Posted on February 01 2021
The Australian Open begins on Monday 8th February and a host of stars are in Melbourne ready to compete at the first Grand Slam of the year. This article takes a look at the next generation looking to break through on the ATP Tour, and analyses the rackets they use.
World number 36 Jannik Sinner had a breakthrough year in 2020, winning his first ATP title in Sofia at the end of the year and jumping more than 40 places in the rankings. Sinner uses the Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP (see our review of the racket here), an all-court racket that reflects the Italian’s versatile game style. After reaching the quarter-finals of the French Open in September, the teenager will be one of the biggest threats to the top players at the Australian Open – and undoubtedly a huge player for years to come. Watch out for Sinner’s wide range of shots, from massive forehands to delicate dropshots, as the 19-year-old looks to utilise the flexible Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP.
Jannik Sinner, image courtesy of Tennishead.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
The 21-year-old Spaniard is now an established member of the top 100 after a successful 2020. Ranked at number 54 in the world, Davidovich Fokina enjoyed a consistent year, reaching the last 16 of a Grand Slam for the first time at the US Open, and also at the Paris Masters in October. The Head Graphene 360 Extreme MP is Davidovich Fokina’s racket of choice. The Head Graphene 360 allows huge spin and power, which is ideal for Davidovich Fokina’s aggressive baseline game. Fokina’s racket offers the extra power that his small physique needs to cope with the heavy ball of the bigger hitters, and offers the Spaniard more weight on serve. After a strong finish to last year, the youngster will be aiming to ruffle some feathers at the start of 2021 with the Head Graphene 360 Extreme MP. Check out the racket here.
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, image courtesy of Tennishead.
Fresh from his maiden ATP final at the 250 event in Delray Beach in January, Sebastian Korda appears ready to make a big impact in 2021. Son of former world number two Petr Korda, the American 20-year-old looks set to become a star with his big-hitting and entertaining game. Korda uses the Wilson Blade 98 (check it out here), a head-light racket that allows for excellent manoeuvrability and fast racket head speed. Korda relies on his huge forehand and serve to dominate opponents and utilise his 6ft 5” frame – a game style that the Wilson Blade complements perfectly with its easy power and balance. Korda is the youngest American in five years to enter the top 100 in the ATP rankings, after comfortably winning his second Challenger event this week. Watch out for the youngster in the weeks and months to come!
Sebastian Korda, image courtesy of Tennishead.
17-year-old Newcomer of the Year Carlos Alcaraz is the youngest player to make our preview. The Spaniard uses the Babolat Pure Aero (see our review of the Babolat Pure Aero here), the same racket used by legendary countryman Rafael Nadal. Alcaraz recently came through qualifying at the Australian Open – becoming the first player born in 2003 to qualify for a Grand Slam main draw – and is the youngest player in the top 200. Like Nadal, Alcaraz has a heavy topspin forehand and uses the Babolat Pure Aero to support his spin-heavy baseline game. Alcaraz achieved his first Tour win in February on clay, which is no surprise given his choice of racket and game style, but also dominated the Challenger Tour on different surfaces throughout 2020. Although the teenager is ranked outside the top 100, Alcaraz seems ready to make a big entrance at the Australian Open and will be one to keep an eye out for.
Carlos Alcaraz, image courtesy of Tennishead.
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