Carlos Alcaraz Casper Ruud US Open final 2022

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Tennis is one of the most popular single-player sports in the world. It enjoys immense popularity in several regions across the globe. Today, we’ll look at the new generation of tennis stars coming through to replace the golden crop that is sadly on its way out.

Nobody can dispute the quality and legacy of the last 20 years of tennis. It is important that tennis continues to have marquee names and crossover stars, or it may lose some footing against other sports.

The legendary Roger Federer, who has competed at the highest end of the sport for two decades, spearheaded this incredible group of talent. In some Wimbledon tournaments, bookmakers paid out before he had even won the tournament.

If you want to take a look at the latest odds for Grand Slam tournaments, you can find them on online bookmakers.

In the last 15 years, a select four exceptional players won all of the Grand Slam tournaments. I think we all know who they are, but just for reference:

Between them, they have won an astonishing 66 Grand Slam tournaments, with Nadal leading the way on 22. Tennis fans and analysts were incredibly excited when these players emerged through the rankings.

Everybody could see their quality – especially the likes of Federer, who would have dominated the sport if it wasn’t for Nadal being the greatest clay player of all time. The Spaniard has won an astonishing 14 French Open titles, which is the current record.

It’s unlikely that this record will be broken for a long time. His great counterpart Roger Federer holds the record for most Wimbledon titles, and Novak Djokovic holds the record for the most Australian Open titles.

Between them, they have been incredible ambassadors for the sport. Many sports journalists have not only highlighted Roger Federer as their greatest player but arguably the most recognizable and impactful sportsperson of his generation.

We can look back fondly on the days of these legendary players. Their place in the game is set in stone, and fans and analysts will remember them for centuries…….

However – today we’ll look at today’s new crop of players coming through. We will establish who the future stars are likely to be and see if they can live up to the sensational generation of players that came before them.

Denis Shapovalov

The first name on our list is Denis Shapovalov. At present, he is considered one of the top young players on the North American continent. He is also touted to move into the higher echelons of the tennis rankings in the next few months if he continues to impress on the circuit.

Despite being only 22 years old, Shapovalov has an ATP title under his belt and is expected to continue his upward movement through the men’s singles rankings. The career-best he has achieved was an appearance in the final four at Wimbledon last year.

He will be hoping to go one better than this in his career but will face stiff competition from other players we are going to take a look at in this article.

Casper Ruud

Casper Ruud is being hyped for big things in the world of tennis. He was an esteemed amateur as a junior player and was consistently ranked No. 1 during this period. At the moment, he is ranked No. 3 in the world but has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the past.

Ruud has highlighted that Rafael Nadal was his idol growing up and inspired him to play tennis. He was also encouraged to play by his father, a former professional tennis player.

Ruud is on the cusp of winning his first major Grand Slam. Last year was a breakout year for him as he reached the finals of the US Open and the French Open.

At the age of 23, it looks like this young Norwegian star has a stellar career in front of him if he continues on the upward trajectory he is on. Despite being in the mix with equally serious talent, it would be difficult to imagine him not winning multiple Grand Slams in his career.

Ruud missed out on US Open glory after losing the final to fellow young superstar Carlos Alcaraz, our next pick of players to look out for.

Carlos Alcaraz

Alcaraz is younger than Ruud, and with his US Open triumph, he rose to the coveted position of No. 1 in the world. At the age of 19, it seems Alcaraz is the king in waiting.

Many commentators and analysts have highlighted his exceptional all-around ability for a man of such a young age. He has run Djokovic very close this year and looks to be the new Spanish king of tennis once Nadal retires.

Despite being a teenager, many people have commented on his mental toughness in big moments and his ability to change his tactics when required in the big games. This is a characteristic that doesn’t come easy to many players.

Not only does it not come easy to players, but the top players who do seem to possess the skill set that Alcaraz has don’t develop it until later in their careers. The level of ability Alcaraz has demonstrated so early on in his career is frightening.

It looks like a great rivalry with Ruud could be on the cards in the future. Both young players have such fabulous ability, and despite Alcaraz beating Ruud with relative ease in the final, they both respect each other’s game and know how good they are.

If Alcaraz can stay focused and continue to work on his game, we could be looking at the making of an all-time great. Comparisons to Djokovic and Federer have already been made, as have the similarities to Nadal, due to the pair sharing the same nationality.

It can be hard to predict which players are going to become the face of their sport. Many key factors ride on it, and it can be a tricky road to navigate, even if you are exceptionally gifted.

Alcaraz seems to have the temperament, ability and selling points to become a marquee name in the sport. He could also potentially have the same crossover ability as Nadal or Federer if he continues playing with the same ferocity and tenacity he has for the last 18 months.

Time will tell if Carlos can develop a path that sees him enter the conversation of all-time greats along with Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. However, you’d be a brave person to watch one of his games and doubt that he can hoover up titles on any surface.

His return game is sensational, he’s a strong server and he bears similarities to Djokovic in the way he can seemingly reach any shot and get it back over the net.

It will be exciting times for tennis if Alcaraz can take the baton from Rafa and start to bring Grand Slams back to Spanish shores.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.