Emerging Young Tennis Players for 2018

In the lead up to the first Grand Slam tournament of 2018, the Australian Open, much of the talk has been about the players withdrawing or not fully fit, and not the young tennis players.

Perhaps the focus should be on those who are on the cusp of making a career-defining breakthrough?

alexander zverev one of the young tennis players is getting ready fora match

Alex Zverev is one of the main talents to watch in 2018. Will he manage to take a Grand Slam?

Players including Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Kei Nishikori and Andy Murray have pulled out of the event in Melbourne, and there are concerns over the fitness of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka.

Time is catching up with many of these, and they need to step up and take over the mantle.

Who are the young emerging tennis players for 2018 and what can they achieve in tennis this season?

Men’s Young Tennis Players

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev is hardly a new name to those who follow tennis closely.

2018 could be a massive year for the young German player.

  • Alexander Zverev current ranking: 6

Zverev’s big victories

The 20-year-old has already proven he has the talent to defeat the biggest names in men’s tennis having won two Masters 1000 titles last year.

The first came on the clay of Rome where Zverev defeated Novak Djokovic in the final. The second came on the hard court of Montreal, beating Roger Federer in the process.

alex zverev with his brother mischa zverev

Alex Zverev to left with his brother Mischa Zverev. By Carine06.

Style of play

Zverev is a hugely talented player and his two titles last season shows he can win on different surfaces.  He also has the determination and work ethic to get to the top of men’s tennis, which is something that perhaps not every player in the game can say they have.

Perhaps the one downfall to Zverev’s game is the way he reacts when things are not quite going his way in matches.  Having a desire to win is great but allowing this to manifest itself in rash behaviour on the court can become a liability.

Zverev Searching for the extra step

Zverev will be looking to continue with his fantastic double backhand this season, which is already one of the best in tennis. He can change the direction of a rally with ease, and this unsettles opponents.

If Zverev can up his performance in 2018 at the Grand Slam events, he will propel himself into the eyes of the casual tennis watcher.

alex zverev hitting the ball

Photo by Stevan Pisano.

Before the Australian Open, Zverev has not gone beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam. He will need to change that in 2018 to make progress. He lost to Chung in the third round of the Australian Open.

Zverev showed some real promiseon clay for the Roland Garros 2018. He defeated Theim 6-4 6-4 in the Madrid Masters and Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-3 in Munich. Zverev lost to the finalist Thiem in the quarter finals by 3 sets in the Roland Garros.

However, Wimbledon and the US Open also remain a great chance of Grand Slam success. If Zverev enters those tournaments on the back of a strong first half to the season, he could emerge as the top player in the men’s game this season.

Zverev continues not to impress. In Wimbledon as he lost to Gulbis in the third round by 5 sets.

Denis Shapovalov

At just 18 years of age, Denis Shapovalov has already made great strides in his short tennis career. Last year proved to be a tremendous time for the young Canadian player.

  • Shapovalov Current Ranking: 33

Denis Shapovalovone of the emerging young players is only 18

Denis Shapovalov is a great prospect at 18 years old. By si.robi.

Shapovalov in 2017

Playing in front of his home fans at the Rogers Cup in 2017, Shapovalov reached the semi-final having eliminated Rafael Nadal along the way. He also made it to the fourth round of the US Open not long after.

Shapovalov was clearly riding on the wave of a win over a tennis legend like Nadal but was it just a brief spark or is Shapovalov here to stay?

Shapovalov recent performance in January 2018

He has undoubtedly cemented his place as a fan favourite and wasted no time entertaining the crowd at the Auckland Open this year, defeating Rogerio Dutra Silva in the first round.

The Canadian lost in the Round of 16 to Juan Marin Del Potro, but he has already defeated the Argentine in his short career and will not allow the loss to get him down.

The Canadian has a very decent forehand. By si.robi.

Style of play

A mix of playing style and personality has propelled Shapovalov into the spotlight.  He has a good serve and a strong single handed backhand. He has also shown he can get to the net and volley when required.

However, it’s the invention in his game which stands out, and he is not afraid to try something new or unconventional during a match. This adds to the excitement of the crowd when watching him play.

How will he perform in 2018?

Shapovalov was voted as the ATP’s Most Improved Player of 2017 by his peers, and his improvement will not end there.  He will continue to make strides in the men’s game and with some big names missing the Australian Open, the Canadian could make a great start to his 2018 season.

A player with skill, audacity and the personality to match, expect to see the name Denis Shapovalov regularly during the 2018 ATP Tour and beyond.

Shapovalov started his first slam with a win 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 against another young star, Tsitsipas. He then lost to Tsonga in 5 sets in the second Aus open round.

In the Roland Garros Shapovalov lost to Marterer in the second round by 4 sets.

Wimbledon wasn’t different from the Roland Garros as he lost to Paire in the second round by 4 sets.

Andrey Rublev

Andrey Rublev is perhaps not as well-known as Denis Shapovalov but his results have been superior to the Canadian’s. At 20 years of age, he must be considered a player to watch in 2018.

  • Rublev Current ranking: 38

Andrey Rublev. By si.robi.

Rublev in recent tournaments

The Russian reached the quarter-final of the US Open last year, defeating Gregor Dimitrov and David Goffin. Both players were top ten seeds for the tournament.  He has not stopped there and his 2018 season has started in a very promising fashion by reaching the final of the Qatar Open.

Rublev in the Qatar Open Final in 2018

Rublev lost in straight sets to the experienced Gael Monfils in the final, who was well rested having enjoyed a walkover in the semi-final.

However, Rublev defeated 7th seed Fernando Verdasco on his way to the final. His excellent performance secured him a place as a seed in the 2018 Australian Open.

Style of play

Standing at 6ft 2 inches and slight of build, Rublev plays with a two-handed backhand, and although his forehand is a big weapon when on form, his game is more about good movement and court coverage than anything else.

To say Rublev grinds out his wins is doing the Russian a disservice. His style of play does not attract the attention of Shapovalov, but he has shown a solid base to his game which is going to take him far this season.

At the Us Open from 2017.

2018

Rublev won the French Open Junior title in 2014 as a 16-year-old and has worked his way through the pyramid.

He will not want to stop now, and if he hits his stride early in 2018, his relentlessness on the court could see the Russian cause more shocks this season and start causing concern for the established names further up the world rankings.

Rublev already passed a hard hurdle by defeating David Ferrer in 5 sets at the first round of the Aus Open 2018. He bowed out at the third round in 4 sets to Dimitrov.

Due to injury Rublev did not play in the Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

If you were asked to name the best male Greek tennis player of all time, you might struggle to think of a name. That’s because there has not been one man from the country who has taken the tennis world by storm.

However, that could all be about to change in 2018 with the emergence of 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas.

  • Stefanos current ranking: 7

Stefanos Tsitsipas will be one of the young tennis players in the australian open

Stefanos Tsitsipas. By robblesaurus.

Stefanos best performances

The Greek has made an excellent start to the year, reaching the quarter-final of the Qatar Open before losing out to Dominic Thiem.

That match was close and ended 5-7, 4-6 with Tsitsipas holding his own for much of the contest.

He also beat the experienced Richard Gasquet in the Round of 16, which was another sign of a young player on the up.

A look back to the start of 2017 shows Tsitsipas was outside the top 200 players in the world. Having reached the quarter-final of the Qatar Open, he has moved up to 80 in the official ATP rankings.

Style of play and goals for 2018

Standing at 6ft 4 inches tall, it’s little surprise Tsitsipas enjoys winning many points on his serve.  Free points like this will prove invaluable against the best players as he continues his progress up the rankings this year.

Tsitsipas has said his goals for 2018 are making the fourth round of a grand slam, reaching the top 50 and qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals.

The Greek qualified automatically for the Australian Open this year and will be hoping to achieve the goal of reaching the fourth round of a Grand Slam at the first attempt this season. Unfortunately he met another rising talent mentioned above, the Canadian Shapovalov, who defeated him 3 sets to love.

Tsitsipas still has elements of his game which need work, including his backhand and net play, but as an 18-year-old, there are always going to be aspects which need improving.

Tsitsipas could make significant strides up the ATP rankings in 2018 and is a name to watch out for at the top events. He jumped by 3 spots, after bowing out at the second round of Roland Garros 2018, by Thiem.

Wimbledon was the highlight of his young career by reaching the fourth round. He lost to Isner by 3 sets.

Ladies Young Tennis Players

Catherine Bellis

Over each of the past two years, four different women have won the Grand Slam tournaments with Serena Williams the only name to appear in both the 2016 and 2017 list of champions.

  • Bellis current ranking: /

There is potential for 2018 to produce another array of winners in the WTA. Jelena Ostapenko bursting onto the scene to win the French Open as an unseeded 19-year-old last season. Other young players will have their eyes on the major prizes, including Catherine Bellis.

cici lbellis will try to improve from last year

Cici Bellis is a player with great talent. By Christian Mesiano

Who is Catherine Bellis?

Bellis, also kwown as Cici Bellis, is an 18-year-old American tennis player who won her first WTA title last season at the Hawaii Open in November.  Some of her big-name scalps in 2017 include Agnieszka Radwanska and Svetlana Kuznetsova. In 2018 Bellis will be hoping to add to those names this season.

Bellis top performance and goals for 2018

Her best performance at a Grand Slam is the third round, which she reached at the US Open last year.

The aim will be to better that in 2018 and reach the quarter-final of a Grand Slam.  At one stage last season, Bellis was ranked 35th in the world and to finish 2018 in a higher position than that would be fantastic.

To accomplish that goal, Bellis will need to work on her serve and get more first serves in, especially in the Grand Slam matches.

Catherine Bellis

By Christian Mesiano

She has shown she has what it takes to beat the top players at Grand Slam tournaments, having defeated 13th Dominika Cibulkova as a 15-year-old in the 2014 US Open first round.

Its now a case of making these wins a more regular occurrence. If Bellis can string a couple of big wins together at a Grand Slam this season, the American could cause some discomfort to the players currently at the top of the world rankings.

Bellis lost her match in the first round of the Australian Open 2018 to Bertens in a 3 set match. She hasn’t past the round of 16 in any tournament in 2018 prior to the Roland Garros. Cici Bellis did not participate in the Roland Garros 2018 and dropped 7 places.

Bellis did not participate in Wimbledon and dropped 20 places.

Belinda Bencic

Belinda Bencic is a name many tennis fans will know. The Swiss seems to have been on the scene for many years yet starts the 2018 season at just 20 years of age.

  • Belinda current ranking: 10

belinda bencic the swiss will try to win her first grand slam in 2018.

Bencic has a real chance at the Aus Open without Serena playing. By NAPARAZZI

Bencic record

Bencic made her debut for the Swiss Fed Cup team back in 2012. In the following year, she claimed the French Open and Wimbledon girls’ singles titles.

In 2014, she made the quarter-final of the US Open, defeating the number one ranked player in the world, Jelena Jankovic along the way.

She has two WTA titles to her name, both of which came in 2015. She drifted away from the top of women’s tennis in 2016, having suffered an injury-ravaged year.

The Swiss also missed five months of the 2017 season but came back strongly late in the year, winning events in Saint Petersburg, Hua Hin, Taipei and Dubai to move back inside the world’s top 75 players.

Bencic showed further encouragement that her injuries were behind her when she partnered Roger Federer to success in the 2018 Hopman Cup.

The pair defeated Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber in the deciding mixed doubles match to take the title and this was a great start to the season.

belinda bencic focused on the ball

By NAPARAZZI

How will Bencic perform in 2018?

Having broken into the top 10 as an 18-year-old, Bencic has the talent to compete with the best players in the world.  In her great run towards the end of the 2017 season, Bencic won 28 of 31 matches, which is a tremendous record and a sign of what she can do when fit.

Bencic has the perfect opportunity to show she is back to her best and fully sit ahead of the 2018 season when she faces Venus Williams in the first round of the Australian Open.

A win in that match would be the perfect catapult for this season and send Bencic into the year full of confidence and optimism. Bencic did overcome Venus by 6-3, 7-5 to start the year on the right peg, but couldn’t find momentum and lost to Kumkhum in the second round.

The results for Bencic have been slow in 2018 before the French open. her best result was round 32 in Acapulco. Bencic lost to Rybáriková in the second round of the Roland Garros 2018. Bencic did improve though by 26 places in the ranking.

In Wimbledon she reached the fourth round before losing to the 2018 champion Kerber.

If Bencic can enjoy an injury-free season, she could challenge for one of the Grand Slam events.  The Australian Open may come a little early, but the three Grand Slam tournaments to follow are very much on the radar of the talented Swiss player.

Ashleigh Barty

Look at the draw for the first Grand Slam or the year, or any Grand Slam tournament this season and you will not find a player who has played professional cricket for their country, other than Ashleigh Barty.

  • Bartly current ranking: 1

Ashleigh Barty from her junior years.

Ashleigh Barty from her junior years. By Robbiesaurus

Barty’s story

Barty has an exciting story, and the 21-year-old Australian made her debut on the professional tour at the of just 15 in April 2010.  By the end of 2012 she had won four ITF events, including the Aegon Nottingham Challenge. In 2014 Barty decided to take a break from tennis.

The Australian was suffering from depression, and during her time away from tennis she played cricket.

She was signed by the Brisbane Heat to play in the Big Bash League.  Barty did well and scored 39 off 27 balls batting at number 6 in her debut match.

However, she decided to make a return to tennis in February 2016 and reached the second round of Wimbledon having received a wildcard entry.  The following year, Barty went on to win her first WTA title, defeating Nao Hibino in the final of the Malaysian Open.

It was no ordinary win and Barty won the Malaysian Open by battling her way through the qualifiers. This was a sign of not only her tennis ability but her determination and positive attitude.  She is a player who has come back into professional tennis with one thing on her mind and that’s to be the best.

How will Barty perform in 2018?

There is no doubt Barty has the potential to be one of the top tennis players in the world.  She has returned to the sport looking refreshed and has shown the desire to work her way to the top of the tree.

She is only 5ft 5 inches tall but has a great game, mixing her shots between slice and spins and covers the net superbly.  In the words of her former coach, Jason Stoltenberg, “When she’s playing instinctively and she’s comfortable, she generally sees the court a little bit differently to most other players”.

By Robbiesaurus

Having Barty back on the WTA Tour, feeling comfortable and playing well will be a nightmare for the players looking to defend their top ten positions this season.  Starting the year at 19th in the world and having reached the final at the Sydney International, Barty is Australia’s number one female player.

She heads to the Australian Open seeded for the first time in her career and is considered by many of the home fans as a potential winner of the tournament.

The 2018 Australian Open is indeed within reach for Barty. A Grand Slam victory is a genuine possibility this season.  Wimbledon may be her best chance, but Barty will emerge as a legit contender for every WTA tournament she enters this season.

She reached the third round of the Australian open before loosing to Osaka. Since then her best was round 16 in Charleston and Miami. In the French Tennis Open 2018 she lost to Serena Williams by in 3 sets at the second round.

In Wimbledon she reached the third round defeated by Kasatkina by 2 sets.

Are there any other Young Tennis Players to steal the show in 2018?

Perhaps there is another young player you think will make great strides in 2018 and work their way to the top of the game?

We believe the young players highlighted above have the talent and desire to make a significant impact on tennis this year. Possibly one of them will win a Grand Slam if they work their way to the top of the tennis world.

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival 2019-2020 &...

By kabayanmark from 2018 the ice and snow festival at harbin from 2018
Harbin, China Start Date: December 17, 2019

Isle Of Wight Festival: June 2020 → Th...

Image By: Simon Haytack the iow festival in june at nightitme
Newport, Isle of Wight, England Start Date: June 11, 2020

Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2020 &...

Sputnik at Coachella. By sputnik mi amor via Foter.com Sputnik rocking the stage at coachella music and arts festival
Coachella, Indio, United States Start Date: April 10, 2020

Cheltenham Festival 2020 National Hunt R...

Horse jumping high. By Ste_Jones via Foter.com horse jumping high at cheltenham festival
Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, UK Start Date: March 10, 2020

Wimbledon Tennis July 2020 | The Grass G...

Rogerer Federer the Wimbledon 2017 winner. By andrea-enrico via flickr roger federer holding the wimbledon 2017 cup after a victory over marin cilic
Wimbledon, London, England Start Date: June 29, 2020

Arsenal vs Manchester United January 202...

By wonker via flickr arsenal fans getting excited before the match with throwing balloons in the air
Emirates Stadium, London, UK Start Date: June 1, 2020

Download Festival Donington 2020: The no...

Download festival arena. By alistairmcmillan via Foter.com people cheering at the download festival arena
Donington park, England Start Date: June 12, 2020

Tennis French Open 2020 | Clay Grand Sla...

Rafa Nadal winner of the Roland Garros 2017. By François GOGLINS Rafael nadal the winner of the french tennis open 2017 mens singles
Paris, France Start Date: May 25, 2020

Pahiyas Festival: May 2020 → in Lucban...

Pahiyas Festival Booth. By Mr. Doods via Foter.com a pahiyas festival booth with people
Lucban, Quezon, Philippines Start Date: May 15, 2020

2020 Preakness Stakes Horse Race | Pimli...

Image by: Charles LeBlanc a horse with his jockey leading the race at Preakness stakes at the Pimlico racetrack
Pimlico Racecourse, Baltimore, Maryland Start Date: May 16, 2020

The Belmont Stakes 2020 Horse Race in Be...

Belmont Stakes Race. By Michael Candelori Photography horses in middle of the race at the belmont stakes
Belmont Park, New York, Untied States Start Date: June 13, 2020

Primavera Sound Barcelona 2020 — a...

Primavera Sound Live. By elforix via foter.com primavera sound stage performance
Location: Parc Del Forum, Barcelona, Spain Start Date: June 4, 2020

Epsom Derby 2020 Horse Race | Epsom Down...

Racing for glory. By monkeywing via foter.com racing for glory at the epsom derby
Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom, England Start Date: June 5, 2020

Roskilde Music Festival 2020 → Over 17...

Hands raised for hte music. By Stig Nygaard via Foter.com hands raised for the music at the arena of roskilde music festival
roskilde, denmark Start Date: June 27, 2020

We Are FSTVL 2020: A (3 award winning) f...

We Are FSTVL preparing. By Anna-Kay via Foter.com we are fstvl preparing the stage for the fans
Damyns Hall Aerodrome, Upminster, United Kingdom

Kentucky Derby 2020 Race At Churchill Do...

Kentucky Derby Race. Traveloscopy via foter.com horses with jockeys in the middle of the kentucky derby race
Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky Start Date: May 2, 2020

Fantasy Fest Key West 2019 — Prov...

Copyright by Frozen Perfection via Flickr.com
Key West, Florida Start Date: October 18, 2019

Mardi Gras New Orleans: 2020 — The...

Mardi Gras colourful mask. By *]* New Orleans via flickr a girl with colourful mask at mardi gras new orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States Start Date: February 21, 2020

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2020: The (Ins...

Great balance. By theedinburghblog.co.uk via Foter.com a women stretching herself on someones feet at the edinburgh fringe festival
Location: Edinburgh Old Town, Scotland Start Date: August 7, 2020

OktoberFest Munich 2019: Number 1 German...

By Marco Verch a person with a chicken hat costume in oktoberfest munich
Location: Theresienwiese, Munich, Germany Start Date: September 21, 2019

Monkey Buffet Festival 2019 — a sa...

Monkey eating leaf. AlphaTangoBravo/ By Adam Baker via Foter.com monkey eating a leaf
Phra Prang Sam Yod Monkey Temple, Lopburi, Thailand Start Date: November 24, 2019

New Year’s Eve NYC 2019 — a huge...

By Disney ABC Television Group the confetti celebrations at times square nyc during new year's eve with the sound of the new year
Times Square, New York, US Start Date: December 31, 2019

Gov Ball 2020: Randall’s Island Ne...

Gryffin. By Dimitri Rodriguez via flickr.com gryffin at gov ball 2017
Randall's Island, New York, US Start Date: June 5, 2020

Latitude Festival: July 2020: Join the (...

Latitude Festival. By spiritquest Foter.com latitude festival with the coloured sheep
Henham Park, Suffolk, England Start Date: July 16, 2020

Barranquilla Carnival 2020 — The H...

Are you ready? By Ignacio Ramírez Torrado a festive dancer of th barranquilla carnival
Barranquilla, Colombia Start Date: February 22, 2020

La Tomatina 2020 — A tomato throwi...

Girl excited at La tomatina. By gibffe via Foter.com girl excited at La tomatina
Buñol. Spain Start Date: August 26, 2020

Love Box Music Festival July 2020: a mas...

Love Box music. By russelljsmith via Foter.com love box music festival
Gunnersbury Park, London, England

Napoli Pizza Village 2019: a (Delicious)...

Traditional margherita pizza with buffalo cheese Traditional margherita pizza with buffalo cheese you can find at napoli pizza village
Lungomare Caracciolo, Napoli, Italy Start Date: September 13, 2019

Royal Ascot 2020 Horse Race | Discover A...

Her Majesty The Queen in Royal Ascot her majesty the queen in her carriage at the royal ascot
Ascot racecourse, Ascot, England Start Date: June 16, 2020

Champions League Final 2018 | Olimpiyski...

By Дмитрий Голубович mohamed salah playing for liverpool fc
Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine Start Date: May 26, 2018

Hurricane Festival: June 2020 — Th...

By Marcel Strecker a crowd at the hurricane music festival
Eichenring Scheeßel, Germany Start Date: June 19, 2020

Southside Music Festival: June 2020 → ...

Singing with the band. By Körschgen via Foter.com southside festival goers singing with the band
Neuhausen ob Eck, Tuttlingen, germany Start Date: June 19, 2020

Australian Open Tennis 2020 | Melbourne ...

Roger Federer Aus Open 2017 winner. roger federer at the aus open 2017. will he also win the aus open 2018?
Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia Start Date: January 20, 2020

Melbourne Cup 2019 Races | Australian Ra...

Jockey with his horse in Melbourne Cup.By PreciousBytes via Foter.com A jockey with his horse in the Melbourne Cup
Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia Start Date: November 5, 2019

Palio di Siena 2020 — See the trad...

Palio di Siena traditional race the traditional palio di siena race
Piazza del Campo, Siena, Italy Start Date: July 2, 2020

Tomorrowland Music Festival 2020→ the ...

Girl waving the Swiss flag in the crowd via Mixtribe via Foter.com A girl waving the swiss flag at the Tomorrowland Festival
boom, belgium

Reggae Sumfest: (July) 2020 — Jahm...

Jah Cure. By Sabalie L.L.C. via wiki.commons Jah Cure Leaning on a door
Montego Bay, Jamaica

Burning Man Festival 2019 — Unforg...

burners enjoying a meal. By peretzp via Foter.com burners enjoying a meal in burning man
Black Rock City, Nevada, USA Start Date: August 25, 2019

Air Guitar Championship 2020 in Oulu Fin...

Rocking hard at the Air Guitar Championship. By Aleksi Ollila via wiki commons Women performing with everything she has on stage in Oulu
Oulo, Finland Start Date: August 19, 2020

Wacken Open Air August 2020 | Heavy Meta...

Metaler lifted by crowd. By cgo2 via Foter.com Metaler getting lifted by crowd at WOA
Wacken, Germany Start Date: July 30, 2020

Carnival Of Venice 2020 → Witness the ...

Lady in Venice Carnival costume. By Venise-Cobeil Lady in Venice Carnival costume on the Venecian waters
Venice, Italy Start Date: February 8, 2020

US Tennis Open 2019 in NYC | Grand Slam ...

the tennis crowd at arthur ash us tennis open
Flushing Meadows, Queens, New York, US Start Date: August 26, 2019