Image: New York Times

2016 witnessed an incredible pool of young talent making major strides in their tennis careers. With the Big Four being a thing of past, these next generation stars have drawn a lot of eyeballs and will be keenly observed in the upcoming year.

They have been part of some of the most amazing matches this year and are likely to give the world many more fascinating contests in 2017.

We look at some of the most improved players of 2016:

Lucas Pouille

Pouille reacts after upsetting Rafa Nadal at US Open. Image: eurosport
Pouille reacts after upsetting Rafa Nadal at US Open.
Image: eurosport

The winner of this year’s ATP Most Improved Player award is the Frenchman Lucas Pouille and not many would argue against this selection. Finishing at a career high 15th in the ATP Rankings (above Roger Federer!), Lucas Pouille enjoyed a terrific 2016.

He won his first ATP World Tour Title defeating Dominic Thiem at Moselle Open final and enjoyed quarter-final runs at Wimbledon and US Open. Defeating the likes of Juan Martin del Potro, Thomas Berdych at Wimbledon; Rafa Nadal in a scintillating five-setter at US Open, Pouille has also outdone the likes of Dominic Thiem and Nick Kyrgios among the next generation of players.

With some heavy artillery up his sleeve, Pouille came out all guns blazing this year, and more of the same can be expected off him in the subsequent years. With slight improvements in his game, the Frenchman can be a definite threat to Top 10 players, something we hope to see him become in the coming few years.

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