ATP Next Gen Finals – Innovation and Controversy

ATP has a requirement to build the champions of the future and this has resulted in the Top 21-and-under competition, which is meant for the eight youth names in the form of the Next Gen ATP finals. Milan will witness the inaugural event, which will be played from November 7-11. Apart from hosting this edition, Milan will also be the destination for the finals in the next five years.

The draw ceremony was controversial and called a “disgrace” by Amelie Mauresmo and “awful” by Judy Murray (Andy Murray’s mother). See all reactions here.

Among the eight players who feature in the competition, the top seven will be decided based on the rankings in the ATP while the final eighth place will be chosen as a wildcard entry. This final eighth place for the 2017 edition will be granted to the player who wins the u21 Italian event, which concluded on November 5. The competition will be streamed live by Amazon Prime (first venture for Amazon in live sports streaming) but there are also free live streams for the ATP Next Gen.

The players at the Next Gen ATP finals will not only receive the points but they would also get a prize money. After the withdrawal of Alexander Zverev, the event will be contested by Borna Coric, Karen Khachanov, Daniil Medvedev, Denis Shapovalov, Andrey Rublev, Hyeon Chung, and Jared Donaldson.

Coric and Donaldson were able to qualify when Federer managed to beat Francis Tiafoe in the first round of the Swiss Indoors.
Khachanov was able to reach the tournament after winning his first ATP tournament in 2017 when he managed to defeat Albert Ramos-Vinolas. He was able to reach the fourth round of the French Open 2017 by overcoming Berdych and Isner.

Rublev reaches this stage of the competition after being able to overcome Fabio Fognini in the Croatia open. He is currently a favourite to win the title after coming on as the youngest player in the top 50 ATP rankings. He has previously won the French Open junior title.

Hyeon Chung has the potential to provide plenty of competition as he has been going through a strong surge in form over the last two years. After being ranked 171 back in 2015, he is now ranked 51st. He has had victories over the likes of Querrey, Monfils, and Goffin to name a few.

Medvedev also comes in from Russia and he was able to reach the final of the Chennai Open. His biggest success so far in his career is overcoming Wawrinka at Wimbledon 2017.
Shapovalov rose to fame when he overcame Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Porto at the Canadian Open 2017. He also reached the US Open fourth round to create a lot of headlines.