The Next Generation

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The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Sun 07 Feb 2016, 1:02 pm

It's exciting times for tennis, with the established generation still playing amazing tennis but with no fewer than 11 teenagers in the top 200. With Zverev beating Cilic and making an ATP level semi final this week, I thought it would be a good time for a thread to follow them. The eleven to watch are as follows:

1. Coric (WR38 age 19.2) - touted for some time and boasts wins over Nadal and Murray. However, seems to have stagnated recently and lack of real weapons may stop him reaching the very top. 23.10 WR45 - still not 20 and has now spent around 18 months ranked around 40-50. Signs of improving his weight of shot and clearly has a good attitude but currently stagnant. 2016 Grade - C

2. Chung (WR68 age 19.7)  - steady progression largely at Challenger level. Very tough all-round game but, like Coric, possible questions whether he has sufficient weaponry. Needs to kick on and start getting wins at ATP level. 23.10 WR135 - struggled at ATP level and then had a break after RG, possibly injured. Now back playing Challengers and getting strong results again at that level. 2016 Grade - D

3. Zverev (WR69 age 18.8) - The youngest player in the top 100, with wins already over Cilic, Dolgopolov and Anderson. Made it to the SF in Montpellier this week. Former junior number one and Oz junior champ in 2014. 23.10 WR 20 - the standout star, becoming the first teenage title winner in 8 years. Signs he could be the next dominant player in the game. 2016 Grade - A+

4. Kokkinakis (WR96 age 19.8) - Another big guy with a modern all-court game. Has all the shots to make it to the top, if not quite the explosiveness of his compatriot, Kyrgios. Career so far being held back by injury and currently yet to play this season due to a left shoulder injury. Hopefully, he can have an injury-free spell and start climbing back up the rankings. 23.10 Unranked - not played an ATP match all year through injury. Cruel luck. 

5. Fritz (WR145 age 18.2) - Already 6'4 and touted as the great American hope. The 2015 US junior champ and year end junior number 1. Already with 3 challenger level titles, he made his slam debut at the Australian, making his way through qualifiers before losing in 5 to Jack Sock. Expect him to be top 50 by year end. 23.10 WR 73 - breakthrough ATP final broke him into the top 100. No real exceptional results since but gaining great ATP level experience and still only 18. Also, managed to fit in getting married! 2016 Grade - B+

6. Khachanov (WR152 age 19.7) - Possibly the least heralded of the 11, the 6'6 Russian burst to prominence when just 17 with a win over Tipsarevic at the Kremlin Cup. Yet to make a breakthrough at ATP level. Still developing at Challenger level. 23.10 WR 63 - outstanding second half to the season including a 250 title have seen him jump 100 places. Looks a future top 10 player with a combination of movement and power. No one will want to face him next year. 2016 Grade - A

7. Ymer (WR153 age 19.8) - The older of the two Ymer brothers, seen as the future of Swedish tennis. Qualified for all 4 slams in 2015 but didn't make it past the first round. Another with wins at Challenger level. Best ATP result so far the 3rd round in Barcelona. 23.10 WR 158 - stagnant and one of the oldest of the bunch. No real signs of progress. 2016 Grade - C-

8. Donaldson (WR159 age 19.3) - The second of three Anericans in this list. Coached by Taylor Dent, he's again seen as a big hope. Yet to break through at ATP level and with only one title at Challenger level, still very much a work in progress. 23.10 WR 109 - broke into the top 100 following a R16 showing in Toronto and a superb R3 at the US Open (beating Goffin and Troicki). Promising. 2016 Grade - B

9. Halys (WR172 age 19.2) - The top French junior. Produced a promising display against Novak in Oz. Still very raw but looks to have the game if he can pull it all together. 23.10 WR 149. Has won a Challenger but not progressed significantly this year. 2016 Grade C-

10. Tiafoe (WR176 age 18) - The youngest of the 11 and another American. Already made his slam debut at the French 2015. Two Challenger finals already and beat Sam Groth in Dallas this week. 23.10 WR 102. Broke the top 100 a couple of weeks ago. Two Challenger titles and several other finals. Sporadic ATP appearances so far but looks to have the tools to make it. Expect big strides next year. 2016 Grade - B+

11. Rublev (WR195 age 18.3) - The 4th player on this list with a junior slam title (French 14). Has an explosive game. Yet to win a Challenger title but seen by many as a future top tenner. Expect big ranking strides this year. 23.10 WR 166 - disappointing year for one of those most hyped youngsters. One Challenger title amongst a sea of mediocre results. The only one yet to make his grand slam debut. Still only just 19, so don't write him off yet! 2016 Grade - D

Good luck to all the youngsters!


Last edited by Born Slippy on Sun 23 Oct 2016, 12:35 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Henman Bill on Sun 07 Feb 2016, 4:34 pm

Nice write up. Perhaps we can update this thread throughout the year.

The top three are certainly good prospects, the others need a strong improvement in the near future if they're really going to be someone.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Sun 07 Feb 2016, 5:16 pm

By way of perspective, rankings at similar ages

Novak:

18 - 153
18.5 - 83
19 - 63
19.5 - 16

Andy:

18 - 357
18.5 - 65
19 - 45
19.5 - 17

Based on that, I'd say Coric, Zverev, Fritz, Tiafoe and Rublev are all on track for top 10 at least.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by sirfredperry on Sun 07 Feb 2016, 6:20 pm

BS - well researched but really you could have said ONLY 11 teenagers in the top 200 rather than "no fewer than". No teenager has won a tournament since 2008 and there were only four in the top 100 at the end of last season.
Pity that Kokki is injured, but it was good to see Zverev being good enough to beat Cilic this last week.
I think even those who are ardent and avid fans of the big four would just love to see some of the youngsters making a mark, for the sake of variety if nothing else.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by socal1976 on Sun 07 Feb 2016, 8:08 pm

I hear that the USA contrary to recent years has a real nice group coming up Courier and Gilbert have mentioned it a few times. We know the Aussies have a good crop around that age.

Of those I have seen and I have only seen five of these guys play and Zverev is going to have a big future. He impressed me the most with both power , strokes, and athleticism. Not Really sold on Kok he already is slow at 19 a few miles on those legs and he will really be slow. He needs to go on a Djoko diet and trim twenty off his frame if he wants any chance of being a top five or ten guy.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by socal1976 on Sun 07 Feb 2016, 8:14 pm

Nice to see a thread that isn't all doom and gloom and is positive, so different from a lot of the rife negativity or nastiness of some threads.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Sun 07 Feb 2016, 11:55 pm

Sir Fred - 11 teenagers seems a lot to me. I doubt there are many sports where 11 of the best 200 players in the world are less than 20.

Most of these guys are in ATP action this week.

Memphis:

Donaldson (Q) v Nishioka (Q)
Tiafoe v Harrison
Fritz v Mmoh (Q)
Paul v Becker

[Tommy Paul isn't on the list above but is the French Open junior champ and ranked c. 250 aged 18.]

Rotterdam:

Chung v GGL
Coric v De Bakker
Zverev v Pospisil

Rublev lost in Memphis qualies and Ymer and Halys play the Bergamo Challenger.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by sirfredperry on Mon 08 Feb 2016, 9:42 am

Good news about British youth is that Kyle Edmund, 21, is up to 84th in the rankings. Zverev (mentioned above) rises to 70th.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Guest on Mon 08 Feb 2016, 7:51 pm

Watching Coric vs De Bakker. Not impressed at all. De Bakker blew 10 set points! God awful!

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Mon 08 Feb 2016, 9:34 pm

https://youtu.be/lN_xw7udaJM

Tiafoe in action v Groth. Brilliant or unsporting?

Coric gets the win over De Bakker. He does seem good at grinding out results - something very few of the other youngsters do.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Guest82 on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 10:40 am

Paul, Fritz, Tiafoe, Donaldson. Think American tennis will be in good shape in four or five years time. I rate them in that order.

Think Fritz won back-to-back Challengers last year.

Agree re Coric & Chung, decent without any major weapons. Coric seems to have a good head and Chung is quite unorthodox.

Khanchov has a big serve, Rublev a big forehand. Not really convinced on Ymer though.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 1:38 pm

Good win for Chung over GGL - albeit with a bit of comedy losing the first set from a double break up and nearly repeating the truck I the second.

Tiafoe lost to Harrison in a close one - had MP in the second set TB.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Henman Bill on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 6:12 pm

Born Slippy wrote:https://youtu.be/lN_xw7udaJM

Tiafoe in action v Groth. Brilliant or unsporting?


Maybe both...grey area...but if I was his coach I'd suggest not to do it again.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by socal1976 on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 6:25 pm

Guest82 wrote:Paul, Fritz, Tiafoe, Donaldson.  Think American tennis will be in good shape in four or five years time.  I rate them in that order.

Think Fritz won back-to-back Challengers last year.

Agree re Coric & Chung, decent without any major weapons.  Coric seems to have a good head and Chung is quite unorthodox.

Khanchov has a big serve, Rublev a big forehand.  Not really convinced on Ymer though.  

That is good to hear, in America we don't care much for sports that we can't do well in. It is a giant embarrassment how America ridiculed Soccer/football for years because we would back in the 80s literally get rolled by Trindidad and Tobago. Then the women's world cup comes around and after years of saying football is boring and slow when the Women's team starts to win all of sudden soccer is the ratings craze of the summer. So women's football isn't slow and boring and the men playing the same game is awful? Unfortunately, that is the mentality of my countrymen they can only like something if we win at it. So if the US does produce a generation of good players that excite American audiences then that goes a long way to insuring the financial stability and strength of the game going forward the USA is still the biggest and richest market. Even Federer really didn't take off in popularity in the states till he beat Agassi at the END of 05 in the USO final and Andre said all those nice things about him being the greatest player ever.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by socal1976 on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 6:26 pm

Kind of back to the future style if the Americans and the Aussies both had a good crop at the same time.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Guest82 on Wed 10 Feb 2016, 11:53 am

I think Paul & Fritz have bright futures. Think Fritz is slightly ahead at the moment, but Paul may be better long term.

I'd be very surprised if Fritz wasn't top 70 by end of this year. Perhaps even top 50.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Wed 10 Feb 2016, 7:52 pm

Interesting to see all three youngsters through to the last 16 in Rotterdam. Zverev and Chung seeing off players ranked well above them. All face seeds now:

Coric v Monfils (tonight)
Chung v Troicki
Zverev v Simon (barring a Haase comeback)

Fritz is the only other youngster still going - faces Steve Johnson in Memphis.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Guest82 on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 11:18 am

Coric battled well, but Monfils really should have won in straight sets.

Think Troicki will have too much for Chung.

Simon hasn't been sparkling recently and Zverev has picked up some decent wins (beat Cilic last week and Pospisil yesterday) - think he has the best chance.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 9:13 pm

Great match so far between Zverev and Simon. The kid takes the first set 7-5.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 9:59 pm

Interesting second set. Zverev got ahead but his forehand broke down completely.

There's also been more bad calls in this match than any match I've seen before - almost all unfortunately against Zverev, who may well explode soon.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Guest82 on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 11:17 pm

Good win for Zverev. Seems to have a good head on him under pressure and played the big points well.

Also handled the 'injury' and did well to come back from a break down in the final set. Looks to have a good future.

Although it looked like cramp to me and I thought the rule was that you couldn't get treatment for cramp?

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 5:12 am

Fritz beats second seed Steve Johnson (WR30) to reach the Memphis QF. Faces Benjamin Becker next.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by socal1976 on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 6:54 am

Born Slippy wrote:Fritz beats second seed Steve Johnson (WR30) to reach the Memphis QF. Faces Benjamin Becker next.
Wow Steve Johnson and QF of a 500 pointer will see him move up quick. Stevie Johnson is no slouch the winning collegiate player ever.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by lydian on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 8:19 am

Averse vis good...top tenner definitely...but no sure about his innate talent levels. Same with Coric. Fritz/Rublev/Tiafoe could be more the real deal top talent wise.

Out of current younger ones I'm still disappointed in Goffin and Dimitrov...loads of talent (Goffin was 3-0 up in the 3rd versus Djokovic at fast Cincy last year) but not enough self belief. Remember I long lauded Goffin even when he was down at 120 ranking...and he shot up to #14 but now seems to have plateaued. He's now appointed ex AO finalist Thomas Johansson as coach so we'll see what that brings. Dimitrov is still chasing celeb girlfriends.
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Re: The Next Generation

Post by sirfredperry on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 8:29 am

The Fritz and Zverev wins are very encouraging. Just seen a few clips of the Simon match. Zverev looked good.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 8:31 am

socal1976 wrote:
Born Slippy wrote:Fritz beats second seed Steve Johnson (WR30) to reach the Memphis QF. Faces Benjamin Becker next.
Wow Steve Johnson and QF of a 500 pointer will see him move up quick. Stevie Johnson is no slouch the winning collegiate player ever.

It's a 250 but still good points when down in the 100s. Becker is obviously beatable as well.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by lydian on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 8:47 am

Agree great for points. It's also great in general to see these younger guys breaking through, and the more that do it will raise the self belief of others behind/similar age. The only fly here is that these current events are faster than most surfaces on tour, which supports the notion that talent can break through when surfaces are faster, like they used to be. But once the guys move back to the slower surfaces like IW next month then let's see where we're at with these less well conditioned youngsters. Very encouraging though!
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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 12:29 am

Zverev beaten fairly easily by Monfils. No disgrace. Monfils played a very smart match. Should win his first 500 (I think?) from here.

Fritz into the SF in Memphis. Very winnable match against Berankis (for a 250 SF!). Wins that and he's on the verge of the top 100.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by summerblues on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 6:39 pm

I have only seen enough of a few of these guys to have any opinion.

I have not been all that impressed with Coric.  I know he is still young but his game is too "lightweight".  I do not see any weaponry in his arsenal that would allow him to consistently beat all his opponents.

I really only properly saw Chung in his match against Djokovic at AO.  I thought he did quite well.  In the early going, he was able to stay in the rallies with Djokovic quite well, and while he was not able to hit through him, who really is?  I also think that his weaponry is somewhat higher caliber than Coric's; he certainly does not strike me as having no weapons to the point of it being an insurmountable problem.

Zverev I think is perhaps the best of the three.  My main concern would be his height, but he moves quite well for how tall he is, and in today's tennis 6'6" is not so crazy tall as to make it impossible for him to succeed.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by lydian on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 9:24 pm

Agree...Zverev or Fritz for me...particularly Fritz.
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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 12:12 am

Good time to have started this thread as Taylor Fritz makes the Memphis final in only his third tour level event. Likely to be Nishikori in the final which will be a step too far but an amazing run. Puts him on the brink of the top 100.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by sirfredperry on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 8:21 am

Well. you wait eight years for a teenager to reach a tour final and then two (Coric, Fritz) come along at once at the beginning of 2016.
With Thiem downing Rafa in Buenos Aires and Zverev doing well, this is all very encouraging for those wanting to see a surge from the younger players.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Guest on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 11:35 am

I really hope Thiem can sustain his progress. I hope Rublev can go further too.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 11:51 am

Yeah, Rublev's on a bit of a disappointing run at the moment. Lost in QR1 in Delray Beach, losing the third 6-0.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Guest on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 12:11 pm

Sad

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 4:14 pm

Not a good qualies weekend generally for the youngsters. Rublev, Donaldson, Khachanov and Tommy Paul all lost in 3 sets. Still quite a few in main draw action though:

Marseille:

Zverev v Qualifier
Chung v Goffin
Halys v Monfils

Delray Beach:

Fritz v Smyczek

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by lydian on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 9:58 pm

Fritz lost the 1st vs Nishikori after being 4-4, 6-4. Just got broke at the start of the 2nd too. Let's not forget he's played some long consecutive 3-setters this week too so must be due to run out of steam at some point.
Anyway this is undoubtedly a very stern test vs. a solid top tenner...so it will be no disgrace to lose to Kei if he does so. Just to keep the score tight will be an impressive achievement for a just turned 18 yr old rookie.

I read that every American 18-year-old who has reached an ATP final in the last 30 years includes the following:

Roddick
Sampras
Agassi
Chang
Fritz

Not a bad list to be part of (all above Fritz are slam champions).
This is his 3rd ATP event and he makes the final. Impressive stuff.
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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Guest82 on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 11:08 pm

Fritz was a break up at the start too. Very good effort from him though.

Possibly a future star.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by sirfredperry on Mon 15 Feb 2016, 8:59 am

Fritz has gone up to 102nd in the rankings and, with the likelihood of WCs into the main tournaments, should rise quickly. Impressive last few days from him.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by lydian on Mon 15 Feb 2016, 11:48 am

This is really nothing short of amazing when you think about it.
I believe this was only Fritz' 6th match at ATP level...6th match??!! With most of those matches coming this week...ok he'd played challengers before but this is a whole different level as most stuck on the CH circuit know only too well.
Talk about a breakthrough!
And then he keeps it tight against a solid top ten and talented player like Nishikori too. He saved 11/15 BPs in the match too which speaks to his potential mental toughness. He's got to this point (ATP final) quicker than even Federer, Nadal and Djokovic too...
I just hope he stays at 6'4 or any taller could hold him back at the highest level. No #1 player has ever been over 6'3.
But what a fantastic start...and it was on slow HCs too. Lets see how he does at Delray this week - it's going to take a while for him to adjust and he must be tired from that run last week but definitely a few players to watch out for now...
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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Guest82 on Mon 15 Feb 2016, 3:33 pm

Yeah I'll be interested to see how Fritz does from here. You'd assume he will get wildcards at Miami/IW?

Not sure how his game will be on clay.

Not sure if he counts as this generation, but good to see Thiem picking up a title yesterday (having beat Nadal in the semi final). He's only 22, but already seems a threat on clay. Big swings take a while to wind up, probably means he will struggle on faster surfaces.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Tue 16 Feb 2016, 1:21 pm

Does anyone know what Kyle Edmund is up to currently? He won the Dallas Challenger and I would have thought the ideal plan would have been to try and make some good ranking gains in the weak US ATP events. Instead he hasn't played at all since.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by sirfredperry on Wed 17 Feb 2016, 9:07 am

Another leaping on to the teenage bandwagon that's now rolling is American Noah Rubin who last night saved three MPs before beating Sam Groth. Alexander Zverev has won another match as well.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Wed 17 Feb 2016, 12:35 pm

Yep, although Fritz looked a bit out of sorts in losing to Smyczek and Chung got smacked up badly by Goffin, so it hasn't been a great week for the youngsters so far.

Zverev faces Berdych next, so a real test.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by socal1976 on Thu 18 Feb 2016, 5:55 am

Zverev impressed me a lot the few times I have seen him play very explosive shots. Of the players listed here, I have yet to see fritz but of the ones I have seen Zverev is the best. Very watchable strokes and easy power all over the court.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 10:41 am

Awesome display from Kyrgios against Gasquet yesterday. Good chance to pick up his first title now. Will be intriguing to see what he does against Berdych.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by summerblues on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 12:04 pm

Kyrgios has so much potential. The first I saw him was a couple of years ago playing at the AO. I think he may have lost the match but I was amazed at how good he was - miles better than any other teenager in years.

I think on pure ability he could have easily been in top 10 by now and quite possibly deep into top 10. However, having seen him the last year I am not sure about his head. I hope he matures quickly or else he would be a huge waste of talent.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by It Must Be Love on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 5:15 pm

Kyrgios service games so so boring !

Berdych much more fun to watch, cmon Tomas.

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by It Must Be Love on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 5:23 pm

Went off to pee, and missed a Kyrgios service game..

Let's rewind and check, oh no... I missed two aces and some unreturnables and 1-2 punches !!! Who would have guessed ?!!

Averaging like 2 aces a game Kyrgios

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Re: The Next Generation

Post by Born Slippy on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 5:42 pm

Hmm, Kyrgios on a totally different level to Berdych. Going to be very interesting to see how he goes in the Masters events coming up. Could easily see him winning one.

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Re: The Next Generation

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