Tennis is in a weird transformation. Truly great players, including Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal, are either done playing or likely getting near the end of their careers. Only Djokovic is currently fit and playing well. But luckily for the ATP tour, while there is a lack of extremely high-end talent between Djokovic and the young guys just starting, those young guys seemingly are really good.
In fact, there are so many good young players that instead of making this list “25 years old and younger” I just went with under 25 years old which pushed aside players like Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe (both 25), and Daniil Medvedev (27). I also didn’t include Stefanos Tsitsipas because he is just barely hanging on to 24 (he turns 25 in early August) and all of the players that follow might pass him by soon.
So which players, in my humble (and likely wrong) opinion are the best of the next generation of potential tennis greats? The five that follow. And feel free to disagree.
ATP under-25 No. 5: Lorenzo Musetti
Musetti just feels like he is about to explode onto the tennis scene. The 21-year-old Italian hasn’t won any tournaments in 2023, but he seems like he is just on the cusp of winning several. Since April, Musetti has lost to Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals in Monte-Carlo, Stefanos Tsitsipas in Barcelona and again at the ATP 500 in Rome, Carlos Alcaraz at the French Open, and Frances Taifoe at the Stuttgart Open. Except for one tournament (Musetti lost in the ATP 1000 in Madrid to Yannick Hanfmann), Musetti is losing to really good players.
Musetti needs a bit more defining, especially with a one-handed backhand. He can move well on any surface, and like most young players, just needs to believe in himself to gain a bit more consistency. He has already defeated Carlos Alcaraz (2022 Hamburg final) and Novak Djokovic (2023 Monte Carlo), so clearly the talent is there.
Musetti is also a former No. 1 as a junior and has been ranked as high as No. 16 on the ATP tour. It might take him a bit longer than the players that follow on this list to be truly good, but the expectation should be that he gets there and stays in or around the top ten for years to come.