ATP Next Gen Tournament Preview
The world’s best youngsters (aged 21 and under) converge on Milan for the third edition of the ATP Next Gen Finals. The season-ending event gives a platform for some of the brightest young talents in the game to showcase their potential as a reward for their progress throughout the season. With previous winners Stefanos Tsitsipas and Hyeon Chung going on to reach Grand Slam finals, the event has been a real breeding ground for the next generation thus far. In addition, with a prize pot of over $1 million and an innovative scoring system, the event is a real breath of fresh air on the ATP calendar.
This will be the third edition of the ATP Next Gen Finals, with the event having launched in 2017. It will once again be played at the Allianz Cloud Arena in Milan.
The event is an ATP event with a difference and for the first time ever on the ATP Tour, competitors will be permitted to use wearable technology in competition during the Finals. Also, the matches are best of 5 short sets (first to 4 games).
2019 ATP Next Gen Finals Format
The event features the best 8 under-21 players on the ATP Tour and they are split into two groups of 4. From this, the top 2 players in each group will qualify for the semi-finals with the winners contesting the final.
|Group A||Group B|
|Alex de Minaur||Frances Tiafoe|
|Miomir Kecmanovic||Jannik Sinner|
|Casper Ruud||Ugo Humbert|
|Alejandro Davidovich Fokina||Mikael Ymer|
Tuesday 5th November – Sunday 10th November 2019.
Both of the previous winners of this event have gone one to establish themselves on the ATP Tour. 2017 champion Hyeon Chung reached the 2018 Australian Open semi-finals and despite an injury-laden 2019, he looks to be one for the future. Meanwhile, 2018 champion Stefanos Tsitsipas is in the world’s top 8 and has decided to not play in this event this year in order to rest before the ATP World Tour Finals in London next week.
2019 ATP Next Gen Finals Outright Winner Odds:-
Alex de Minaur – 2/1 (Bet365) –
Australian Alex de Minaur is the top seed in Milan following a stellar year on the ATP Tour that has seen him crack the world’s top 20. With three tournament wins (in Sydney, Atlanta and Zhuhai) the fiery Aussie looks to be one to watch for many years to come. He finished runner up at the event last year and he will be eager to go one better this time around.
American Frances Tiafoe hasn’t perhaps kicked on as many people predicted in 2019 but he is still a staple inside the world’s top 50. His season highlight was a run to the last 8 of the Australian Open and his athleticism and shot-making ability make him one of the brightest prospects on the tour. He didn’t get out of the groups’ stage last season and he will want to rectify that in 2019.
Enigmatic Frenchman Ugo Humbert has emerged as a real contender on the ATP Tour this season, epitomised by his run to the 4th round at Wimbledon. He has broken into the world’s top 50 and has picked up 5 Challenger level tournament wins in the last 12 months. In a high-quality field, Humbert could be one to watch this week.
Home favourite Jannik Sinner received a wildcard into the event following the withdrawal of Denis Shapovalov, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime. The 18 year old enjoyed a superb run at the European Open last month, becoming the youngest male player to reach an ATP Tour semi-final in 5 seasons and he will enjoy having home support backing him here.
Serbian hotshot Miomir Kecmanovic has been in fine form throughout 2019 and as the age of just 20, looks to have a great career ahead of him. He cracked the world’s top 50 in September and reached the final of the Antalya Open back in July where he demonstrated his grass-court prowess. He is another player to watch his week.
Norwegian Casper Ruud is another player to have developed significantly in 2019, reaching a career-high ranking of 54 back in August. With a powerful all-court game and the coaching expertise of his father Christian Ruud (a former top 40 player himself), he looks to have a solid playing style and he could surprise a few of the more established names this week.
Swedish youngster Mikael Ymer is currently operating at a career-high ranking of 73 in the world and he is very much a man in form. Despite not possessing some of the stand out results of some of his opponents here in Milan, Ymer has long been seen as one of the hottest prospects on the ATP Tour and he will be a contender in Milan this week.
2017 Junior Wimbledon Champion Alejandro Davidovich Fokina is another player in the field to have enjoyed a breakthrough year this season, reaching his current career-high ranking of 82 in the world. He is one of the lesser-known players in the draw but his all-court game should be a good fit for the indoor courts in Milan.