Well, the season has been winding down of late, and with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic laying dormant with injuries/rest, it's time to take a close look at the up-and-comers, the Young Guns, the Future of Men's Tennis.
Bernard Tomic: More Pop Than Lleyton Hewitt
It's easy to forget this Aussie kid is only 18 years old. We've been hearing his name since he was 14, so it's easy to mistake his age. He's coming of his best year ever in 2011, and still making noise. In the Wimbledon Quarters, he gave Novak Djokovic a run for his money. Watch this video and you'll know immediately what I mean:
This young man can hit. Currently, he's number 49 in the world, but his ranking is going to climb even higher because he just took out a very good Mardy Fish in Shanghai. Things are looking up for Bernie, and if his ranking keeps climbing, soon enough he'll be in the top 25.
Milos Raonic: The Next Pete Sampras
Another young gun, only 20 years old, but this one hails from North America, no not the U.S.A., Canada! Raonic won his first career title this year in San Jose, CA at the SAP open, beating Fernando Verdasco for the title. Interestingly, the last person to win their first tournament at San Jose was Andy Murray. Roanic is certainly hoping to have that kind of game moving on. He burst onto the scene at the 2011 Australian Open, beating the likes of Michael Llodra, Mikhail Youzhny, and ultimately losing in the 4th round in a close match with David Ferrer. Raonic holds the game's second fastest recorded serve, EVER. He's currently at #31 in the world, and after recovering from a hip injury sustained on the grass of Wimbledon, has continued to mow through opponents. I don't foresee a sophomore slump with Milos, and i think midway through 2012, he could be top 20 material. Watch out Olympics, Canada is coming! Here are some highlights:
A nice ending to 2011 for Raonic would include a championship win in Shanghai, but the competition is tough.
Grigor Dimitrov: Baby Federer 2.0
Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov, AKA Baby Federer, has been compared to the likes of Roger Federer because of his playing style and looks. Dimitrov is also a relatively young guy, but like Tomic, has been talked about for a while. Dimitrov is only 20 years old, but he is starting to win more and more, but hasn't fully broken through yet. Look for Dimitrov to trudge along in 2012, and maybe crack the top 50. He's currently #71 in the world and has been around there all year. His highest ranking was 51 in the world in August of this year. He's got the game and the potential, but needs to believe in himself more. Here are some of his displays of mastery (Disregard the John Cena Music):
Dimitrov can be a top guy, but he has to stop losing early, easier said than done.
Donald (not-so) Young: Revival
He started out as the youngest tennis player to be world #1 junior at 16. Then, he never lived up to his potential, mostly because he refused to leave his parents' side and find a new coach. The 22 year old American's resurgence into the minds of tennis fans is a great thing, even if it started with the tweet dispute between him and the USTA. All that is behind him now, and the USTA has agreed to take him back. Young had an astounding run at the U.S. Open, beating #14 Stanislas Wawrinka and reaching his first ever 4th round, losing to Andy Murray. The often hot-tempered Young has turned his career around and recently reached his first ever final, losing again to Andy Murray. Young is now #44 in the world and will be looking to move even higher before the end of 2011. He'll start to be a force to be reckoned with in 2012 and I see him winning a couple titles next year. Here's an idea of what his playing ability is, he's playing Nikolai Davydenko. Young is on the bottom of the screen, and somehow comes up with an amazing volley. Check it out for yourself:
Obviously he has talent. If he sticks to his guns, keeps cool on court, and plays smart, he'll be top 25 in no time. This kid (man) is good.
Out of the 4 mentioned players above, I believe that either Milos Raonic, or Bernard Tomic will last longer in the upper-echelon on the tennis world, although all of these players can reach and stay up there.
Who is your pick to reign supreme the longest?
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