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The Emerging Tennis stars set to rival the Old Guard in 2021

Dominic Thiem won his first Grand Slam at the 2020 US Open
Dominic Thiem of Austria celebrates winning the 2020 US Open after defeating Alexander Zverev (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The longevity of this generation of tennis talent has been one of unprecedented dominance. Nadal, Djokovic, Federer as well as other greats like Andy Murray have been at the top of the sports for well over a decade, even longer for Roger Federer, hardly allowing other players a look in. Their almost countless appearances in Grand Slam finals continues to this day, with Djokovic and Federer facing up for Wimbledon glory last year.

However, their supremacy will of course begin to reduce over the next couple of years, with a new generation of young tennis players emerging to threaten the crown. Whilst “the big three” should still continue to add to their enormous trophy cabinets, these promising racket raconteurs look set to light championship tennis on fire.

Dominic Thiem

The 27 year old Austrian is perhaps best equipped to lead the charge against the old guard of tennis, and has already established notable rivalries with both Nadal and Djokovic.

After performing well at the 2020 French Open and clenching his maiden Grand Slam victory at the US open, Thiem has his eyes on the 2021 ATP calendar, where he will hope to continue causing difficulties for more established players. Despite their competitive rivalries, both Nadal and Djokovic have praised the talents of the young Austrian, with Nadal calling him his “most difficult opponent” following a narrow victory for the Spaniard in the 2019 French Open.

Thiem should feature regularly in Grand Slam finals over the next few years, and he currently occupies third spot on the ATP rankings. 

Daniil Medvedev

Sitting exactly one spot below Thiem in 4th on the ATP rankings, Russian Daniil Medvedev will be hopeful of establishing his own rivalry with the Austrian.

With 9 ATP singles to his name already, including three Masters 1000 titles, the 24 year old will be hopeful of his chances of reaching another Grand Slam final next year, to add to his silver medal at the 2019 U.S open.

Despite the disruption to the tennis season thanks to Covid 19, 2020 was a good year for Medvedev, who beat both Djokovic and Nadal on his way to the ATP singles championship, and he will be keen to build on that momentum in 2021.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

The youngest ranked player in the ATP top ten, Tsitsipas was also the youngest champion of the 2019 ATP Finals for nearly 20 years. It’s clear that the Greek superstar is playing at a level that defies his age of just 22, and he should begin to trouble Grand Slam finals next year.

By reaching the semi-finals of the 2019 Australian Open and the 2020 French Open, Tsitsipas is on track to continue his development as one of the best tennis players in the world, and could have a phenomenal decade. Expect to see him feature in some stellar matches with the rest of our young cohort over the coming years.

Sofia Kenin

Already the top-ranked American in women’s singles, Sophia Kenin is poised to step into the shoes of the Williams sisters as America’s top female tennis talent.

The reigning Australian Open champ has won five WTA singles titles in total, as well as doubles titles, with partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands, all by the tender age of 22.

With the 2021 Grand Slam calendar set to be fiercely contested, no doubt buoyed by the return of fans to stadia, Sofia Kenin is certainly one to watch.

Andrey Rublev

Perhaps a little unknown outside tennis circulars, the 23 year old Russian certainly commands respect from those who have witnessed his play.

With seven victories already against ATP top ten players, including Federer, Thiem and Tsitsipas, Rublev has proved that he has the mettle to compete at the highest level. For his exploits, he reached a career-high ATP singles ranking of No. 8 in October 2020.

He won the French Open in his youth career, but is yet to trouble the semi-finals of a Grand Slam tournament at senior level. However, with 2021 shaping up to be one of the most open ATP seasons in recent history, we shouldn’t be surprised if Rublev features in the latter stages of a tournament next year.

What are the odds of these youngsters winning a grand slam next year?

Following Dominic Thiem’s maiden Grand Slam victory at the US open earlier this year the other emerging starlets will be confident in following in his footsteps and winning their first major title as the 2021 tour calendar gets underway in January.

According to the bookmakers, Thiem and Medvedev are both priced around 5/1 to win the first Grand Slam of the year: The Australian Open. As excitement builds ahead of the event bookies are already releasing a number of offers tailored towards Tennis fans. These promotions include enhanced odds and free bets, and punters who back the correct winner of the Australian open with a free bet for example will be in line to bag winnings on top .

Looking further ahead, the likes of Medvedev and Thiem are also priced around 5/1 to win on the clay of Roland Garos. The French Open is set to begin in May 2021.

Written by Saiyed Adeem Karim

Ditching a corporate job to follow a dream isn't easy, but when football comes calling, who can say no? Been following the beautiful game since 1998. Liverpool addict, F1 fanatic!

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