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Given that the Next Gen Finals are currently underway, it seems an appropriate time to address this topic. There are 8 guys battling it out in Milan right now, and the top talent is firmly on show. But while these are the top 8 guys in the world, from a next-gen perspective, there can only be one that deserves to be labelled as ‘most promising’.
I’ve been following these guys closely over the last 12 months. And based on what I’ve seen, there can only be one player that deserves the title. Read on for full details of who this guy is!
Carlos Alcaraz – the immensely talented Spaniard
At the time of writing, Carlos Alcaraz is just 18 years of age. Many are tipping him as the next Rafael Nadal. I believe it’s too early to be speculating quite that much, but there are certainly great signs. Why is he so special, however? And why do I believe him to be the most promising?
Big wins in 2021
It was the 2021 US Open where Alcaraz really announced to the world what he is capable of. He reached the quarter-finals before ultimately retiring due to injury and fatigue. But on his way to the quarters, he beat Norrie, Rinderknech, Gojowczyk, and most impressively – Stefanos Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas was one of the favourites to challenge for the title, and Alcaraz beat him in five sets. Tsitsipas even said in his post-match interview that he hasn’t played against a guy who hits the ball that hard.
When you watch Alcaraz from the back of the court, he really is phenomenal. His forehand is absolutely enormous, and the whip he gets on the ball is tremendous. As for the backhand, he doesn’t hit with as much spin, but he can flatten the ball out with ease. That’s why he has since claimed wins over guys like Sinner and Murray since the US Open. Even against these kinds of players, most of the time, Alcaraz is actually able to dominate the points.
It’s one thing to hit a big ball from the back of the court, but court coverage is also a major consideration. On that note, Alcaraz moves almost like Djokovic from the back of the court. That’s quite a compliment given how much success Djokovic has enjoyed through his career. I would even go as far as to say that Alcaraz is actually quicker than Djokovic when moving side to side. And when he gets out there to the wide balls, he still strikes a strong ball to neutralize the point.
Finally, he is actually a very smart player too. He chooses his shots well and he is able to expose the weaknesses of his opponents during matches. But it’s not just that, he is also confident enough to come to the net at the right times. And if he must mix things up with a slice or a drop shot, he has these at his disposal too. What more could we ask for?