Young, talented men with plenty of desire, the new generation of players, known as #NextGenATP, is ready to take the reins from the tour’s stars through hard work, dedication and high-calibre tennis, basic pillars for the foundations of a sturdy future among the elite.
Alexander Zverev is the undisputed leader of the #NextGenATP, that is, the under-21 players in the world’s top 200. At 20 years of age, the German already knows what it means to win titles and defeat the best (he saw off Roger Federer, for example, last season in Halle) and he is well on his way to becoming one of the tour’s biggest names.
Zverev, who pushed Rafael Nadal to the limit in the third round of this season’s Australian Open (five sets), has everything it takes to be one of tennis’ biggest stars very soon. The German’s height (1.98m) allows him to play direct, aggressive tennis, a style that is favoured in today’s game. Zverev also boasts the fearlessness of youth, a significant advantage as a player starts his rise through the ranks.
However, the German is not the only promising youngster today’s stars should be keeping an eye on. US players Frances Tiafoe, Noah Rubin, Taylor Fritz, Ernesto Escobedo and Reilly Opelka, Australians Omar Jasika, Alex De Miñaur and Blake Mott and Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev are also members of the #NextGenATP, which will even have its own tournament at the end of the season.
For the first time this year, Milan will host the Next Gen ATP Finals, a five-day tournament that will be played at the Fiera Milano stadium from 7 to 11 November 2017. Throughout the year there will be a race to Milan, where the tour’s young guns will be bidding for their place in the tournament. The top-7 in that table will earn an automatic pass, while the eighth place will be given to a wildcard.
In Madrid, during the year’s fourth Masters 1000, the young stars of the #NextGenATP will be trying to seal a good result to catapult them towards Milan and allow them to progress as players before making the final leap and taking on the big guns who currently dominate the professional tour.