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The Top Tennis Prodigies of 2018

Tennis is a world where new players are constantly replacing old players. It’s always a battle between the veterans and novices and while it may not be apparent at first, the novices always come in whenever the veterans are departing.

As names like Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal are nearing retirement age, the new age of tennis prodigies are stepping in to take their shot at building a legacy for themselves. Some of these players have already made a name for themselves while others are on the ascent and have been showing strong prospects.

Furthermore, a strong tennis prodigy that’s up and coming on the current ATP tour means strong betting prospects for any bettor. Tennis prodigies not only have significant promise when it comes to winning the match, they have the odds stacked against them most of the time because of their novice status.

That means that these players not only have strong game and good chances of winning the matches, they have the best shot at taking out top seeds and players, meaning huge payouts for the bettors who bet on them.

The first step to becoming a proficient follower of tennis is knowing the new tennis prodigies of today and there are dozens on the tour right now. However, we’ll only be focusing in on the best of the best because you only deserve the best of the best.

Taylor Fritz (USA)

Taylor Fritz (USA)
Early in his years, Taylor Fritz was seen as the next American hope for tennis. After Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras left the scene, the international players—Federer and Rafael Nadal—quickly took over and now, there seems to be little to no American presence on the courts nowadays.

However, Taylor Fritz can change that. During his junior years, he practically ruled the world of tennis. No one could stop him from the beginning of his ITF Juniors career to the end of it. Of course, the professional scene is completely different from the ITF Juniors scene but Taylor Fritz has slowly been building his way up to the top.

At twenty years of age, Taylor Fritz is about to crack the top fifty in the world. His current record has shown some improvement and he’s been taking down players that he usually wouldn’t take down. In other words, he’s been upsetting more of the top players. At the 2018 Wimbledon Championships, Taylor Fritz went five sets with Alexander Zverev and he could’ve won the entire thing had it not been for a crucial rain delay near the beginning of the fourth set where Taylor Fritz was up two sets to one.

At the U.S. Open, he took down Mischa Zverev—Alexander Zverev’s brother—in five sets and nearly took down Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals, missing out on the semifinals by one set. At the 250 ATP Tour Chengdu Open, Taylor Fritz nearly took down Fabio Fognini while also ousting former American number eleven in the world, Sam Querrey.

The reason that I believe Taylor Fritz truly does have the potential to become the next big American player is because he has the entire roster of shots. He has the forehand. He has the backhand. He has the serve but most importantly, he has the speed. The reason he was almost able to take down Alexander Zverev was because he was able to rip forehands towards different corners of the court while also matching Zverev’s speed with his own. Furthermore, his serve on their best days can rival that of Sam Querrey’s.

Taylor Fritz is just getting started in his career and that’s going to make him a very strong prospect for the future. By investing in him, you’re getting a fresh start on an American player’s career who very well could seen become a top ten player in the future.

Alex de Minaur (Australia)

Alex de Minaur (Australia)
Alex de Minaur has been on firing these past few months, reaching the finals of a few tournaments while doing extremely well in several of them. He’s moved from a ranking in the one hundred and fifties to around the thirties. If that doesn’t show how well he’s been doing, maybe his past tournaments will. He’s made it to the finals of the Citi Open before falling to Alexander Zverev. Along the way, he was able to take down four top one hundred players.

In the Sydney International 250, Alex de Minaur yet again made it to the finals before falling to Daniiel Medvedev in three sets. Along the way, he took down four top one hundred players: Feliciano Lopez, Fernando Verdasco, Damir Dzumhur, and Benoit Paire.

While these may not seem like such impressive victories, in 2017, it was hard for him to even qualify for one of these tournaments. Before 2018’s extensive and impressive run, Alex de Minaur was ranked in the three hundreds but now, he’s top thirty and the run hasn’t stopped yet.

He can attribute most of his success to his fast feet. He may not be the best attacker or the strongest all-courter but his ability to run faster than most players gives him a significant advantage over others. He’s never out of a point because his ability to sprint across the court, stop, and be ready for the next point has let him stay in the court longer than most pros on the tour right now.

To add onto that, his fast returns are something that aren’t to be messed around with either. There have been countless times where people have served it at Alex de Minaur and he’s ripped a return just as fast back at the opponent. Essentially, Alex de Minaur is one of the fastest players on the tour right now. In fact, the only player that could probably match his speed is Rafael Nadal and even then, that’s debatable. He’s been climbing ever since 2017 and right now, it doesn’t look like he’s going to stop.

Karen Khachanov (Russia)

Karen Khachanov (Russia)
The oldest one on this list, Karen Khachanov has proved himself to be a formidable foe on the tour. Since 2017, Karen Khachanov has slowly been making his way up the ladder with consistent wins and strong performances at the big tournaments.

At the U.S. Open, Karen almost took down Rafael Nadal who was unstoppable at the time. At Wimbledon, Karen also fell in the Round of 16 before eliminating three top one hundred players. He also fell in the Round of 16 at Roland Garros to Alexander Zverev, who he dueled out in five sets but came up short in the end.

Furthermore, he also made a semifinal appearance at the Rogers Cup, knocking out three top thirty players at the time to face off against Rafael Nadal. While he may have lost, he took Rafael Nadal to a close two sets during the match.
As you can see, Karen Khachanov has built himself into a formidable opponent to anyone who faces him. But how? How is he so strong? What makes him such a resilient player to play against? The answer lies in his baseline.

Right now, Karen Khachanov has one of the strongest baseline games. He can control almost any point from the baseline, no matter what it looks like. Furthermore, if it’s to Karen’s forehand, he’s happy to rip a winner anytime of the day. That’s why Rafael Nadal struggles when facing off against Khachanov. Karen can deal with his topspin shots nearly perfectly and send them to any corner of the court he chooses. The same goes for any other player he goes up against.

Khachanov has built into his game an extremely deadly forehand and a very solid baseline game. Right now, no prodigy can take on his forehand over and over and win. Khachanov has been ascending the rankings because of this playstyle and it’s still working.

Borna Coric (Croatia)

Borna Coric (Croatia)
Very few Croatians truly make it big on the tour but at the ripe age of eighteen, Borna Coric has already ascended into the top twenty in the world and he’s been making power moves since. He was a key part in taking down the United States at the Davis Cup and before that, he made a Round of 16 appearance where he lost to Juan Martin Del Potro.

Perhaps his biggest accomplishment this year, though, was taking down Roger Federer on his home terrain: the grass courts. However, it’s not just taking down the “goat” himself that made the occasion so special. On the way, he took down four top one hundred players, two of them being Roberto Bautista Agut and Alexander Zverev who were both in the top twenty at the time.

The same thing nearly happened at the BNP Paribas Open as well where Borna Coric faced off against Roger Federer in the semifinals. Even though Coric was able to take the first set, the next two slipped through his fingers and he was barely denied a ticket to the finals. However, despite that, Borna Coric still boasted an incredible record on his way to the final, taking down names like Kevin Anderson and Taylor Fritz with relative ease. As you can see, whenever Borna Coric is on fire, not even the best of the best can stop him.

Borna Coric’s playstyle centers around working the ball towards his favor through aggressive baseline rallies and pressured movements. He doesn’t play explosive. He plays patient and works on pressuring you to make the mistakes. This means he can move the ball easily around the court without missing or going for too much. Whenever the time is right, he isn’t afraid to pull the trigger and finish the point. If his opponent misplays a ball, then Borna won’t be afraid to punish them for it.

Among the young players on the tour right now, Borna is probably the second fastest right behind Alex de Minaur. He can cover the baseline exceptionally well and knows how to carve out shots otherwise thought impossible. He holds a strong skillset in his hands but the only problem behind Borna Coric right now is that he plays a very on and off game. Whenever he’s off, it’s hard for him to get the momentum going to finish the match with a win.

However, when he’s in his zone and he’s ready to play, Borna can produce some exceptional results. Just take a look at the Gerry Weber Open and the BNP Paribas Open. These were two tournaments where it seemed as if Borna Cori could not miss a single ball.

Right now, out of all the novices on the tour, Borna Coric probably has the most refined and the best game out there. He knows how to hit the best and knows how to carve shots extremely well. However, he can be even better if he learns how to play every day like it’s an on day for him.

Borna Coric has been working on his tennis at a level never before seen over the past few months and the results are starting to show. He’s been playing more solidly and has shown a stronger performance on the court and in a few months’ time, it won’t be surprising to see Borna finish with a top ten ranking.

Kyle Edmund (Great Britain)

Kyle Edmund (Great Britain)
Right now, Kyle Edmund has been having a miracle season. He’s reached a career high ranking of sixteen in the world and despite being seen as the second of Britain, he’s taken over Andy Murray’s legacy and started building his own.
He reached the semifinals of the Australian Open before falling to Marin Cilic in a close three sets. However, before that, he took down Grigor Dimitrov who was the third best player in the world at the time.

Furthermore, at the Grand Prix Hassan II, Kyle Edmund reached the finals, taking down Richard Gasquet in the semifinals before suffering a close loss in the finals. Perhaps his best performance this year, though, was his Mutua Madrid Open run.

Despite losing in the quarterfinals to Denis Shapovalov in three sets, Kyle Edmund managed to oust Daniil Medvedev, Novak Djokovic, and David Goffin. Kyle Edmund may have lost to Shapovalov, but it came down to only a handful of points which really determined who won and who lost.

At the age of twenty three, Kyle Edmund has been moving up the rankings faster than anyone near his age group and he can thank this all to the strong fundamentals he’s built into his game. Kyle Edmund possesses a game near Andy Murray’s but right now, it may be better than his fellow Brit. The aspect of Kyle Edmund’s game which makes him such a threat is the fact that he cannot be taken down easily in a point. Someone can run Edmund off the court and Edmund can return the ball just as strong back to the opponent.

Every opponent Kyle has faced has had to exert the maximum effort to win a point. Kyle Edmund never gives up. If there’s even one mistake in the shot Kyle Edmund is retrieving, he can punish their opponent for it, meaning that he can attack on the defense and offense.

That makes it hard players like Federer and Nadal to take him down because he can play both their games whether he’s on the run or he’s in his normal state. He’s going to be a player you definitely want to keep your eyes on within the next few months. He’s very close to breaking within the top ten and he has a huge wave of momentum supporting him from strong runs in the past few tournaments. Bet on the next upcoming Brit and I promise you that you won’t regret it.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece)

Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece)
Known as the “Greek Machine,” Stefanos Tsitsipas has become one of the most explosive and volatile players on the tour right now. Like all the other players on this list, he’s had one of the most vibrant careers in the past few months and it hasn’t showed any signs of stopping. At a career high ranking of fifteen in the world, Stefanos is just one step away from making history for Greece. In fact, I would say that his career is far stronger than any of the players listed before him right now.

He’s reached two major finals in the 2018 season, one in Barcelona and one in the Rogers Cup but the Rogers Cup is what brought Stefanos to the level he is at right now. During his run to the finals, he took down Dominic Thiem (ranked eight in the world at the time), Novak Djokovic (ranked ten at the time), Alexander Zverev (ranked three at the time), and Kevin Anderson (ranked six at the time).

Right now, Stefanos Tsitsipas is the only person right now to ever oust that many top ten players to reach a final of a Masters 1000 and this is a perfect representation of the level of play Stefanos can reach at his best play. At the Barcelona Open, he also took down four top one hundred players—Dominic Thiem, Pablo Carreno Busta, Alberto Ramos-Vinolas, and Diego Schwartzmann—to reach the final of the ATP 500 tournament.

Moreover, he’s boasted strong performances at the Grand Slams this year. He made it to the Round of 16 in Wimbledon as well as a win in the Roland Garros tournament and US Open. Overall, he’s presented a wide arsenal of wins and achievements this year, far better than any upcoming player on the tour right now. However, it isn’t just a coincidence that Stefanos was able to boast so many wins. It’s because Stefanos has one of the strongest mental games on the tour. Every single point he wins, he wants to win with his entire heart.

He doesn’t care about ranking or skill. He just wants to win and he’ll make sure that his entire game is spent towards winning the match. This mental game has allowed him to play an adaptive game that gives him a strong ability to mix things up. He doesn’t just smack balls as hard as possible or only have the ability to run as fast as a bullet. He has the ability to switch playstyles and he’ll use whatever playstyle he needs to win, even if he isn’t feeling it at the moment.

This makes him such a versatile player and a hard player to actually beat from the baseline because he can switch up on his opponents with the blink of an eye. Stefanos Tsitsipas is going to be one of the next players who makes it into the top ten and that’s going to be nearly certain.


The new generation of players are filled with a whole array of players with completely different playstyles. You have Taylor Fritz who is an all-courter that is slowly but surely making his way up the ladder. You have Alex de Minaur who, on his best day, can run faster than Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Then there’s Karen Khachanov, whose baseline is unrivaled, alongside Borna Coric who can become unstoppable when he’s in his zone.

There is Kyle Edmund who has extended Andy Murray’s legacy into his own and finally, you have Stefanos Tsitsipas whose mental game and ability to adapt has made him into a nearly unbeatable player in the past few months. All of these players bring their own strengths to the table and have made the game of tennis something extremely unique and enjoyable. They’ve upset some of the greatest players in tennis and made their own highlight reel throughout the years.

If they continue their game and keep playing how they’ve been playing, there’s very good chance they’ll revolutionize the tennis world in the next ten years. In fact, they could even match the trio of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic.

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