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Top 7 Newcomers In Tennis 7th-4th

posted by Kevin Lannister

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7. Reilly Opelka (1997 Age: 18)

Reilly Opelka (1997)

Reilly Opelka is an American tennis player born on 28 August 1997 in St. Joseph, Michigan but lives in Palm Coast, Florida with his father George, sister Brenna and his mother Lynne. Reilly Opelka began playing the sport at the early age of six, since then he favours the clay surface and has a killer overhead shot (being right handed) and is ranked as number 1134 as of 29 June 2015.

His favourite tournament is the US Open, among his idols we can count Juan Martin del Porto and Tracy McGrady and like so many other tennis players he likes the NBA favourite basketball team being the Chicago Bulls.

Coached by Diego Moyano, Opelka trains in Florida at the USTA facility under the supervision of physical trainers Satoshi Ochi and Brett Waltz, and Reilly Opelka is managed by Lagardere Unlimited.

In the year 2014 he was ranked as number one top junior at the Grand Slam Doubles and number two at the Grand Slam Singles tournament.

In 2015 the turned pro, reaching the quarterfinals at the French Open singles and winning the Wimbledon doubles with partner Akira Santillan and won the Wimbledon singles defeating World number 1 Taylor Fritz and in the final Sweden’s Mikael Ymer with on a grass surface with a score of 7-6 and 6-4.

At the age of 17 he is surely someone to watch for in the future, extreme physical  abilities, high tennis IQ, Reilly Opelka is 2.08 m (6 ft. 10 in) and can serve with a speed of 130 mph. Opelka is currently ranked as 1109 at single and 1600T at doubles as of 20 July 2015.


6. Dominic Thiem (1993 Age: 22)

Dominic Thiem (1993)

Dominic Thiem, nicknamed “Dominator”, was born on 3 September 1993 in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. His parents Wolfgang and Karin are both professional tennis coaches so Dominic basically grew up on the courts and started playing tennis at the age of six and is now coached by Gunter Bresnik in Vienna and his physical training is overlooked by Dr. Reinprecht. Favourite surface is clay and he prefers the forehand.

In 2011 he got the change to be the wildcard at the ATP World Tour, were he captured his first tour-level win at Vienna and reached the ITF Junior world ranking number 2 also wining the Dunlop Orange Bowl.

In 2012 he went 1-2 in tour-level and 34-15 with 3 titles in 4 finals at the Futures.

In the year 2013, Dominic was again the wildcard but this time at the Bet-at-home Cup Kitzbuhel where he made it to the quarterfinals but was stopped by Albert Montanes, then reached the second quarterfinals at the ATP 250 event and earned a career-high at the time of $69,453.

In 2014, Dominic started by managing to get through the three rounds of qualifying to get a place at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open where he lost in the first round. At the Australian Open, Dominic Thiem defeated the second seed to get a spot in the main draw of the tour and made his first main-draw victory winning a career-high of $754,479. He participated at his first US open where he reached the 4th round after receiving 2 losses from Tomas Berdych who was the 6th seed.

In 2015, Dominic lost the in the first round and the Australian Open. He received losses at Rotterdam, Miami, Marseille, Dubai and Rome but at the end Dominic Thiem won his first career ATP World Tour title in Nice, defeating top ranked players and winning the final with a three setter against Leonardo Mayer from Argentina.

Despite these ups and down Dominic managed to win his second ATP defeating Joao Sousa to win the Konzum Croatia Open Umag in an 62 minute battle under the eyes of World number 1 Novak Djokovic, who was watching from the stands, giving him a huge confidence boost and making him a dangerous tennis player in the future.


5. Alexander Zverev (1997 Age: 18)

Alexander Zverev (1997)

Nicknamed “Sacha”, he is a German tennis player of Russian descent, son of Alexander Zwerev Sr. who is now his coach and the younger brother of tennis player Mischa Zverev. Was born on 20 April 1997 in Hamburg Germany and started playing tennis at the age of five while watching his father.

In 2013 Alexander Zverev played in the Australian Open but lost in the first round, he reached to final of the French Open, but was defeated by Christian Garin, lost in the third round in the Wimbledon Championship after which he reached the semifinals of the Us Open but lost again against Borna Coric.

In 2014, Zverev finished first in the Australian Open juniors with a win over Stefan Kozlov. Alexander won his first ATP Challenger Tour in Braunscweig at the Sparkassen Open with wins over three players ranked in the top 100 and became the youngest player to win a Challenger tour since 2009.

Followed by a first wins in the ATP tour-level at the International German Open where he defeated Mikhail Youzhny, Santiago Giraldo and Tobias Kamke but lost to David Ferrer in the semi-finals.

In 2015, Alexander Zverev defeated Thiemo de Bakker, Joao Souza and Samuel Groth at the Miami Open but received a loss in front of Lukas Rosol. Later on he reached the semifinals of the Open du Pays d’Aix ATP challenger tour, won an ATP Challenger tour title at Heolbronn and was moved in the Top 100 reaching number 85, but after his wins at the Aegon Open Nottingham he was ranked as the number 74, his career-high.

After this he was invited to play in the Wimbledon Championships, Swedish Open where he automatically qualified as one of top 100 but he went as far as reaching the semi-finals.


4. Andrey Rublev (1997 Age: 18)

Andrey Rublev (1997)

Andrey Andreyevich Rublev, nicknamed “Rubl”, is a tennis player born in Moscow Russian on 20 October 1997 and was introduce to tennis at the age of three by his mother and sister who are now tennis coaches but he is currently trained by Sergey Tarasevich.

He is a huge fan of boxing and basketball and his favourite move is the forehand.

His junior career started when he debuted in Luxemburg at age 13 and won his first tournament in Phoenix. Rublev rose quickly among the junior ranks winning the top junior competition, the Orange Bowl in December 2012.

In spring 2013, Andrey Rublev reached the Junior ITF 1 cup in Potchefstroom, South Africa where he dominated on clay surface including in the Trofeo Bonfiglio in Milan and became quarter-finalist at the Australian Open junior single in 2014. After a series of wins, Andrey Rublev was declared World Number 1 junior. He took a break in 2014 to focus on the Nanjing Summer Youth Olympics, where he won a bronze medal in singles and a silver medal in doubles.

In 2015, the Russian beat Taylor Fritz in three sets winning the inaugural ITF Junior Masters in China and putting an end to his junior career.

As a professional Rublev debuted at the Bulgaria F6 but was stopped in the quarterfinals but he continued playing in Bulgaria and Belarus.

In 2015, Andrey Rublev was invited to play at the ATP tournament in Delray Beach for the first time, where he faced Steve Johnson in the second round but lost in two straight sets.

Later on he got a chance to play at the Davis Cup in second round of the Europe Zome Group 1, where his team won against Portugal. At the 2015 Rublev managed a comeback for Russia with a series of wins securing a spot in World Group Play-offs, where the Russian team was last seen in 2012.

Olivio Renzo wrote a public letter addressing the behaviour of Rublev and Fernando Verdasco also complained about him being rude and stating that they received threats but our 17 year old prodigy said that he was ”just showing emotion”. These accusations, true or not made Andrey Rublev a controversial player and big wins and controversy are a great way of making you noticed in the world of tennis and we sure did.


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Kevin Lannister (see all articles)

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