Top 5: The Surprise Packages of 2016

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May 7, 2016 5:21 pm

The future of Tennis looks bright. While The Big 4 and The Serena William might be ruling the roster in The ATP and WTA respectively – There are a lot of youngsters making waves with their performances. More than capable of causing an upset or two on their day these youngsters look destined for stardom (Obviously there are no guarantees) Here’s a list of the surprise packages of 2016 and you can bet on the fact that you’ll hear a lot more of them in the coming year.

5. Dominic Thiem

The Austrian has somewhat quietly worked his way into the top 20 and has his eyes set on to the top of the rankings in the coming season. With titles at Gstaad, Umag, and Nice in 2015, the 22-year-old has served notice that he is a force to be reckoned with, particularly on clay. With his big, aggressive groundstrokes, mobility throughout the court, and ability to attack from the baseline, success on all surfaces appears inevitable. During his title runs, Thiem defeated opponents such as David Goffin, Feliciano Lopez, Gael Monfils, and John Isner. Impressive, eh?

4. Louisa Chirico

WTA is unpredictable if one takes away Serena Williams. So there’s no harm in putting the money on this 19-year-old from the USA. Chirico, encouraged by reaching three ITF finals during the first half of 2015, reached the quarter-finals of the International tournament in Washington with wins over Heather Watson and Alizé Cornet. Supported by a decent serve, she has a powerful and aggressive baseline game. She ended 2015 with her best result of the year, reaching the final of the WTA 125K tournament in Limoges. She’s also making a dream run in the Madrid Semifinals as we speak. Is that the smell of a title? Maybe.

3. Andrey Rublev

The lesser known Russian aged 18 is one of the youngest players in the ATP top 200. He’s already claimed his first few big fishes in the form of Fernando Verdasco and Pablo Andujar. He won the 2014 French Open Junior Singles and looks to be a clay court specialist. He is lightning fast and probably needs to add a bit more muscle to that frame to become a world  beater. Also he is the first teen to win a match in 5 different ATP events in one year since the one named Rafael Nadal.

2. Alexander Zverev

Currently, the youngest player in the top 50, this  Russian-turned-German has seen his deep, flat groundstrokes take him to an ATP 500-level quarter-final this season, backing up his semi-final appearance at the ATP-500 level event in Hamburg, 2014. He also claimed a straight win over Novak Djokovic in 2015. Let alone a teenager – how many players can claim to have done that?

1. Borna Coric

Hailing from Croatia, Borna Coric is already no. 40 in the world. His impressive CV boasts of wins over Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. The 19-year-old dynamite is already being compared to Novak Djokovic probably because of his lean built, quick and great defense. Here’s an interesting stat for you – Since 2006 only two players have beaten Tommy Robredo in the 5th set. One is The Serbinator and the other? Borna Coric. Already dubbed as the talent of the generation, Coric looks set to conquer in the coming years.

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