Every single year, there are a handful of players on both the ATP and WTA tours who enjoy a breakout season, and slowly begin to make significant progress at high-profile events. There could be a number of factors attributed to this sudden improvement, with a change of coach or perhaps even a new racquet helping to bring out the best in a young player. We take a look at three competitors who look destined for a bright future on the circuit and could potentially rise up the rankings in 2021.
?? Fiona into the semis!
— Palermo Ladies Open (@LadiesOpenPA) August 7, 2020
Belgium-born French star Fiona Ferro has been steadily improving over the last twelve months, and her endeavours have been rewarded with a sensational run in Palermo at the beginning of August. Her performances have seen her break into the top 50 for the first time, and having beaten home hopes Sara Errani and Camila Giorgi in Sicily, she will surely become a regular at the top level over the next twelve months.
The 23-year old has put her improved performances down to focusing on her own game, as opposed to worrying about how to stop her opponent. She’s also suggested that she’s been working hard to take the emotion out of the situation, and is purely concentrating on her shot selection.
The talented right-hander has just one singles title to her name so far and has yet to progress beyond the last 32 of a Grand Slam, however, having secured just her second top 30 scalp against Ekaterina Alexandrova in Palermo, she will surely be able to continue her upward momentum in 2021.
Canada has produced a number of exciting players over the last half-decade, and they appear to have another prodigious talent in Felix Auger-Aliassime. He made back-to-back finals in February, and although the enforced break halted his momentum, the 20-year old is feeling confident about his chances of breaking into the top ten in the near future.
He’s won just two of his six appearances at Grand Slams so far, although having reached the third round of Wimbledon in 2019, he will fancy his chances of building on this next season. He has been labeled as ‘one to watch’ on numerous occasions during his short career, and although he has won just two of his twelve meetings with top ten players, it is unlikely to be long until he is able to beat the likes of Alexander Zverev, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem on a semi-regular basis.
As a result of his underwhelming performances in the big four, he is routinely viewed as an underdog going into these tournaments. Auger-Aliassime will be hoping to make a name for himself in 2021, and many astute followers of the sport may opt to put money on him making significant progress next season. Online bookmakers tend to offer a number of incentives ahead of major events such as the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and these are a great way of getting into sports betting without risking a penny. The young Canadian is likely to be well-backed by savvy punters next season and his bombastic performances at the beginning of 2020 would suggest that it won’t be long until he is going into these events as one of the pre-tournament favorites.
Although he tends to favor the clay, he has looked extremely comfortable on all surfaces so far, and with a superb all-round game, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him reach his first Grand Slam semi-final in the not-too-distant future.
— wta (@WTA) February 24, 2020
Elena Rybakina is yet another talented Russian player who has made striking progress over the last twelve months, moving up 150 spots in the WTA rankings to a career high of 17.
2020 was a ground-breaking year for the Moscow-born star, who was seeded at a slam for the first time. She managed to make it through to the last 32 in Melbourne, and will be hoping to better that run at Roland Garros and Flushing Meadows later this year.
Having secured titles in Bucharest and Hobart during her short career, Rybakina appears to be an extremely exciting prospect, and there should be plenty more to come. Coach Stefano Yukov has helped the 20-year old improve her all-round game, and having reached the quarter-final stage in each of her last three events of 2019, she certainly has a bright future at the top level.
These three players could potentially become household names in 2021, and this talented trio will be hoping that they can continue to drive forward and fulfil their potential next season.