Can the young stars challenge the ‘big three’ at US Open 2019?
Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas (Fred Lee/Zimbio/Getty Images)

Can the young stars challenge the ‘big three’ at US Open 2019?

Will the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime have what it takes to overthrow the game's older established elite.

James Spencer

All eyes will be on the dominant trio of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who have accumulated a staggering 54 Grand Slams between them. But can anyone realistically challenge them at this year’s US Open?

Alexander Zverev

The young German was once touted as the heir to the throne of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. He won both the Italian Open and Montreal Masters in 2017 which catapulted him into the top ten. Zverev backed up his breakthrough season with victory at the 2018 Madrid Masters to add a third masters to his growing collection. A memorable season was capped off with becoming ATP Tour Finals champion as the German eased past Djokovic to take him to a career high of world number three.

2019 has been a year to forget for Zverev. A disappointing Australian Open resulted in a fourth-round exit, he fared slightly better at the French Open before being comprehensively beaten by Djokovic and a shock first-round defeat at the hands of Jiri Vesley highlighted the German’s failure at Grand Slam level.

Will the US Open be different? It’s unlikely Zverev will buck the trend overnight but if ever there was a time for the talented youngster to learn from his mistakes it’s now.

Alexander Zverev has won multiple Masters titles but has struggled to perform this year and majors (NurPhoto/Zimbio/Getty Images)
Alexander Zverev has won multiple Masters titles but has struggled to perform this year and majors (NurPhoto/Zimbio/Getty Images)

Stefanos Tsitsipas

A shock victory against Federer in the fourth-round of the Australian Open shot the Young Greek to instant stardom and into the microscopic eye of the world’s media. Tsitsipas went on to make a first Grand Slam semi-final something the likes of Zverev has yet to achieve.

The Greek pushed on to win two ATP titles to go as high as five in the world rankings. His summer form has been patchy at best since a successful clay-court season. But Tsitsipas is effective on all surfaces and could be a major threat at the US Open.

With endurance, power, technique and charisma, Tsitsipas has the weapons to win a Grand Slam one day and he could certainly challenge the ‘big three’ at the US Open. The neutrals will hope so.

Felix Auger-Aliassime

The Canadian hotshot has made significant strides this season by making two ATP finals and cracking the world’s top 20. Felix AA as commentators like to call him has impressed with his temperament and maturity while his skills on the tennis court have also caught the eye.

It will be interesting to see if the 19-year-old can make the quantum leap from three-set tennis to excelling at Grand Slam level and best of five sets.

If he can go deep into the draw and into the second week, he could be a serious threat in New York to the rest of the field.

Denis Shapovalov

Another Canadian teen who has been touted for great things in the world of tennis. Shapovalov made his breakthrough two years ago at his home Masters event in Montreal beating Nadal on his way to the semi-finals. His game has lacked consistency but he possesses a solid forehand and effective backhand meaning he could bring down the big three.

It’s unlikely he will cause serious damage at this year’s US Open but hard-court is arguably his best surface making success at this tournament a must for the Next Gen star.

Borna Coric

The Croatian has enjoyed success against all of the big three in the past few seasons. Coric has been knocking on the door of the world’s top 10 and has the game to make waves at the highest level.

The 22-year-old had to pull out ahead of Wimbledon due to injury so he will be very keen to make amends in New York.

Last year’s win against Federer in the Halle final are the dizzy heights that should inspire Coric to go far in the final Grand Slam of the year.