The Generational Change of the US Open

With the Elimination of Rafael Nadal from the US Open, the Doors are Opening to a New Generation of Tennis Champions.

Rafael Nadal

Photo: Calf87

LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño

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Leer en español: El relevo generacional del US Open ¿Ya no ganan los de siempre?

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. What do these two tennis players have in common? These are not only the names that have dominated the world of professional tennis over the past era, but also them with more than 35 years old, practically dinosaurs for their profession, continue to put up a fight at the World Opens.

It is surprising that these athletes continue to compete at such a high level, considering their age. Andre Agassi himself, who some would consider the best tennis player of the 2000s, retired at 36 years old. He has admitted in his autobiography that during those final years of his career, he faced a constant fight with his body to keep playing. Before each game, he had to undergo an extensive session of back massages and stretches, and by the end of his career he relied on cortisone injections to "stay on his feet" on the pitch. Tennis is an extremely exhausting sport for the human body.

But not only on the men's side are we seeing the twilight of legends. This Us Open was the last for the great Serena Williams, at 40 years old she said "no more" and turned the page to follow her life as a businesswoman and mother.

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The good news is that a new generation of young tennis players is making their own history. Perhaps the most prominent of them is Daniil Medvedev, the 26-year-old Russian who, despite being eliminated this week from the US Open, is shaping up to be one of the most complete tennis players the sport has seen in many years. A former US Open champion, Medvedev already has victories over Novak Djokovic and several of his most prominent contemporaries.

In the conversation of the best tennis players of the moment, the German Alexander Zverev, number 2 in the world at the moment, also enters. At 25, Zverev was not only crowned champion of the Tokyo Olympics, but also of two Nitto ATP finals.

On the other hand, there is the 24-year-old Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is emerging as one of the best players of his generation on clay. With two ATP Masters 1000 finals and a Nitto ATP final under his belt, the Greek is a competitor to be reckoned with at any event he enters.

There is also Russia's Andrei Rublev, who became the youngest player to make noise on the ATP tour in 2013 with an impressive 8 tournament wins before his 18th birthday. His 2020 season has been his most successful so far, as during it he won 5 titles and reached the quarterfinals in two Grand Slam tournaments.

Finally, we can highlight the name of Carlos Alcaraz, the 19-year-old Spaniard, who is currently number 4 in the world and has had a meteoric rise in the world rankings. So far he has only won two ATP Masters 1000 finals, one in Miami and one in Madrid, but his future is bright.