How do you follow the Greatest Generation? It’s a question tennis has tried to answer for at least a decade. Serena, Roger, Novak, Rafa: all of them are over 30, and they’ve combined to win 75 Grand Slam singles titles—but none of them are going away quietly. When they do, who will fill their very large shoes?
As you’ll see in The 21 & Under Club, the future of tennis is still coming, and coming soon. While it may not produce a 20-Slam winner, it’s clear that the game will be in good hands. Interesting hands, too: one thing we know for sure is that this new generation of players will infuse the tours with a wide and refreshing range of styles, personalities and backgrounds. When the Greatest Generation says goodbye, we can feel good about welcoming this cast of players to the courts.
Most-Liked Photo of 2019: Holding a trophy—along with his son
For someone that already seems to have it all—married, with child, and a successful career—it’s scary what the future may yet hold for Fritz.
“The best years are ahead of him,” says Mark Knowles. “He competes as well as anybody I’ve ever seen, and he has a tremendous attitude that’s going to take him a very long way.”
Fritz’s second-round win over Gael Monfils at the Australian Open, a four-setter that featured three tiebreakers, is the type of grind the 21-year-old relishes. But he also has the shotmaking arsenal, including a shutdown forehand, that allows him to break through when the opportunity arises.
“I’ve seen him battle in matches he has no business winning,” says Knowles, “and he consistently comes out a winner.”
Having entrenched himself around the Top 60, Fritz will be in no shortage of main draws, and have no shortage of opponents—both younger and older—to test Knowles’ theory.
“He needs to work on the transition game mightily to make the next step, as well as his defense,” says Knowles. “I know those are two things he’s going to continue to address.”