Felix Leads Strong #NextGenATP Start To 2020
ATPTour.com reviews the key #NextGenATP storylines of 2020
The 2020 ATP Tour season has already witnessed a number of standout performances from #NextGenATP stars. From Felix Auger-Aliassime to Jurij Rodionov, ATPTour.com takes a look at the 21-and-under players who have hit the headlines already this year:
Felix On Fire
With a 13-9 record so far in 2020, Felix Auger-Aliassime is setting an example for fellow #NextGenATP players. The 19-year-old Canadian has produced a number of impressive performances after a breakthrough 2019 campaign.
After reaching his first semi-final of the season in Adelaide, Auger-Aliassime found his best form on the indoor hard courts in Europe. The Montreal-born star advanced to his second ATP 500 final at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam with wins against Jan-Lennard Struff, Grigor Dimitrov, Aljaz Bedene and Pablo Carreno Busta.
Despite falling short of a first ATP Tour title against Gael Monfils, Auger-Aliassime saved match points in back-to-back matches in Marseille en route to his second final in as many weeks.
Thiago Seyboth Wild entered the final week of the Golden Swing with just two tour-level victories to his name, but a lot can change in a week on the ATP Tour. The 19-year-old Brazilian defeated three Argentinian opponents, including Juan Ignacio Londero, en route to his maiden tour-level final at the Chile Dove Men+Care Open in Santiago.
In the championship match, the Brazilian stunned Buenos Aires titlist and 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Casper Ruud to become the youngest player from his nation to claim an ATP Tour crown. Seyboth Wild is the only #NextGenATP player to have captured an ATP Tour title this year.
Miomir Makes Solid Start
Last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals semi-finalist Miomir Kecmanovic has enjoyed a consistent start to his 2020 campaign. The Serbian, who fell to eventual champion Jannik Sinner in Milan last year, has reached two semi-finals on the ATP Tour already this season.
Kecmanovic won his opening six sets of 2020, earning victories against Jordan Thompson, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marton Fucsovics to advance to the Qatar ExxonMobil Open semi-finals. The Belgrade native matched that run in February, beating ASB Classic winner and 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Ugo Humbert to reach the last four at the New York Open.
Shapovalov Strikes Early
Denis Shapovalov opened the year in great form, securing two Top 10 wins at the inaugural ATP Cup. The Canadian scored straight-sets wins against World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas and World No. 7 Alexander Zverev en route to the quarter-finals, where he pushed Novak Djokovic to a final-set tie-break. As a result of his performances in Brisbane and Sydney, Shapovalov rose to a career-high No. 13 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on 13 January.
Rodionov Rises To The Challenge
Jurij Rodionov’s form on the ATP Challenger Tour has earned the Austrian a career-high FedEx ATP Ranking. The 6’3” left-hander, under the guidance of new touring coach Javier Frana, claimed 15 wins from 17 matches during a four-week period to earn titles in Dallas and Morelos. From 3 February to 2 March, the Austrian rose from No. 362 to No. 168 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.
With Fresh Perspective, Rodionov Races Into Milan Contention
Finalists Finding Form
Last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner, who reached a career-high No. 68 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on 17 February, claimed his first Top 10 victory against David Goffin at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Two-time runner-up De Minaur began the year with Top 15 wins against Zverev and Shapovalov at the ATP Cup, but was forced to miss the following six weeks of the ATP Tour due to an abdominal injury.
Brandon Nakashima has caught the attention of many American tennis fans this year. The 18-year-old, who picked up an ITF title in Rancho Santa Fe in January, beat Pune champion Jiri Vesely and Cameron Norrie to reach his maiden ATP Tour quarter-final at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com in February. Nakashima maintained his form in his next event, dropping only one set to reach the semi-finals at the Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells.