New Generation Of Tennis Players Ready To Take Over, As Wimbledon Has Shown
Professional tennis is "in the throws of a revolution," as young players like Gregor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic are "clearly fed up waiting for the older guys to go home," according to Martyn Herman of REUTERS. Dimitrov and Raonic both reached the Wimbledon semifinals for the first time, and the pair of 23-year-olds, along with 19-year-old and Wimbledon quarterfinalist Nick Kyrgios, are leading an "attack of the established inner circle" of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray. Those four players have won 35 of the last 37 grand slam titles, but Federer said it is "exciting for the game to see new faces." He added, "There's been a few guys knocking on the door now. I think it's good times in tennis. There's a lot of excitement." Djokovic said, "It's good. It gets more attention to new faces and to new waves of generation that is able to challenge the best and be contending for grand slam titles." Herman noted the influx of young stars is "not just in the men's game," Eugenie Bouchard and Simona Halep are both "tipped to start collecting grand slam silverware before too long." It would be "foolhardy to discount" successful veterans and grand slam winners like Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Li Na and Victoria Azarenka, but a "change is in the air" (REUTERS, 7/2). ESPN's Hannah Storm said it is a "fun time in men's tennis." Storm referenced Dimitrov and Raonic, saying, "A lot of these young guys that we've been looking at and saying, 'Hey, he's the next big thing,' we have a couple of them here in the semifinals." ESPN's Brad Gilbert said there is "absolutely no doubt" Dimitrov is the "most skillful and the most athletic" among him, Raonic and Kyrgios. However, Kyrgios "is the X factor." Gilbert said he hopes Kyrgios learns from fellow Australian Bernard Tomic, who three years ago "got to the quarterfinals, and look where his career has gone and some of the decisions that he's made." Gilbert: "I'm hoping Kyrgios learns from this, trains a lot harder, gets stronger and his upside I think is a top-five player" ("Breakfast at Wimbledon," ESPN, 7/3).
YOUTH IS SERVING: In DC, Liz Clarke wrote Bouchard is leading a "new generation of challengers" on the WTA Tour that has "closed the gap in terms of power and will-to-win" with the veteran contenders. Bouchard, Garbine Muguruza and Maidson Keys, among others, have "injected a dose of uncertainly into the women's game." Billie Jean King said, "This is the most exciting time in women's tennis that I can remember. ... All these young kids are starting to really come through now. There's a buzz this year [at Wimbledon] -- a vibe around the grounds that we've not had for a while" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/1). FS1's Andy Roddick said Bouchard is a "very attractive, well-spoken young woman," and if she wins Wimbledon, Madison Avenue "will love her." FS1's Dan O'Toole called Bouchard a "star in the making" ("Fox Sports Live," FS1, 7/3).