BOARD TALK
The fastest growing tennis discussion forum on the planet.


Post Reply 
Young Guns Watch: 2017
Author Message
El Dude Online
Moderator
*****

Posts: 4,307
Likes Given: 703
Likes Received: 2,638 in 1,443 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
Young Guns Watch: 2017
I thought I'd start a fresh new thread for general talk about the Young Guns, aka GenNext, on tour.

First up is Alex De Minaur, who just defeated Frances Tiafoe in the QF of Brisbane qualifiers..not bad for a 17-year old. De Minaur is noted for losing in the 2016 Junior Wimbledon final to Denis Shapovalov; together they are the most accomplished players born in 1999, so far.

De Minaur turns 18 in February so is a couple months older than Shapovalov. He is of Spanish and Uruguayan ethnicity and lives in Spain, but calls Australia his country...not sure why. But it would be nice if he switched to Spain, as he seems to have good potential and they'll need a flagship player to replace Rafa.

Oh yeah, he did reach a Challenger final in November, losing to Steve Darcis but not before beating some ATP veterans: Kenny De Schepper and Jurgen Melzer.
01-Jan-2017 03:54 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
shivashish Offline
Masters Titleist
*****

Posts: 501
Likes Given: 92
Likes Received: 111 in 81 posts
Joined: Feb 2016
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
Kyrgios played sorted out tennis today against Feli, but he is not the most intimidating opponent too.

01-Jan-2017 07:33 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
herios Offline
Multiple Slam Winner
********

Posts: 5,567
Likes Given: 333
Likes Received: 1,777 in 1,301 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
(01-Jan-2017 03:54 AM)El Dude Wrote:  De Minaur turns 18 in February so is a couple months older than Shapovalov. He is of Spanish and Uruguayan ethnicity and lives in Spain, but calls Australia his country...not sure why. But it would be nice if he switched to Spain, as he seems to have good potential and they'll need a flagship player to replace Rafa.

De Minaur is born in Sidney. So he should be an Australian citizen
01-Jan-2017 06:30 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
El Dude Online
Moderator
*****

Posts: 4,307
Likes Given: 703
Likes Received: 2,638 in 1,443 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
OK, we're a month into the year so let's take a look at where the young players are relative to their 2016 year-end rankings (which are technically formulated right after the WTF is over, so late November).

I'm going to use the live rankings as of 2/2 and compare them. Players age 21 and under, in order of current (live) ranking.

Top 100 (21 and under)
15. Nick Kyrgios (-2)
21. Alexander Zverev (+4)
51. Karen Khachanov (+2)
57. Borna Coric (-9)
62. Daniil Medvedev (+37)
70. Hyeon Chung (+34)
82. Yoshihito Nishioka (+18)
93. Frances Tiafoe (+15)
94. Taylor Fritz (-18)
95. Jared Donaldson (+10)

Obviously we're not that far into the year, but already we're seeing some nice progression. First of all, almost all of the young players in the top 100 have moved up - the notable exceptions being Borna Coric, who continues to stagnate, and Taylor Fritz, who has been pretty stagnant for almost a year now, seemingly intent on following the Coric Career Path. Medvedev and Chung have been especially successful so far; I had a feeling last year that Medvedev would be on the Thiem-Pouille-potentially Khachanov path, and it looks like he's catching up with Karen.

#101-200 (20 and under)
118. Andrey Rublev (+38)
120. Ernesto Escobedo (+19)
121. Stefan Kozlov (-5)
136. Duckhee Lee (+7)
152. Elias Ymer (+8)
165. Quentin Halys (-12)
167. Alexander Bublik (+38)
182. Reilly Opelka (+22)
187. Christian Garin (+25)
191. Akira Santillan (+25)
193. Michael Mmoh (+5)
196. Noah Rubin (+5)

I've liked and praised Rublev for some time - not sure why, I just have a feeling about him. But he had a disappointing year in 2016; hopefully this is a sign that he's finally taking a big step forward. Escobedo seems like a solid prospect and has been moving very quickly. Bublik and Opelka continue to rise, and here's a new name: Akira Santillan. Christian Garin was well regarded a couple years ago - maybe he's finally figuring things out. Lee continues to slowly but surely rise; I believe he's the youngest player in the top 200.

#201-500 (19 and under)
203. Stefanos Tsitsipas (+6)
216. Casper Ruud (+15)
226. Marc Polmans (no change)
248. Alex De Minaur (+106)
251. Denis Shapovalov (-1)
273. Jaume Munar (+20)
284. Lloyd Harris (-15)
296. Pedro Martinez Portero (+13)
333. Daniel Altmaier (+115)
357. Max Purcell (-23)
496. Mikael Ymer (-4)
500. Corentin Moutet (+19)

De Minaur is the big story, seemingly coming out of nowhere earlier this year. He bears watching. I also have high hopes for Ruud and the younger Ymer brother. Tsitsipas and Shapovalov are also promising.
02-Feb-2017 08:48 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes El Dude's post:
AnonymousFan (02-03-2017)
mrzz Offline
Major Winner
******

Posts: 1,117
Likes Given: 93
Likes Received: 690 in 387 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
Tsitsipas (my favorite name in ages) just lost to Medvedev in the third set tie break, very close score line. Medvedev is quite well ranked as the list above shows, so no problem there. We talked about this guy last year and I guess he ends 2017 inside the top 100.

Anyway, if the ATP was a Western Movie, the Young Guns would have been buried a handful of times already... then it would need to be a Zumbie/Western thing.
02-Feb-2017 08:57 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like mrzz's post:
AnonymousFan (02-03-2017), bajana (02-09-2017)
El Dude Online
Moderator
*****

Posts: 4,307
Likes Given: 703
Likes Received: 2,638 in 1,443 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
And don't forget we now have a Race to Milan...the ATP NextGen Finals. It is really too early to take those rankings seriously, but here they are:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/rankings/race-to-milan
02-Feb-2017 10:51 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
herios Offline
Multiple Slam Winner
********

Posts: 5,567
Likes Given: 333
Likes Received: 1,777 in 1,301 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
(02-Feb-2017 08:48 PM)El Dude Wrote:  OK, we're a month into the year so let's take a look at where the young players are relative to their 2016 year-end rankings (which are technically formulated right after the WTF is over, so late November).

I'm going to use the live rankings as of 2/2 and compare them. Players age 21 and under, in order of current (live) ranking.

Top 100 (21 and under)
15. Nick Kyrgios (-2)
21. Alexander Zverev (+4)
51. Karen Khachanov (+2)
57. Borna Coric (-9)
62. Daniil Medvedev (+37)
70. Hyeon Chung (+34)
82. Yoshihito Nishioka (+18)
93. Frances Tiafoe (+15)
94. Taylor Fritz (-18)
95. Jared Donaldson (+10)

Obviously we're not that far into the year, but already we're seeing some nice progression. First of all, almost all of the young players in the top 100 have moved up - the notable exceptions being Borna Coric, who continues to stagnate, and Taylor Fritz, who has been pretty stagnant for almost a year now, seemingly intent on following the Coric Career Path. Medvedev and Chung have been especially successful so far; I had a feeling last year that Medvedev would be on the Thiem-Pouille-potentially Khachanov path, and it looks like he's catching up with Karen.

No mentioning how disappointing was Nick's AO campaign? The leader of the group was the biggest flop of all.
04-Feb-2017 12:59 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
El Dude Online
Moderator
*****

Posts: 4,307
Likes Given: 703
Likes Received: 2,638 in 1,443 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
Yeah, it was disappointing but I was just analyzing the rankings and he only dropped a couple spots. Plus, he lost to Andreas Seppi: The Great Australian Open Spoiler Wink.

Kyrgios remains a wildcard and difficult to project. We can imagine two very different futures, neither one of which would surprise me: One, he struggles to break into the top 10, doesn't every win anything big and is a constantly frustrated player and train-wreck on the tour, ending up with a disappointing career like Mark Philippoussis. Two, at some point something clicks and he becomes one of the most dominant and feared players on tour, winning multiple Slams, although still probably never being consistent enough to be a true all-time great.
04-Feb-2017 02:32 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
herios Offline
Multiple Slam Winner
********

Posts: 5,567
Likes Given: 333
Likes Received: 1,777 in 1,301 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
(04-Feb-2017 02:32 PM)El Dude Wrote:  Yeah, it was disappointing but I was just analyzing the rankings and he only dropped a couple spots. Plus, he lost to Andreas Seppi: The Great Australian Open Spoiler Wink.

Kyrgios remains a wildcard and difficult to project. We can imagine two very different futures, neither one of which would surprise me: One, he struggles to break into the top 10, doesn't every win anything big and is a constantly frustrated player and train-wreck on the tour, ending up with a disappointing career like Mark Philippoussis. Two, at some point something clicks and he becomes one of the most dominant and feared players on tour, winning multiple Slams, although still probably never being consistent enough to be a true all-time great.

Kyrgios could not drop a lot, because we had just a few events and at the top of the rankings players do not drop a lot, unless they lose a big chunk of points.
By exiting in R2 at the AO, Nick lost only 45 points.
As far as his future, it is very uncertain. I can vision a scenario, when he will be like a sniper (Cilic) model winning here there a big event, but nothing continuous. That is because I do not think his mental issues will be solved miraculously, by winning a big title.
04-Feb-2017 05:09 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes herios's post:
GameSetAndMath (02-05-2017)
El Dude Online
Moderator
*****

Posts: 4,307
Likes Given: 703
Likes Received: 2,638 in 1,443 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
Agreed, herios. That seems to be the most likely scenario to me, too.
04-Feb-2017 05:19 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Front242 Offline
Dyslexia For Cure Found
*********

Posts: 16,481
Likes Given: 3,061
Likes Received: 3,724 in 2,687 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
Not sure if you saw any of this match, El Dude but Daniil Medvedev certainly looks promising. Shame he got severe cramp and had to retire. Played unreal in set 1 though.



04-Feb-2017 05:29 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
El Dude Online
Moderator
*****

Posts: 4,307
Likes Given: 703
Likes Received: 2,638 in 1,443 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
I didn't see it, but he's been on my radar. The Big Four must be (or should be) a bit more leery with a more talented group coming up than we've seen in years...since, well, Rafa, then Novak and Andy and del Potro came up in the id-00s. It is exciting, because right now there are a dozen or more young guys in the age 18-21 category who could be future stars, and we get to see as they differentiate themselves.
04-Feb-2017 05:52 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
herios Offline
Multiple Slam Winner
********

Posts: 5,567
Likes Given: 333
Likes Received: 1,777 in 1,301 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
(04-Feb-2017 05:52 PM)El Dude Wrote:  I didn't see it, but he's been on my radar. The Big Four must be (or should be) a bit more leery with a more talented group coming up than we've seen in years...since, well, Rafa, then Novak and Andy and del Potro came up in the id-00s. It is exciting, because right now there are a dozen or more young guys in the age 18-21 category who could be future stars, and we get to see as they differentiate themselves.

It is very good that there are more than just a few, because some will come up short and go nowhere.
Just remember a few years ago, when Thiem and Vesely came up together and you kept mentioning them in tandem.
Look at them now, Thiem powered through and is the youngest member in the top 10 and Thiem is far from showing a sign of dominance either, while Vesely became an average top 100 player.
04-Feb-2017 06:19 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes herios's post:
AnonymousFan (02-05-2017)
El Dude Online
Moderator
*****

Posts: 4,307
Likes Given: 703
Likes Received: 2,638 in 1,443 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
Yes, exactly. What is interesting is seeing who becomes Thiem and who becomes Vesely. What is seemingly clear is that Coric is Vesely, Zverev more on the Thiem side (and probably better, but that's not what I mean).

I also see it in terms of where a player's plateau is in terms of prime performance. At what point up the ladder do they stop? And of course how quickly a player reaches a point is a good predictor of future success - the whole benchmark thing, which helps with prediction but doesn't assure success. This is not to say that Vesely and especially Coric cannot still improve, but that they are far less likely to climb higher and/or reach elite status given their degrees of stagnation. The same goes for the Alex Zverevs of the world: everything is pointing towards likely Slam titles, but you just never know.
04-Feb-2017 06:27 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes El Dude's post:
AnonymousFan (02-05-2017)
El Dude Online
Moderator
*****

Posts: 4,307
Likes Given: 703
Likes Received: 2,638 in 1,443 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
I just noticed that Taylor Fritz is now down to #113 in the live rankings. Ouch. That's a 60-rank drop from his career high of #53. I know he's too young to give up on (he doesn't turn 20 until October), but I'm starting to question whether Mr Fritz has the goods...
08-Feb-2017 06:59 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
delPoFearhand Offline
Pro
***

Posts: 160
Likes Given: 22
Likes Received: 57 in 40 posts
Joined: Aug 2016
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
Yeah, his ranking this past year was largely driven by his run to the Memphis final (150 pts) last year which drops this Monday, even though the tournament this year doesn't start until Monday. Sort of a scheduling glitch that is hurting him- although not really, since I don't think many would pick him to make it that far again.

He does need another good result to bolster his ranking, though, otherwise he is going to have to circle back to the challenger tour and win one or two of those to get back to automatic entry level for the French & Wimbledon main draws.
09-Feb-2017 07:58 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
El Dude Online
Moderator
*****

Posts: 4,307
Likes Given: 703
Likes Received: 2,638 in 1,443 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
With Casper Ruud's run at Rio (just defeated Thiago Monteiro to reach the semifinal), time to bump this thread.

As I said in that thread, Ruud is now #133 in the live rankings, which makes him the highest ranked player under age 19. Duckhee Lee is #135 and is 18, but turns 19 in May.

Ruud turns 19 on December 22, which means he'll still be 18 when the year-end rankings come out. Clearly he's got a good chance of finishing in the top 100 this year (and perhaps much sooner than that). But it made me want to research players age 18 who finished in the year-end top 100.

2015: Alexander Zverev (83)
2014: Borna Coric (93)
2007: Donald Young (100)
2006: Juan Martin del Potro (92)
2005: Andy Murray (64), Novak Djokovic (78)
2004: Rafael Nadal (51)
2003: Rafael Nadal 17 (49), Richard Gasquet 17 (93)
2002: Mario Ancic (89)
2000: Guillermo Coria (88)
1999: Lleyton Hewitt (25), Roger Federer (64), Andreas Vinciguerra (98)
1998: Marat Safin (49), Lleyton Hewitt 17 (100)
1996: Dominik Hrbaty (78)
1992: Andrei Medvedev (24), Thomas Enqvist (63), Alex Corretja (86)
1990: Michael Chang (15), Fabrice Santoro (62)
1989: Michael Chang 17 (5), Sergi Bruguera (26), Goran Ivanisevic (40), Pete Sampras (81)


OK, that's enough for now - there are tons in the 80s, generally a few per year, including Agassi, Chang, Courier, Sampras, Becker, Edberg, Cash, Wilander, as well as plenty of forgotten or lesser players like Nargiso, Davin, Stoltenberg, Skoff, etc.

But as you can see, there's a big gap with no one between Young in 2007 and Coric in 2014. If Ruud makes it this year, that's three in the last four years; and of course Alex de Minaur and Denis Shapovalov have outside chances, so it could be as many as three 18-year olds in the year end top 100 this year - that hasn't happened since 1999.
24-Feb-2017 09:12 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
El Dude Online
Moderator
*****

Posts: 4,307
Likes Given: 703
Likes Received: 2,638 in 1,443 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
Looking at that list again, that's 23 18-year olds who finished in the top 100 from 1989 to the present. Let's extend it to a rounded 30 years, so 1987-2016, so we add in:

1988: Andre Agassi (3), Michael Chang 16 (30), Jim Courier (43), Jason Stoltenberg (70), Nargiso (90), Frances Davin (94), Pete Sampras 17 (97)
1987: Guillermo Perez Roldan (19), Andre Agassi 17 (25)

That's 29 players in the last 30 years. Let's not count Coric and Zverev, so that gives us 27. Now let's break them up by "tier."

5 (19%) All-time greats (6+ Slam winners): Agassi, Sampras, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic
8 (30%) Elite/near greats (1-4 Slam winners): Courier, Chang, Ivanisevic, Bruguera, Safin, Hewitt, Murray, del Potro
4 (15%) Lesser elites/second tier players (at least a Masters): Medvedev, Enqvist, Corretja, Coria
5 (19%) Solid players/regular top 100: Perez-Roldan, Santoro, Hrbaty, Ancic, Gasquet
5 (19%) Mediocre players: Stoltenberg, Nargiso, Davin, Vinciguerra, Young

So in the last 30 years, of the 27 players who finished a year in the top 100 as an 18-year old or younger, almost one-fifth (19%) went on to be all-time greats, and half (49%) went on to win at least one Slam. The bust-race is either one or two-fifths, depending upon what you consider a "bust," with the median being that of a lesser elite, or second tier player. It is also worth nothing that three of the five mediocre players were all in the 80s, with only Young being really recent. So my guess is that "bust rate" is actually lower these days, because it is harder for a young player to reach the top 100 now than it was 20+ years ago.
25-Feb-2017 02:18 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 3 users Like El Dude's post:
Fiero425 (02-27-2017), GameSetAndMath (02-25-2017), shivashish (02-26-2017)
El Dude Online
Moderator
*****

Posts: 4,307
Likes Given: 703
Likes Received: 2,638 in 1,443 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
Road to Milan Rankings - through February
21. A Zverev
27. D Medvedev
31. H Chung
36. A Rublev
38. C Ruud
55. A Bublik
56. N Rubin

Yoshihito Nishioka is current #39 in the race rankings, but he turns 22 in September and is thus not qualified for Milan.

It is really too small of a sample size to give much weight to, but interesting to see who has done well so far.
27-Feb-2017 01:02 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
herios Offline
Multiple Slam Winner
********

Posts: 5,567
Likes Given: 333
Likes Received: 1,777 in 1,301 posts
Joined: Apr 2013
RE: Young Guns Watch: 2017
(27-Feb-2017 01:02 PM)El Dude Wrote:  Road to Milan Rankings - through February
21. A Zverev
27. D Medvedev
31. H Chung
36. A Rublev
38. C Ruud
55. A Bublik
56. N Rubin

Yoshihito Nishioka is current #39 in the race rankings, but he turns 22 in September and is thus not qualified for Milan.

It is really too small of a sample size to give much weight to, but interesting to see who has done well so far.

Thumbs down to Coric and Khachanov for not being anywhere here. Even Rubin did more than them
Snicker
27-Feb-2017 04:12 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 




User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)