Miami Open highlights the rise of a new generation of tennis stars
The generational shift on the ATP Tour is in full swing and results from Florida highlight a remarkable trend
There is every possibility that Roger Federer will lose to Daniil Medvedev in his fourth round tie at the Miami Open today, which would leave 5 out of the 8 players in the mens singles quarter finals as ‘Next Gen’ stars. Admittedly we are using the term ‘Next Gen’ loosely as 2 of those 5 players are actually over 21 years old, but only just!
If the young Russian Medvedev can overcome the G.O.A.T in todays match it will leave himself, Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime, Coric and Tiafoe battling it out in the quarter finals alongside seasoned campaigners Roberto Bautista-Agut, Kevin Anderson and John Isner. It will also mean there is an 87.5% chance of yet another first time winner in an ATP Masters 1000 event.
What’s incredible about this run is that until this year the Masters 1000 events had been totally dominated by the Big 4 players, Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and to a lesser extent Murray. Since 2004 there were 126 Masters 1000 events played and between them the Big 4 won 106 of those 126! But now we might be talking about the last 3 events being won not by the Big 4 but by younger players in Khachanov, Thiem and whoever wins Miami. When you add in that Zverev won the end of year ATP Tour World Finals it proves that the shift we’ve all been expecting is finally upon us.
But it’s not just in the highest level of ATP 1000 events that this seismic change is occurring, because in 2019 on the whole ATP Tour every tournament has been won by a different player. That’s 19 different winners this year with Djokovic and Federer taking 1 title each.
Obviously people will point to the fact that the biggest players are playing less and less tournaments as they get older and focus on the Grand Slams, but the strength in depth and the improvement of the younger generation is there for all to see and we love it!
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The draw for the quarter finals at Miami looks like this:
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