New rising stars ready to break out of shadows in tennis

Five years ago, there were seven players aged 21 and under who were in the top 150, today that figure has risen to 13.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Novak Djokovic of Serbia in action during Italy Open Men's Singles Final match, May 15, 2016.

Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams have successfully maintained their dominance over their rivals in the men’s and women’s tours, respectively in 2016. However, a bunch of young players are showing all the signs of keeping the flame burning.

Let’s take a look at these 6 budding stars of tennis who can prove their dominance in the near future.

Borna Coric

Borna Coric is a Croatian national. On July 27, 2015, he reached his best singles ranking of world No. 33 in his junior career. In 2013, Coric reached the semi-finals of both the Australian and French Open junior events, before going on to win the boys' singles event at the US Open against Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis in three sets. As a result, Coric moved to number 1 in the junior rankings. He also began playing on the ITF Futures circuit, winning five singles titles.

Coric made his senior debut at the 2013 Davis Cup, after he was selected for Croatia's World Group Play-off tie against Great Britain, with his first ever best-of-5 sets match against world number 3, Andy Murray. Despite showing promise, matching the Scot's level in the first 6 games, and breaking his serve in the third set, he would ultimately go on to lose in straight sets. In April, Coric defeated no. 21 Jerzy Janowicz on the first day of Davis Cup, Croatia versus Poland.

Nick Kyrgios

Dazzling 21-year-old Nick Kyrgios is an Australian tennis player. He won the boys' singles event at the 2013 Australian Open and the boys' doubles event at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships. Kyrgios' biggest achievements to date have been reaching the quarterfinals of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships - defeating ATP number 1 Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet en route - and the quarterfinals of the 2015 Australian Open. Kyrgios, a Wimbledon quarter-finalist two years ago, is leading the charge having risen to a career-high 19th in the world heading to the French Open. He won his first ATP title this year and made semis in Dubai, Miami and Estoril.

Alexander Zverev

Alexander "Sascha" Zverev Jr. is a German tennis player and currently the youngest player in the ATP top 50. The right-hander started playing at the age of five. He is the son of former Russian tennis player Alexander Zverev Sr. and the younger brother of tennis player Mischa Zverev.

By winning the 2014 Sparkassen Open in Braunschweig, he became one of the youngest players to ever win an ATP Challenger Tour title.

Belinda Bencic

Belinda Bencic is a Swiss tennis player, currently ranked World No. 7, and the youngest player in the WTA top 10. Bencic has won two singles and two doubles titles on the WTA tour, as well as two singles and two doubles titles on the ITF circuit in her career.

In 2012, Bencic made her debut for the Switzerland Fed Cup team, and in 2013 won the French Open and Wimbledon girls' singles titles. She has also been a finalist in three girls' doubles tournaments, at the US Open in 2012 and 2013, as well as at Wimbledon in 2012.

In 2015, she won her first title at the Aegon International, beating Agnieszka Radwanska in the final as well as breaking into the top 20. She won the biggest title of her career at the Rogers Cup, beating four top-ten players: Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, world No. 1, Serena Williams, and Simona Halep en route.

Donna Vekic

Donna Vekic is a Croatian national. She has won one singles title on the WTA tour as well as four singles and one doubles title on the ITF circuit in her career. On 15 July 2013, she reached her best singles ranking of world number 62. On February 2, 2015, she peaked at world number 310 in the doubles rankings.

At the 2012 Tashkent Open, Vekic made it to her first WTA Tour final, it was her first main draw appearance at a WTA tournament. She was the youngest player in six years to make it to a WTA final.

At the 2013 French Open, Vekic lost her first match to Mallory Burdette. Following Roland Garros, Vekic competed at the Aegon Classic. There, Vekic made it all the way to the final, defeating number 8 seed Urszula Radwanska in the second round, number 3 seed Sorana Cirstea in the quarterfinals and 2009 Aegon Classic champion Magdalena Rybarikova in the semifinals.

At 17, she reached her career-high at No. 62 in 2013. After winning her first WTA title last year in Kuala Lumpur she became the first woman under 18 to win a WTA title since 2006. With Madison Keys graduating to her 20s, Vekic is now the only teenager with an ATP or WTA title to his or her name.

Taylor Townsend

Taylor Townsend is an American professional tennis player and the 2012 Australian Open girls' singles champion. She is the first American to hold the no. 1 year-end world ranking for junior girls since Gretchen Rush in 1982. Townsend won her first ITF title in Charlottesville, defeating Montserrat Gonzalez in the final. Together with Asia Muhammad, she also won the doubles competition at the same tournament.

Townsend won the USTA wild card entry into the French Open, where she made her Grand Slam singles debut ranked no. 205 in the world.

TRTWorld and agencies