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Marin Cilic echoes sentiment that "future of tennis is in good hands"
In a column for Milenio, the Croatian reflected on the finish to the 2019 season by a younger crop of talent on the ATP tour.
Published Dec 10, 2019
The ATP's younger players are starting a surge, according to one of the tour's veterans. Penning a column for Milenio, Marin Cilic pointed to the final two events of the season as an illustration.
“[The] Paris [Masters] tends to tell us who to look for next season. This year, Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov did great,” said Cilic. “Denis is a consistent threat on the court. With his maiden career-title [at Stockholm] and Paris final, he wants to come back stronger."
The ATP Finals in London, where the top eight players compete, also showed the abilities of the up-and-coming players.
"The future of tennis is in good hands," said Cilic. "After Rafa [Nadal] clinched his year-end No. 1 rankings spot from Novak [Djokovic], the younger guys took the center stage. In the final, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas fought like veterans and the Greek achieved his biggest career title. To go from being the 2018 NextGen champion to winning the ATP Finals is a special journey."
Older players have recently dominated the tour. Cilic, 30, is the youngest Grand Slam champion playing on tour. In 2014, he captured the US Open after defeating Kei Nishikori in the final. This season, 32-year-old Djokovic and 33-year-old Nadal won all the Grand Slam events between them.
Thiem, 26, and Daniil Medvedev, 23, are the youngest Grand Slam finalists currently on tour. Thiem is No. 4 and Medvedev is No. 5 in the rankings.