Before starting the ranking, it is important to explain the notion of hope. In order to be included in this ranking, players had to meet two criteria: to have been born since 1998 and never have been in the top 100. Therefore, there will not be Jannik Sinner, Denis Shapovalov or even Tsitsipas in this ranking because the interest is to make you discover less known players but who have the potential to become very good players. Those who have played second weeks of Grand Slam like Altmaier will not appear in the ranking either.
How was this ranking done?
Several criteria were taken into account. First of all, of course the ability and potential of the player through his performances in ITF, Challenger or even on the ATP circuit (especially in qualifications) for those who already have a little experience. The players chosen in this ranking are also extremely pleasant players to watch with a significant margin of progression on the physical and technical level. Finally, some players who have been stagnating for several years after an early emergence have not been included in this ranking.
50) Evan Furness (France, 1998, best ranking: 391st on 05/08/2019)
We start this ranking with a very talented Frenchman with an extraordinary hand. Evan Furness is not very tall (1m70) but makes up for his difficulties on serve with a very pleasant quality of play. After a very good start to the season, he unfortunately was cut off in his momentum because of the pandemic. This did not prevent him from continuing to progress and winning three consecutive ITFs in Heraklion. He has not yet played any matches on the ATP circuit and his record in Challenger remains very insufficient for the moment (5 wins for 19 defeats). He is at ease on all surfaces. The Breton often makes the right choices and plays simply. He has a good physique and adapts tactically to any type of opponent, even big servers. Rather calm and soothed on the court, he's making the most of his potential for the moment while waiting to take a step that could lead him to discover the main circuit. He spent several months at the CNE alongside Jérôme Potier (former coach of Gilles Simon and Florent Serra) with a small group of six players. He is now part of the Elite Tennis Center. In particular, he trained in the spring during the confinement with Daniil Medvedev. A companion of Fiona Ferro, a certain emulation could allow him to get closer to the world top 200.
49) Arthur Cazaux (France, 2002, best ranking: 883rd in the world on 09/11/2020)
This young hopeful is already well known to tennis fans after his final against Harold Mayot at the Australian Junior Open in early 2020. However, the few wildcards he received for the qualifiers of tournaments such as Marseille, Roland Garros or Bercy were given to him a little too early and he could not compete. Arthur Cazaux (1m83) will have to continue to win more in 2021 in ITF tournaments with perhaps the possibility of making some good shots as a challenger. He still deserves his place in the top 50 because he remains one of the best hopes in world tennis. This fan of Rafael Nadal from Montpellier is already powerful on his legs and very mobile. Member of the TeamJeunesTalents BNP Paribas, he has beaten or competed this summer with players ranked in the top 250 in the world. He should therefore very quickly climb the rankings and why not be offered a few more wildcards in qualifications for ATP tournaments organized in France.
48) Adrian Andreev (Bulgaria, 2001, best ranking: 645th on 17/02/2020)
Best hope of Bulgarian tennis, you may have already seen this player in Sofia where he regularly receives wildcards. After some good exhibition matches on the ground during the suspension of the season, it will be interesting to follow the evolution of this earthling next season. On hard, for the moment, his record is not good enough but he has an excellent backhand backhand and his offensive play should allow him to climb the rankings and maybe win his first ITF tournament.
47) Duje Ajdukovic (Croatia, 2001, best ranking: 372nd on 09/11/2020)
This player has a completely different style from the top three players in this ranking, he is more powerful and has good service. He plays much better on clay than on other surfaces and already has four ITF titles, two of which were won this year in Turkey and Romania. He even reached the semi-finals of the challenger in Split, beating Klizan and Kovalik among others. He has a good margin of progress and he will have to be followed during the clay season, especially as a challenger.
46) Thiago Agustin Tirante (Argentina, 2001, best ranking: 503rd on 19/10/2020)
The Argentinean is a very complete player both in the game and in the results. Since the resumption in August, he has been playing in ITF tournaments. In his last five tournaments, he has always reached at least the quarter-finals and even won one. Next year it will be very interesting to see how he performs as a challenger. If he remains steady in his progression, he could move up in the rankings very quickly knowing that he is at ease on both hard and clay courts. Titled at the Orange Bawl last year, he was also number one in the world junior rankings.
45) Filip Cristian Jianu (Romania, 2001, best ranking: 383rd on 21/09/2020)
This very good youngster (1m79) plays almost all his matches on clay. Indeed, he has a very good earth game with a very good hand. However, this year, it is of course hard that he won his only tournament in Heraklion. This is very encouraging for the future, because over the years he has become more and more complete and now manages to get results even on hard court, which was not the case before. His progress will therefore be closely monitored, especially on clay, where he should show his full potential in 2021.
44) Valentin Royer (France, 2001, best ranking: 645th on 02/11/2020)
Here is one of the best French hopefuls! Valentin Royer is rather tall (1m88) and exploits for the moment better his potential on hard. He was in the quarterfinals of the US Open junior competition, losing against the young American hopeful now known: Brandon Nakashima. Last October, Valentin Royer was impressive by easily dominating (6-2, 6-4) another hopeful ranked much higher than him, the Czech Forejtek who has since come under the spotlight after his victory against Cilic in Sofia. His season will be to be followed very closely, especially in the challenger category where he will certainly have many wildcards in France. Our consultant Rodolphe Gilbert knows the former European Junior Champion well and is currently training at the All-In Academy in Paris: "He is really a nice kid whose parents live abroad for professional reasons. But that doesn't stop him from being stable and progressing steadily month after month. I was lucky enough to spend two weeks with him in 2018. He's physically strong and doesn't mind training at all".
43) Nicholas David Ionel (Romania, 2002, best ranking: 516th on 09/03/2020)
This resident of the Mouratoglou Academy is the best hope of Romanian tennis. Just like his compatriot cited in 45th position, he is a much better clay court player, yet he too won his only ITF of the year on hard court. In October in Antwerp, he came close to qualifying against Sugita after winning the first set. He still has a lot of room for improvement and, like his compatriot Jianu, he is expected to prove himself on clay in 2021. This right-hander of about 1m85 has a very good forehand and backhand shot where he can find very nice areas. Due to his young age, he still lacks some power, especially on serve where he is still a little weak. He still has an excellent reading of the game.
42) Pablo Llamas Ruiz (Spain, 2002, best ranking: 649th on 28/04/2020)
Very young Spanish player, excellent on clay, caught the eye of the ITF circuit observers last March in Murcia where he won the title by beating players ranked much higher than him such as Cachin in the final or Quinzi. He could have done better at Roland Garros junior but lost in the first round. Still, this player has the ability to become one of the future best clay court players in the world. He won the Orange Bowl in 2018. Trained at the Ferrer Tennis Academy, some already label him as a "tireless", hard-working and highly talented player. David Ferrer's contribution will be vital and valuable in the coming months in the player's progress and development.
41) Rinky Hijikata (Australia, 2001, best ranking: 643rd on 17/02/2020)
Like many Australian players this season, he has not played any games outside of Australia this year. So he played a lot of exhibition matches but only two official matches at the Australian Open in qualifying. It's a shame he couldn't play this year when you look at the performance he put in those two matches. A first round win against Laaksonen in two tie-breaks (only 3 points scored in total for Laaksonen in both tie-breaks) and a very tight second round against Griekspoor. Moreover, this player is very pleasant to watch, quite small (1m78) but very fast and complete. Rinky Hijikata will most certainly go much higher next year because he has largely the level of a top 200.
Next: ranking from 40th to 31st place
Click on the image below to open a new Zebet account and take advantage of their welcome offer
This post is also available in: Français