Ranking every ATP Next Gen Champion from worst to best: Is Alcaraz top?

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) /

As the first Saudi Arabian edition of the ATP Next Gen Finals reaches the semifinal stage, we decided to look back on the first five years of the event during its time in Milan. Who is the best champion ever? Is it Carlos Alcaraz?

A tournament designed to propel youngsters into superstardom hasn’t always worked out that way. Whilst some made it (and made it big!), others struggled.

I have taken it upon myself to rank the five ATP Next Gen champions from worst to best.

Is Carlos Alcaraz the best ATP Next Gen champion ever?

5. Brandon Nakashima (2022)

The last man to win the trophy in Milan unfortunately sits at the bottom of the pile. Having fallen outside of the world’s top 100 in 2023, Nakashima seems to be the first Next Gen Champion who hasn’t been able to use the title as a springboard for success. At just 22 years-old, hope is not lost for the American, who will be looking to bounce back in the new year.

4. Chung Hyeon (2017)

A true case of what could’ve been. The inaugural champion looked to have the world at his feet when he beat Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev on the way to the Australian Open semis back in 2018. Since then, it’s been one injury after another for the South Korean, who has played just a handful of games in the past few years. Once one of the game’s brightest prospects has now become an unfortunate afterthought at just 27.

3. Jannik Sinner (2019)

Onto the success stories, and there’s no better place to start than the young Italian. It may have taken a few years, but Sinner truly broke out in 2023, winning his first Master’s 1000 title, the Davis Cup, and reaching the year-end championship final. Currently fourth in the world, some are predicting an even bigger year in 2024, and looking at the past couple of months you can’t really blame them.

2. Stefanos Tsitsipas (2018)

The big Greek backed up his ATP Next Gen Title with an ATP Finals win in 2019 and remains the only player to have done so. But the success didn’t stop there, back-to-back titles in Monte Carlo proved Tsitsipas belonged right at the top of the game. Add Grand Slam Finals in Melbourne and Roland Garros to that, and the 2018 Next Gen Champion has truly established himself as one of the best players around.

1.. Carlos Alcaraz (2021)

It wasn’t going to be anyone else, was it? Winning the US Open as a teenager would be more than enough to cement a place at the top of the rankings but Alcaraz backing it up with a Wimbledon win over none other than Novak Djokovic the year after is just the cherry on top. Add to that Alcaraz’s 36 weeks at number one and four Masters 1000 titles, there is no doubt that the Spaniard is the greatest success story in the young history of the ATP Next Gen Finals.

Victory at the ATP Next Gen Finals doesn’t always guarantee success at the top of the sport, but it seems to happen more often than not. So, Dominic Stricker, Hamad Medjedovic, Luca Van Assche, and Arthur Fils could be just a few short matches from greatness.

dark. Next. Former Borg rival says Djokovic fears this one player