Top 5 ATP Players to Watch in 2021

AP/Gustavo Garello, file

Top 5 ATP Players to Watch in 2021

2021 is right around the corner, and the guard seems to be changing. No longer will it be a year where Nadal, Federer and Djokovic clean up on the biggest tournaments. They will win their fair share for sure, however, there are some rising stars that will be giving them a run for their money. Here’s my top five:

5. Jannik Sinner

Sinner ended 2020 with a bang, capturing his first ATP title in Sofia, while reaching the French Open quarterfinals – all at the tender age of 19. Most tennis pundits think Sinner will have a big break out season in 2021. Sinner can play big time tennis and has already posted some big wins against top notch competition such as Alexander Zverev, Gael Monfils, and David Goffin. Look for him to improve on his year-end ranking of #37 in 2021.

4. Alex De Minaur

Many tennis fans are already familiar with this Australian 20-year-old. He’s been a fixture on the tour for three years now, finishing 2018 ranked #31 and 2019 ranked #18. Although having finished 2020 ranked #23, De Minaur arguably had a better season in 2020 than 2019. In 2020 he reached the quarterfinals of the US Open, and the semifinals of the ATP Cup. De Minaur reminds me of Nadal, never giving up, and playing every point like his life depended on it. As the older players fade, De Minaur will be a fixture in the top 20 for years to come.

3. Casper Ruud

Everyone seems to love Casper Ruud. As the son of former ATP Pro Christian Ruud, the younger Ruud has been displaying massive potential, while climbing the rankings and ending 2020 ranked #27. He posted a semifinal appearance at the Italian Open, and a third-round appearance at the US Open. At the Italian Open, he showed what he is capable of by beating both Karen Khachanov and Matteo Berrettini. This will continue to look up for Casper as we head into 2021.

2. Hugo Humbert

22-year-old Humbert may not have as many deep runs or titles as other players on this list, however, what he does have is more wins against quality players. In 2021, that kind of experience will be invaluable as he looks to improve on his #30 ranking. Humbert has posted wins against top 10 players like Kevin Anderson, Pablo Carreño Busta, Fabio Fognini, David Goffin, Daniil Medvedev, Gael Monfils, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Denis Shapovalov. He’ll be posting more top 10 wins in 2021, so look out!

1. Cristian Garin

The oldest of the bunch at 24 years of age, Garin is a little of a late bloomer. He finished the year ranked #22 in the world behind his win at the 500 level ATP tournament in Rio de Janeiro, and the 250-level tournament in Cordoba, Argentina, where he beat hometown hero Diego Schwartzman no less. Although Garin did not post great results at the Grand Slams in 2020, it is very likely that his consistency will continue into 2021. I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins a Masters 1000 level clay event in 2021 and makes some noise at the French Open.

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