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Tennis • 10sBalls Wonders Who Will Be The Daniil Medvedev Of The ATP Tour in 2020?

By Ricky Dimon

Who is going to be the ATP’s 2020 version of the 2019 Daniil Medvedev?

Well, there’s a decent chance it’s no one. Medvedev’s 2019 campaign was the stuff of legend, the likes of which had rarely been seen on the ATP Tour. That’s not to say he was the best player on tour or even one of the three best, but his rise to prominence was nothing short of shocking.

But if anyone is to assume the mantle, here are the candidates:

Andrey Rublev – Rublev kicked off his 2020 with a title in Doha. It did not come out of nowhere, either, as the this past season for the 22-year-old Russian was a resurgent one. He is up to No. 18 in the world.

Denis Shapovalov – Shapovalov is perhaps the likeliest candidate, although perhaps he wouldn’t be considered “the next Medvedev” because his rise to a possible top-five spot would be less surprising. At 20 years old, the Canadian is already up to 13th in the rankings.

Felix Auger-Aliassime – Aliassime is younger than Medvedev but has also been around much longer than Medvedev was prior to the Russian’s 2019 breakthrough. Still, there would be some similarities. But can it happen? The 19-year-old Canadian’s bandwagon is shrinking, as he is mired in a dreadful slump.

Alex de Minaur – The Demon finds himself at 21st in the rankings, right about where Medvedev registered in advance of his surge. Also 20 years old like Shapovalov, de Minaur was brilliant at the ATP Cup to begin his season on the right foot.

Taylor Fritz – A couple of years ago, the United States boasted the most promising youngsters in the sport. That is far from the story now, but Fritz is one of the few still poised to make a jump. The 22-year-old comes it at 32nd in the world and will be seeded in Melbourne.

Hubert Hurkacz – Hurkacz was not as big of a name as many of the others on this list heading into this season. He still isn’t, but his 3-0 record at the ATP Cup turned plenty of heads. The 22-year-old Pole is up to No. 34 in the world and has the game to go way higher.

Frances Tiafoe – Are Fritz and Tiafoe still capable of saving American men’s tennis whenever Isner decides to hang ’em up? Tiafoe has the talent, but he has been going in the wrong direction ever since last year’s breakout run to the Australian Open quarterfinals.

Jannik Sinner – Sinner was pretty much an unknown outside of hardcore tennis circles as recently as last summer. But the 18-year-old Italian caught fire, highlighted by a triumph at the NextGen ATP Finals. Suddenly he is being tipped as a potential future world No. 1.

Alexander Bublik – Personality wise, Bublik may be the most like Medvedev. Mentally, you never know what he is going to bring to the table. Game wise, they are nothing alike (aside from sometimes hitting second serves as hard as possible). The 22-year-old Kazakh is wildly talented, but at 55th a rise to the top 10 would be even more shocking than Medvedev’s.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.


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