US Open ’15 commences in just one day, as the Tour marches into the final Grand Slam event of the year. This 2015 season has been mostly hallmarked by “Middlemen” (read: players in their late 20s) and one old schmuck named Federer, peaking where it mattered the most. The teenagers haven’t really produced a result of great note, but is that about to change at Flushing Meadows? Only time will tell.
For the first time since 1990, 10 Teenagers are competing in the main draw. In this article, the writer takes the liberty of picking out 5 Teenagers who might cause some waves at Flushing Meadows.
5. Borna Coric
— borna coric (@borna_coric) August 29, 2015
The 18 y/o prospect from Croatia managed to draw Rafa Nadal in the first round. Cut back to 2013.. or even 2014 if you may, this would’ve been a nightmare for the Croatian. But so is not the case in 2015, as the lad from Zagreb will be facing a slumping Nadal, a doubting Nadal. Coric will be expected to give Nadal a tough fight, and with his crushing backhand that he hits left and right, he might win. With Nadal swept out of the way, Coric will have a good prospect at making deeper into the draw. Tennis needs teens to cause ripples not only at 250s and 500s but at GS events too. More than ever, Coric might as well do that here in NY… thereby inspiring the other members of “The Generation Next” to step up.
4. Francis Tiafoe
Rough day at the office yesterday but a great day of training with the world number one Rafael Nadal pic.twitter.com/nlW5Atp7C8
— frances tiafoe (@FTiafoe) June 3, 2014
At the age of 15, Tiafoe was the Youngest Boy’s Orange Ball Champion ever, a competition won by the likes of Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and Jim Courier. And the young American has shown great caliber just the past week by winning his first Main Draw match at Winston-Salem. Tiafoe has Troicki in his opener, it would be not an easy task to beat the Serbian in his first GS event ever.. but coming this far being a mere 17 y/o is an achievement in itself.
3. Yoshihito Nishioka
— YOSHIHITO NISHIOKA (@yoshihitotennis) August 27, 2015
The Young man from The Land of The Rising Sun, happens to be Asia’s Next hope right after World No.4 Kei Nishikori. Nishioka plays veteran Mathieu in the first round, who also made it to the draw through qualifying. Mathieu happens to be a beatable opponent (no offense). Nishioka can set himself a Third Round match with Andy Murray if he plays top notch tennis. Nishioka happens to be an out-of-ordinary tennis player, has hit the Best Shot of 2015 ATP Season (it’s a shame if you haven’t seen a clip of that Behind-The-Back pass from him, mate). A third round affair with the Brit World No.3 would be interesting and boosting for the Japanese prodigy.
2 goats pic.twitter.com/0OLJqmCPPC
— Alexander Zverev fan (@Alexzverev97) August 27, 2015
The German wunderkid accounted for one of the feel-good stories of the 2014 season, as he romped into his first ever Tour semifinal at Hamburg last year. The 18 y/o, nicknamed Sascha, the young man is hot-tempered and passionate, covers the court like a cat and comes a close second to Latvian Ernests Gulbis when it comes to unabashedly-honest self analysis. A player to look out for, or just another wanderer in the park? Only time could tell. Zverev faces countryman Kohlschreiber in the first round, which could prove to be an entertaining match. Zverev beat Kevin Anderson and Alexandr Dolgopolov weeks ago at Citi Open, so he’s really accustomed to causing upsets now.
— Eleni Markopoulos (@elenimarko98) August 29, 2015
The 19 y/o has been in hot waters since Montreal, thanks to some not-wise words that his fellow Aussie Kyrgios uttered during a match. “Kokk” also got in a tussle with American Ryan Harrison at Cincinnati. The Aussie happens to be one of the most controversy-girdled player going into US Open, so it’s really high time he shut his doubters up. Kokk happens to be the prime guide for the “Next Generation” alongside Borna Coric and Co. He has got the mental strength of a Tiger and a game as stable as the Empire State Building. Kokk faces Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the first round. Gasquet has found his vein of form back just in right time, and it would be really tough for Kokk to beat Gasquet. But if he does, he will be rewarded with various inroads (could also set-up and all-Aussie encounter with either Tomic or Hewitt).Beating top players is never a straighforward process, but his “Never Give Up” attitude gives Kokk a surviving chance. That’s all the Aussie needs.
If the harrowing experience of Dimitrov, Raonic, Tomic et al is any evident; these Teenagers will have their crests and troughs throughout their careers… but as the writer attests, the “Next Generation” has a fighting chance. A prospect. This prospect, will be tested at 2015 US Open.