Ones To Watch During The 2020 Tennis Season


Sunday, December 15, 2019 4:29 PM UTC

Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 4:29 PM UTC

In the everchanging sport of tennis, there are always intriguing storylines to follow. Here are some exciting players to keep track of, and add to your 2020 watchlist!
<div><h2>Jack Draper, 17 years old, Great Britain</h2><p>Enter one of Britain´s finest young talents, and one who has made large strides in his young career throughout the 2019 season. Despite missing over three months with a broken finger that delayed the start of his season until February, and yet more injuries still, Draper managed to win three $25k Futures tournaments. He also managed to make an impact on the Challenger tour, making the quarterfinals in Fairfield, beating the likes of Jack Sock and Donald Young en route. Mature beyond his years, possessing a big lefty serve and serious whip on his groundstrokes behind his 190.5cm frame, the 17-year old Brit was able to rise from 560 in the world rankings to his current ranking of 340. Jack´s efforts also saw him win the inaugural Prime Video Future Talent Award, one supported by fellow British superstar Andy Murray. The prize includes a total of £60,000 in funding over two years, as well as one-on-one progress updates with Murray. Expect to see much more of this rising star in 2020.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;A big congratulations to Surrey's Jack Draper who along with Emma Raducanu, has been announced as winners of the inaugural Amazon Prime Video Future Talent Award, supported by Andy Murray 💪 &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#SurreyTennis&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Surrey.Tennis (@surrey_tennis) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;November 12, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><h2>Mikael Ymer, 21 years old, Sweden</h2><p>After several dark years for the great tennis country of Sweden, a new star looks to have emerged and catapulted himself into the higher echelons of the game. That would be Mikael Ymer, who was one of the four players on the Challenger tour to win four Challenger titles throughout the 2019 season. Long in the shadow of his older brother Elias, Mikael would steal the spotlight with his at times near impenetrable defences, with the superb backhand wing making his opponents suffer. As opposed to Elias´ more aggressive hitting, Mikael prides himself on coaxing out mistakes from the opponent. Some of the most impressive of the world no. 74´s work came towards the end of the year, winning back-to-back Challenger titles in Orleans and Mouilleron-Le-Captif - continuing the Ymer tradition in the latter with the 3rd straight title for one of the brothers. En route to the Orleans title, he staged a humungous upset, taking down the completely resurgent former world no. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on home soil. With several impressive victories over ATP-level opposition, it´ll be interesting to see how Mikael acclimatises to his first full year on the ATP tour in 2020.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Mikael Ymer crushing at the moment 🙌 &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Erik Jonsson (@erktennis) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;October 16, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><h2>Amanda Anisimova, 18 years old, USA</h2><p>One of two highly successful Russian-born Americans on the WTA tour right now is Amanda Anisimova. She hits the ball fearlessly, with incredible velocity, and already carries herself like a seasoned pro. Exuding confidence and fearing no opponent, all hidden behind an utterly calm demeanour, it´s easy to see why the 18-year old is so highly regarded. Anisimova´s 2019 season on the court was a brilliant one, upsetting the red hot Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets en route to an Australian Open semi-final. The World no. 24 followed that result up by winning her maiden title in Bogota, and would later on produce one of the upsets of the season. Simona Halep had come in as the sizable favourite to retain her Roland Garros title, and not many gave Amanda a chance. Even after reaching the quarterfinal and previously making history, as the youngest American woman since Serena Williams, to reach the third round of the tournament. As the 5.11 priced betting underdog, she delivered a 6-2, 6-4 beat down. However, just as things were looking up, disaster struck. The then 17-year old girl´s father and long-time coach, Konstantin Anisimov, was found dead just days before his 53rd birthday. As a result, the American understandably withdrew from the US Open. Recently, Anisimova was also forced to withdraw from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship with an injury, and 2020 will be a year where we will watch closely as one of the game´s brightest young stars battles against adversity.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Amanda Anisimova will not compete at the &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#USOpen&lt;/a&gt; after the sudden passing of her father and coach, Konstantin Anisimov.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Our thoughts go out to Amanda and her family.&lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— TENNIS (@Tennis) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;August 20, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt; &lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><h2>Marketa Vondrousova, 20 years old, Czech Republic</h2><p>Another young star who would make waves at the same Roland Garros tournament that Amanda Anisimova made history in was Marketa Vondrousova. The Czech had already put together a stellar 2019, picking up back-to-back quarterfinals in the Prestigious Premier Mandatory tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami. Defeating Simona Halep en route to another quarterfinal, this time in the Premier 5 tournament in Rome, to back up final appearances in Istanbul and Budapest, Vondrousova came into Paris confident. Exhibiting her huge return game, topspin forehand, and shrewd tactical decision making as she stretched her opponents with drops shots and clever lobs - the 20-year old stormed all the way to the final without dropping a set. While the would become world no. 1 in Ashleigh Barty was too solid in the final, the world no. 16 showed us what an amazing player she is. Unfortunately, it wouldn´t take long until Marketa´s season was over. Sustaining a wrist injury during Wimbledon practice forced the Czech out of competing following a first round exit, and we haven´t seen her play since shutting the season down, and later having surgery. It´ll be a joy to see Vondrousova finally back on court again for the 2020 season.</p><p><a href=";a=f339dce1-88de-4994-ab6a-c24e019bdf3b&amp;f=3"><img alt src="" style="width:100%;height:38px" /></a></p></div>
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