt to the changes in the court speeds and way the ball bounces.

The 20-year old's main weapon is the forehand, which is both powerful and versatile, leaving opponents far behind the baseline or beyond the doubles lines. The youngster is very comfortable coming to the net and looks to seize on any opportunity to put the ball away from inside the court; an increasing rarity in the modern game where most only play from the baseline.

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