2020 should be an exciting year on the ATP Tour, with the big three still at the top, they’ll be pushed to their limits this year as the Next Gen. have well and truly arrived.
So we put together the top five players to look out for this year, you can add them to MY PLAYERS and follow their progress throughout the season.
Sinner started 2019 ranked 549. He ended it at No.78 in the world, the youngest player in the year-end top 80 since a certain Rafael Nadal finished No.47 in 2003. The fresh-faced Italian landed his first ATP tour level win after qualifying for the Hungarian Open, and in May he stunned Steve Johnson in the opening round of the Rome Masters, recovering from a 6-1 drubbing in the opening set to win in three. His most impressive win of the season came against Gael Monfils in Antwerp, dismissing the No.1 seed 6-2 6-3 en route to the semi-finals.
This breakthrough season earned him a wild card for the ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan. But Sinner was not there just to make up the numbers; he won the title with a devastating display against newly-anointed top 20 star Alex de Minaur. The 18-year-old brings a fearless, attacking brand of tennis that is capable of overpowering anyone. Expect big things.
The Canadian finished 2019 with a career-high ranking of No.15 after a strong end to the season. The 20-year-old won his long-awaited first ATP title in Stockholm in October, and two weeks later he reached the final of the Paris Masters, adding to his impressive run to the last four of Miami earlier in the year. He set that tournament alight with an immensely entertaining battle against Frances Tiafoe in the quarter-finals. If he can reproduce feisty performances like this more consistently, he will be a serious top 10 contender.
It is easy to forget just how blistering Auger-Aliassime’s first half of the season was after a quiet end to 2019 cut short by injury. The 19-year-old rose from just outside the top 100 to No.17, thanks to reaching three ATP finals in Rio, Lyon and Stuttgart, and a sparkling run to the semi-finals of Miami as a qualifier. He proved himself on all surfaces, and the way he took on Stefanos Tsitsipas in Indian Wells for his first top 10 scalp of his career will strike fear into anyone on the tour. Combining imperious serving with incredible athleticism, this was an exhibition in all-court tennis.
De Minaur picked up three titles last year in Zhuhai, Atlanta and Sydney to finish a career-best 18 in the world. The 20-year-old is one of the quickest players on tour and has become more potent on the counter-attack, as Andy Murray found out in the first round of Zhuhai. The Scot tested his opponent with all of his variety, but de Minaur stood firm and pulled off some astonishing passing shots. Some incredible, lung-busting rallies in this one, where the young Australian shows what he is all about against one of the game’s greats. He relished playing in front of his home crowd last season, too, so expect another hot start.
Though a more experienced member of the Next Gen, Andrey Rublev had to start over again in 2019. He dropped out of the top 100 in February, but kickstarted his season with an impressive defeat of Dominic Thiem on his way to the final of Hamburg. He reached the last eight of Cincinnati after delivering Federer his quickest defeat since 2003, and capped off a stunning resurgence up the rankings with the second title of his career in Moscow. The 22-year-old Russian now sits at 23 in the world. With several confidence-boosting top ten wins under his belt from last year, he will be a force to contend with in 2020. He certainly dominated Thiem back in July.