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Turning a corner: Who are the best young tennis players?

Turning a corner: Who are the best young tennis players?

It’s been a rough few months for tennis… It began with serious allegations of widespread match-fixing. This was followed by the news that Maria Sharapova, one of the world’s most popular and best known female athletes had failed a drug test at the Australian Open – prompting speculation about widespread doping in tennis. When things seemingly couldn’t get worse, a prize money / gender equality squabble erupted at Indian Wells, and it looks to have somewhat tarnished the name of the sport’s leading man, Novak Djokovic. Pretty full-on stuff, we’re sure you’ll agree. However, spring has finally sprung, and with the (little bit of) sunshine (!) comes fresh excitement for the European summer and what’s set to be a thrilling series of tournaments – not least, our two favourite Grand Slams. With Sharapova and Djokovic under scrutiny, who are the likely future custodians of the sport? Who are the best young tennis players to look out for over the coming months? The nearly men: Could this be their summer? Three players who have become household names among tennis fans are Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov, and Nick Kyrgios. All three have featured in the latter stages of Grand Slams, and with an average age of 23, they’re set to be potent forces on the ATP tour for years to come. Nishikori’s career high ranking of no.4 in 2015 makes him the best ranked of the trio. The first ever male player from an Asian country to reach a Grand Slam singles final; he’s won 11 singles titles and was runner-up at the 2014 US Open Nishikori plays most comfortably at...
Can an underdog ever win Wimbledon again?

Can an underdog ever win Wimbledon again?

Another Wimbledon Championships passes and the favourites have once again “aced” their way to victory, prompting the question, can an underdog ever win Wimbledon again? In the past 11 years the only real ‘surprise’ finalist in the men’s competition has been Tomas Berdych in 2010, while among the women, no-one seeded lower than 23 has finished as champion in the entire history of the Championships. Are the Grand Slams becoming increasingly repetitive, or is there still an element of surprise when it comes to lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish or the men’s silver gilt trophy. Can an underdog ever win Wimbledon again? The element of surprise Some matches at this year’s Championships had wonderful moments of surprise and kept us glued to the edge of our seats. We even saw the underdog triumph a few times. The shock result of the tournament was Dustin Brown’s defeat of Rafa Nadal – proof Wimbledon still retains its magical moments. Brown didn’t let himself be overawed by the occasion, and in fact thrived off the Centre Court atmosphere to upset the bookmakers and defeat Nadal in one of the contests of the tournament. However, even after his stunning performance, Brown was not expected to challenge the top seeds, and his progress was halted in the next round. Falling short at the last hurdle Over the years we’ve seen many underdogs coming close to remarkable victories. This year, the standout “near miss” from an underdog came in the clash between British hopeful Heather Watson, and world number one Serena Williams. Watson managed to take Serena to a third set, but just missed out on...