MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The courtyard seat was close, had a good design alongside Hard Rock Stadium less of a fish bowl than a Monday night crystal ball in the Open Miami. Against a backdrop of tangerine sunset and sultry twilight, the court gave a fantastic insight into the likely future of men's tennis, or at least a significant part of it, holding third round games with three ATP benefits – Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov and Stefanos Tsitsipas – among them only Rublev can legally buy an alcoholic beverage in this state.
Shapovalov outhit Rublev and Tsitsipas won a fourth round with the winner when 31-year-old relics Leonardo Mayer. The two games were cruel, straight-straight, and suited to ambitious young men in a hurry.
The 20-year-old Tsitsipas in particular have had fast, breathtaking fans with her game of joy, swinging. He is the first Greek player to reach important rounds of Grand Slam and kick the top 10 in the world, both of which achieved earlier this year. It is also a young pro (after ATP No. 3 Alexander Zverev) to reach that elite level of the group that is known – and is marketed heavily by ATP World Tour – t as the #NextGenATP combination.
Felix Auger-Aliassime, a Canadian teenage girl – the youngest player in the Miami open men's singles league – is fast becoming a feeling.
What happens when a tennis tournament is held in – and inside – a football stadium? A different environment to any other tennis event.
What started as a smart marketing concept in 2016 has now become much more. As Roger Federer said about the Next Gen squad here on Monday, "I believe [being in the group] they are truly stimulated with motivation to be better than a similar man. In younger children, you always have that. But when you come on the big trip, you suddenly try to compare yourself with world No. 1, which seems like a mountain as climbing. So maybe it's better to become a Next Gen man first. For that reason, I think it works very well. "
The ad campaign is shooting the hashtag and became something more than a vehicle used to promote a nucleus of young talents which was widely defined in 2017 with the launch of ATP Next Gen Finals, the end of term exhibition played in Milan , Italy, the week before the ATP World Tour Finals. Next Gen event includes another scoring system and many other experimental components. Similar to the big brother World Tour Finals, our round-robin championship features the top eight performers of their 21-year-old score.
Daniil Medvedev, who arrived at semifinals of the first Gen Gen event in 2017, told ESPN.com here in Miami, "Chris (Kermode, CEO of the ATP World Tour) told us in this First finals, Now, all media [Next Gen publicity] and things are taking as a joke right now. But remember that you will be the future of tennis. # 39; And it's true. At some point, life is going on, the big names are going away, some new ones are coming. "
Federer and all his icons are not ready to exchange their rackets for table cubes again. But Federer can read the tea leaves when it comes to the ambitions of its young competitors. "It's not young against the old, but it may feel a bit like the young ones," he said. They're looking towards each other to be the best of that group, and then naturally, if you are the best of the group then you can t also come the best of the next group, which is the main group, you know. "
The number of young Grand Slam competitors and their skills is approaching critical mass – and the candidates are all veterans of Next Gen campaigns. Miami Open Removal included 16 players at the moment or was previously considered part of the Next Gen fleet, which means they are currently 23 years old or younger. Those players provide the anti-theme to one more familiar of champions who are aging and locking the Top 10 sites and refusing to go quietly to the night t . After three rounds in Miami, Gen Next vets have taken part in 21 games – four set them against each other.
"It's not young against the old, but maybe it feels a bit like the young ones."
As members of the group continue to age, such numbers will mean less and less. But at the moment they suggest that Federer analysis is being addressed. In a sport where players understand anything that promises to give them even the smallest edge to them, Next Gen players have benefited from the sense of empowerment the label gives them, as well as motivation to come first among Next Gen is equal.
Tsitsipas told ESPN.com that while the bells and whistles in Next 2018 Finals had captured the event in a festival atmosphere, it was also inspirational – and challenging – to get involved. "It gave me a lot of motivation at the end of the year," he said. "I took it quite seriously. We all wanted to prove that we were the best of our generation."
The best seeds in Next Finals of the Next Gen, Tsitsipas felt pressure to maintain its status. He won the event and thus took another significant step in his development. "I had to prove that I deserved to be there, and I did," he said.
Tsitsipas know that you have to bring your game "A" against everyone on the journey these days, but again – there is an extra meaning to meetings with Next Gen competitors. "I know I'm going to compete against these men for years to come," he said. "Having the competition on the right foot from the start is important. Veterans will not fall as much pressure, and having the experience of playing some of them gives me a tool that I can use in the against some younger boys. "
The players don't just take a look at their shoulders, or give extra attention to the adventures of their Next Gen peers. As Shapovalov, a 19-year-old man in Number 23 in the world, said in an interview, "You don't focus on how old a man is, but on how to beat it. In some ways, however, play one t some of these men are a little different, they are not afraid to go for it – just like you are not. "
"Going for it" is the way that Next Gen players are scored high in blowing their way up through the sites. But after that first reversal of youthful rejoicing and confidence wore off and life on the journey reveals itself as hard joy as well as a delightful garden, it's becoming harder to swing & # 39 free, remain healthy and maintain that growing momentum. It's easy to fall fast, and hard.
Take Rublev. Lost in the inaugural Next Finals Championship championship, he was one of the first among his contemporaries to find great success on the tour. Now 21, Rublev won an ATP 250 clay event (Umag, Croatia) in 2017 and won a high career at No 21 in February 2018. But two months later, however, Rublev suffered a back injury that caused him to lose Open French and Wimbledon. It has not been the same since he returned three months later and is sticking to his Top 100 status in No. 99.
|Tuesday 26||Women's final quarter / quarter women||7:30 p.m.||ESPNEWS|
|March 27||Male and female final quarters||1 t.m.||ESPN2|
|March 27||Men's and women's final quarters||7 p.m.||ESPNEWS|
|Tuesday 28||Semifinals women / men finals||1, 7 p.m.||ESPN2|
|March 29||Semifinals men||1, 7 p.m.||ESPN2|
|March 30||Women's finals||1 t.m.||ESPN2|
|31 March||Men's finals||1 t.m.||ESPN2|
With over two years of Next Gen identification, it is clear that there has been a cull process. Injury, lack of confidence due to poor outcomes, difficulties in embracing a mobile lifestyle, and development arrested in any number of areas are so much part of the equation in tennis elsewhere. Consistency of the type Zverev, Tsitsipas, Shapovalov, and Medvedev Borna Coric is still difficult to achieve.
As Medvedev said, "I'm not surprised how much movement there has been for some men at the sites. We knew each other from the younger children, and we were all good. But you can't say in 14 When we were in the Next Gen group we were already close to the top 50, but there were still no guarantees.
Tsitsipas likes to emphasize the key role played in the success of the best players by things that cannot be taught or, necessarily, developed with age and hard work: experience and confidence.
"I feel that some of the men of Next Gen have little confidence in themselves to take things in their own hands," said Tsitski. "Like, they don't think they can go that extra mile and beat those best men. They go out to show they can stay with them. But I want to show that I am; I can do my own dirty work, which is why I am at court, to show that I can do the dirty work myself. "
The late Arthur Ashe liked using the phrase, "A tide raises every boat." This tide has not yet reached flood stage.