Alexander Zverev

Top Tennis Players to Watch in 2020

There are many tennis players that are now household names. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the tennis players you should pay attention to going into 2020.

Besides watching matches and following highlights, it’s helpful to pay attention to the types of wagers that are available for matches because this will show you which players and matches the top analysts are focusing on. And they’re likely only focusing on the best of the best, because who wants to wager on a player that’s unlikely to get far?

Here are the players you should pay attention to going into 2020:

New Comers
Dominic Thiem is an Austrian-based tennis player who reached number four in the world for the first time in 2017. He’s made it to the final at the 2018 and 2019 French Opens only to lose to Rafael Nadal both times.

Alexander Zverev, a German professional tennis player, is one of the youngest players to reach the top 10 ranking by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He has been referred to as the future number one player by some of the long-standing tennis champions.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is the youngest professional player ranked by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He is the highest-ranking Green player in history. He was also the youngest player to defeat four of the top ten opponents in a single tournament last year.

Karen Khachanov is a Russian tennis player who achieved a ranking of number nine this year. He landed in a major quarterfinal during the French Open in 2019.

Daniil Medvedev, a tennis professional from Russia, reached a singles career high ranking of number four in 2019. He stood out as a breakthrough player in 2019 and has won two Masters titles.

Roger Federer is a well-known Swiss professional tennis player that has made history for holding the most Grand Slam singles Titles at 20. The one thing Roger Federer is still after is that Olympic Gold. It’s likely that 2020 could be his year to achieve just that.

Novak Djokovic is currently ranked number two in men’s singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals. This tennis professional is the first male player hailing from Serbia to win a Grand Slam Singles title. He also is considered an Olympic hopeful for 2020.

Rafael Nadal, a Spanish tennis professional, is currently ranked number one in men’s singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He follows Federer with 19 Grand Slam wins. Nadal has a reputation to maintain in the upcoming Olympics and his G.O.A.T. status.

Serena Williams is an American professional tennis player holding 23 major singles titles by any man or woman in the Open Era. She has been ranked number one by the Women’s Tennis Association on more than eight occasions. She also holds 14 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus. She will be defending her prior gold medal achievements during this upcoming 2020 Olympics run.
Upcoming Challengers

Felix Auger-Aliassime is a young Canadian professional tennis player that reached a career high juniors ranking of number two in 2016. He has made his way through open matches only to be defeated by high ranking professionals.
Dennis Shapovalov is an Israeli-born Canadian professional that was the youngest player to break the top 30 in the Association of Tennis Professionals rankings since 2005. In the past couple years he has risen to the top while making appearances in major finals.

Frances Tiafoe is the youngest American to be ranked in the top 50 of the Association of Tennis Professionals. His success during his youth career made him a stand out player as a professional to watch. Many believe he will be one of the next top ranking professionals for American players.

Cristian Garin is a Chilean professional tennis player who has been climbing up the ranks of the Association of Tennis Professionals. Winning a high level Association of Tennis Professionals match has earned him the ranking of the first Chilean player to reach this achievement. In 2019, he created a name for himself reaching more three finals in five tournaments.

Bianca Andreescu came to fame when she defeated favorite, Serena Williams, in both the US Open and Canadian Open. Winning her Grand Slam singles title earned her the ranking of the first Canadian tennis player to achieve this ranking.

Belinda Bencic has been playing tennis since the age of two. She has risen to high rankings in her recent achievements, winning four singles and two doubles titles in the Women’s Tennis Association. In 2019, she initially reached the top 20, finishing the season in the top 10 after her semifinal in the US Open.

While this list is composed of many newcomers in the tennis profession, there are also many well-known players reaching for important titles and achievements. As analysts watch these upcoming players, wagers will pay off on any of these professionals in 2020

Zverev Has to Live Up to Potential

Alexander Zverev proved his talent in London at the end of 2018, defeating Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to win the ATP Finals. The German now faces the challenge of replicating his form a few miles down the road in SW19 to make his Grand Slam breakthrough at Wimbledon.

Zverev has produced quality results in isolation, although he has not managed to progress further than the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in his 16 attempts. The 22-year-old has reached the last eight in his last two appearances at the French Open. However, his best performance at Wimbledon was his fourth-round berth achieved in 2017.

It would take a significant improvement for Zverev to challenge for the crown at the All England Club, although he is backed behind the big three of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer as the next best option in the Wimbledon winner odds at 18/1. The German does have the star potential, but whether he can put it all together with a surge to the latter stages of the competition is another matter given the quality of the top three players.

He was extremely underwhelming last season, failing to emerge beyond the first week of Wimbledon. Zverev’s form on the ATP Tour earned him the fourth seed for the competition, and he brushed aside James Duckworth with ease in the first round. However, American Taylor Fritz took him all the way to five sets, forcing the German to battle back to win the final two to advance to the third round. His exploits against Fritz took their toll in his next outing, resulting in a five-set defeat at the hands of Ernests Gulbis, losing the final two sets 6-3 6-0.

It was the same story at the US Open, failing to progress beyond the third round after being beaten by his compatriot Philipp Kohlschreiber. Zverev put that disappointment behind him to end the year on a high note in the ATP Tour Finals. In his group, the German was defeated by Djokovic, but overcame John Isner and Marin Cilic to book his place in the semi-finals. Zverev put forward arguably the best performance of his career to beat Federer before topping that display by winning in straights sets in his revenge match against Djokovic.

The results proved that the German is more than capable of beating the elite players, although he could not carry that forward into the Australian Open. Milos Raonic saw him off with ease in the first Grand Slam of 2019 in the fourth round. He improved his performance at the French Open, earning a quarter-final berth for the second year on the bounce. The presence of Djokovic ended his charge, dumping him out in straight sets.

Zverev has impressed in short stints, but has not managed to make a strong impression over two weeks of a major competition. He has bogged down in the early rounds, which has resulted in fatigue and his eventual premature exit. The 22-year-old has to become more clinical in the early rounds of Grand Slams to prepare himself for the challenge of the big three in the latter stages. Zverev has the quality, but needs to deliver on his potential.

Should Alexander Zverev Be Taken Seriously For The Australian Open?

by Shubham Singh

If we take a look at last 4 years of the Australian Open, the tournament has either been won by the world number one, Djokovic, or the Swiss Maestro, Roger Federer.

It is the first major tournament of the year and players rarely miss out on it. It generally takes place after a decent break that gives players ample time to pull their socks up, get their heads in the right place and their bodies in the ideal condition — that’s where these two perfectionists get the better of their opponents.

However, regardless of the fact that fans generally fancy these two to the lift the trophy, the winds of change that have blown through tennis recently suggest that it could be a different story this time. Alexander Zverev’s two outstanding victories in the ATP Finals against Roger Federer in the semi-final and Novak Djokovic in the final, both won in straight sets rocked the tennis world.

Many players come out of the blue every year and send a wave of awe across the world of tennis but not many are as special as Alexander Zverev. That’s why everyone has been talking about him lately, that’s why he looks like a realistic punt — as per the suggestions of Australian Open odds — he’s charming, talented and desires to be one of the best players to grace the court. So, what makes him so special and such a serious contender for the Australian Open?

The reason for his inclusion in the upper echelons is not just his current success. He has shown significant growth in his style of play and on the overall aspects that play a crucial part in the long run. He brought Jez Green into his team in 2013 to bolster his fitness which shows he’s taking not purely concentrating on his style, but also, his fitness.

He isn’t short of success at his age, but he doesn’t want to settle for the minor titles. His biggest concern has been his lukewarm presence in the Grand Slams. Although he has been coached by his father, the addition of Ivan Lendl has been instrumental in his recent success at the ATP Finals. Lendl was influential in Murray’s success — he guided Murray to three Grand Slam titles and an Olympic Gold in 2012. We could expect some of his expertise to rub off on Zverev. Even Zverev acknowledged Lendl’s advice being crucial in his recent triumph. After his victory, he credited Lendl for his advice that helped him in both the semi-final and final.

“He talked about golf to me before the match. No, I’m kidding,” Zverev joked following his victory. “He obviously analyzed the match that I played with [Djokovic] a few days ago, told me a few things I had to do different. I was more aggressive today.”

“Obviously Ivan, the experience he has on and off the court, is amazing. That helped me, as well, to kind of play the two matches that I played back-to-back now.”

With an already strong camp, Lendl’s inclusion would be a cherry on top.

One of the best things about Zverev right now is that he is surrounded by proven winners in his camp and his interviews and behaviour on the pitch reflect a good sense of maturity. Djokovic was full praise for the youngster who defeated him in straight sets and mentioned how he the two of them are common in some aspects.

He said, “I mean, there’s a lot of similarities in terms of trajectory of professional tennis, in our careers.”

“Hopefully he can surpass me. I mean, I sincerely wish him that. He seems like someone that is very dedicated. Without a doubt, he’s a really nice person, someone that gets along very well with everyone. He deserves everything he gets so far. There’s a lot of time ahead of him. Wish him to stay healthy and obviously win a lot of titles.”
But the 21-year-old has his feet planted firmly on the ground and didn’t spare a moment to play down the comparison. He said, “Oh, Jesus. Oh, my God,”

“I mean, I’ve won one of those [ATP Finals]. He won five. He’s won, I don’t know what, 148 titles more than me. Let’s not go there for now. I hope I can do great. I mean, but just chill out a little bit.” ‘Chill’ is certainly apt.

What to expect from Zverev in 2019?

It’s obvious that he’d be treading into Australia with huge confidence. With Lendl’s winning formula and Zverev’s potential, we can expect at least one Grand Slam next year.
Although there are few things about his play that need to be addressed. All the star players have big weapons in their repertoire at their disposal in crucial moments. For now, Zverev seems to lack that. He does have a fantastic first serve that can turn the game in his favour many times but he needs to put work on his overall game if he’s aiming for something big.

He’s just 21 and has many years ahead of him. If he keeps progressing like this, 2019 would certainly be a big year for him and we would probably see him lift a Grand Slam title.

Alexander Zverev Shocks Novak Djokovic To Win ATP Finals In London

Alexander Zverev became the youngest champion ever at the year-end ATP Finals in a decade with his comprehensive upset of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

The title marked the biggest career win for the 21-year-old German, who began working with tennis legend Ivan Lendl in late August.

Zverev became the youngest player to win at the ATP’s season finale since Djokovic in 2008. He was the first German to win the title since Boris Becker in 1995.

“This is the biggest title of my career so far. This trophy means a lot, everything, to all the players. I mean, you only have so many chances of winning it. You play against the best players only,” Zverev said. “How I played today, how I won it, for me it’s just amazing.”

One year ago, Zverev made his debut at elite eight-player event in London, falling short of reaching the semifinals. The 10-time ATP tournament title champion beat six-time champion Roger Federer in straight sets on Saturday in the semifinals. It’s the first time a player has beaten both Djokovic and Federer at the same Nitto ATP Finals. Zverev’s the first player to beat the Top 2 seeds in the semifinals and final of the event since Andre Agassi in 1990.

“It’s quite astonishing, winning this title, beating two such players back-to-back, Roger and Novak, in semi-finals and final,” Zverev said. “It means so much. I’m incredibly happy and incredibly proud of this moment right now.”

Rafael Nadal, Now Proven To Be Human On Clay, Seeks Redemption In Rome

So Rafael Nadal is human on clay!

One week after the “King of Clay” showed vulnerability in his quarterfinal loss to Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Open, Nadal will look to regain his winning ways in Rome at the Italian Championships. Nadal has won in Rome seven times, less than his 11 titles each in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and his 10 titles at Roland Garros, but, by any other normal professional standards, is amazing.

Against Thiem in Madrid, Nadal had his 21-match and 50-set clay-court winning streaks come to an end. To boot, he fell from the top ranking by not winning the title, surrendering the top spot to Roger Federer. However, Nadal is still 14-1 in matches and 30-2 in sets on clay this year. He will return the No. 1 ranking on 21 May if he captures his the title at the Foro Italico. While Nadal has won a record seven times in Rome, he has not won there since 2013. He lost in the quarterfinals in 2015, 2016 and 2017 after falling to Djokovic in the 2014 final. Rome is the only clay-court event where Nadal has made four consecutive appearances without a title.

Nadal faces the strongest ATP World Tour field of the season with 18 of the Top 20 players vying for the title. Four-time champion Novak Djokovic and defending champion Alexander Zverev are former champs in the field. Djokovic continues to struggle this year and is only 6-6 in 2018 and seeking his first quarterfinal of the season as he continues his comeback from a right elbow injury. The former world No. 1 is responsible for 19% of Nadal’s losses on clay, earning three of seven clay-court victories over his Spanish rival in Rome.

Zverev, the world No. 3, won ATP Masters 1000 titles last year in Rome and Montreal and is coming in on a high after defeating Thiem in the final of Madrid. Zverev’s serve, in particular, was impressive in Madrid, not losing serve and barely losing points on his deliveries. If he can keep up that success in Rome – and avoid mental and physical fatigue – he will be a tough out.

Thiem beat Nadal in the quarterfinals of Rome last year and combined with his win over Nadal last week in Madrid – and two semifinal showings at the French Open – make him and Zverev the next two betting favorites in Rome – and in Paris – other than Nadal. With three wins over Nadal on clay in his career, Thiem is one of three men with three wins over Nadal on clay, joining Djokovic (7) and Gaston Gaudio (3).

World No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro is 22-5 in 2018, highlighted by his first ATP Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells, where he saved three championship points to defeat Federer. Despite his high credentials and South American upbringing on the clay in Argentina, del Potro has not reached a semifinal on a clay court since Madrid in 2012. Kevin Anderson, the world No. 8, and John Isner, the world No. 9, are at career-high rankings following impressive starts to their seasons. The 6-foot-8 Anderson, the 2017 US Open runner-up, reached his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal last week in Madrid after winning his fourth ATP title in New York. The 6-foot-10 Isner defeated del Potro and Zverev to capture his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami.

Alexander Zverev and Elina Svitolina Win Canada Titles Heading Into US Open

Canada saw a glimpse of the bright future of men’s and women’s tennis on Sunday, as 20-year old German Alexander Zverev and 22-year old Ukrainian Elina Svitolina won their inaugural Rogers Cup titles.

 

Zverev took down Roger Federer, 6-3, 6-4, in Montreal, to become the youngest Rogers Cup men’s champion since Novak Djokovic in 2007. Zverev continued his peak summer hard-court form — he’s won 10 straight matches after winning the title in Washington, D.C., last week — to capture his second ATP Masters 1000 title of 2017 (Rome) and first at a US Open Series event. Zverev has now won five ATP titles in 2017, which is tied with Federer for the most on tour.

 

Svitolina beat Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4, 6-0, in Toronto to win her ninth career WTA title and her tour-leading fifth this year. Svitolina’s first victory at a US Open Series event was earned by defeating four straight Top 10-ranked players in Venus Williams, Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep and Wozniacki, and it will propel her to a career-high No. 4 in the world on Monday.

 

The US Open Series crescendos this week with the Western & Southern Open, as many of the top men’s and women’s players converge on Cincinnati. For the first time since 2009, Rafael Nadal and Federer will be the tournament’s No. 1 and No. 2 men’s seeds, respectively, and will battle each other to claim the No. 1 ranking. Cincinnati will also see a women’s field featuring every active player in the Top 20 (minus Serena Williams) and five different players battling to claim the No. 1 ranking.

 

ESPN2 picks up its coverage from Cincinnati on Thursday, beginning at 1 p.m., and will carry matches through Sunday’s finals, beginning with the women at 2 p.m. ET. Tennis Channel begins its weeklong coverage with Monday’s first round. See the full summer TV schedule here.

 

Fans can join the conversation by using hashtag #USOpenSeries and by following @usopen. Fans can share their experiences at US Open Series tournaments using hashtag #MyUSOpenSeries.

 

About the US Open Series

Now in its 14th season, the world’s best players on the WTA and ATP World Tour are coming together for the US Open Series. Linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open, the US Open Series serves as a true “regular season” of hard court tennis.  Featuring a cohesive schedule, the Series centralizes the way tennis is viewed in North America, across multiple television and digital platforms. Fans will see today’s top champions go head-to-head with tomorrow’s emerging stars, as storylines develop throughout the summer season. Each tournament also engages its local community with a variety of outreach initiatives, including grass-roots youth tennis clinics and activities.

 

About the WTA

The WTA is the global leader in women’s professional sport with more than 2,500 players representing nearly 100 nations competing for a record $139 million in prize money. The 2017 WTA competitive season includes 55 events and four Grand Slams in 32 countries.

 

About the ATP World Tour

The ATP World Tour, with 63 tournaments in 31 countries, showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the 2017 ATP World Tour will battle for prestigious titles and Emirates ATP Rankings points at ATP World Tour Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non ATP events).

Rafael Nadal Fights Off Next Generation In Five-Set Australian Open Win Over Alexander Zverev

by Kevin Craig

@KCraig_Tennis

Rafael Nadal withstood the effort from young German star Alex Zverev in the third round of the Australian Open on Saturday, winning in five sets by a score of 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(5) 6-3, 6-2.

Nadal, the No. 9 seed in this year’s Australian Open, has been out to prove a message to the ATP World Tour early in the season as he already claimed an exhibition title in Abu Dhabi before reaching the quarterfinals in Brisbane. Now, the 14-time major champion has continued an impressive run to the fourth round in Melbourne after another tough win over Zverev.

“It’s obviously an important result for me. I lost the last couple of ones, matches in the fifth. So it’s important for me to win a match like this,” Nadal said.

The two met last year in Indian Wells, and the German blew an easy volley on match point before eventually squandering the loss to Nadal. That result surely would’ve given Zverev some extra motivation to get revenge on Nadal on Saturday, but in the end, the experienced veteran was just too good, but remained humble as always.

“Everyone knows how good Alexander is. He is the future of our sport, and the present too, now,” Nadal said.

Zverev, who hit 58 winners in the match, got off to a hot start, breaking Nadal in the first game of the match. After saving a break point three games later, Zverev was able to cruise through the rest of the set to jump out to an early lead.

It was Nadal who got off to the hot start in the second set, though, as he held his first two service games at love before breaking the 19-year old easily for a 3-1 lead. Nadal never looked back from that point, as he only dropped three points on serve in the second set to level the match.

Breaks continued to be scarce into the third set as neither man was able to create even a single break point in the set. Zverev was forced to play a 12-point service game early in the set, but other than that, neither player had much trouble on serve. The tiebreak was neck and neck, just like the rest of the set, but it was Zverev who created a set point at 6-5 and didn’t miss out on the opportunity, taking a two sets to one lead.

Being just one set away from the win, Zverev’s mind may have flashed back to Indian Wells last year when he missed out on a great opportunity to upset one of the greatest players of all time. In his first service game of the set, Zverev was broken, allowing Nadal to take an early break lead. Serving at 3-1, Nadal fought off one break point in a 12-point game before settling down in the latter stages of the set, closing it out and forcing a decider.

“Fighting and running a lot,” Nadal said when asked what the key was to his comeback. “I enjoyed a lot this great battle.”

While the fifth set score line will read 6-2 in favor of Nadal, the set was much tighter than you would expect. After Nadal broke in the first game, Zverev was able to break back and get back on serve at 2-2. Nadal did break in the next game, but not before the German fought off two break points in a 16-point game. Zverev’s next service game also resulted in a break, but once again he fought hard, saving two more break points, this time in an 18-point game.

“For the confidence, for lots of things, it’s very important to win these kinds of matches,” Nadal said. “I think I finished the match playing much better than what I started the match.”

Next up for Nadal will be the 6th-seeded Gael Monfils. The eclectic Frenchman has been very impressive in the Australian Open so far, only dropping one set in his first three matches.