Looking at the potential wildcard picks for the ATP NextGen Finals

Plenty of players can make a case for the final spot in the ATP NextGen Finals but who will be given the right to compete as one of the world's best youngsters?

Looking at the potential wildcard picks for the ATP NextGen Finals
Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe are two potential wildcard picks for the last spot in the ATP NextGen Finals (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

With the field of seven automatic qualifiers set, the ATP NextGen Finals needs one more player to complete the field of eight. The eighth player will be given a wildcard by the tournament. The likes of Frances Tiafoe just missed out on direct qualification are definitely favorites to be given the spot.

However, Taylor Fritz, Alexander Bublik, and more all have an outside chance to be given the spot while local favorite Matteo Berrettini could also be given the spot as well. Below we take a look at each person's case to be given the spot.

The Favorites

Frances Tiafoe

The American missed out direct qualification by 100 points after his early loss to Roger Federer in Basel but currently, holds the ninth-best NextGen point haul on the season. The 19-year-old qualified for the Australian Open and notched a win over a top-100 player in Mikhail Kukushkin before losing to Alexander Zverev in the second round. 

He pushed Federer in their first-career meeting in Miami, impressing the now 19-time Grand Slam champion and won his first title a couple of weeks later in Sarasota. He backed up that title with another one in France at Aix en Provence, defeating former top-30 player Jeremy Chardy.

At the French Open, he overcame a two sets to love deficit against Fabio Fognini before his gas tank ran out, losing in five. Tiafoe finally overcame his hurdle against Alex Zverev in Cincinnati, taking out the German in three sets to record his first career top-ten win. He electrified the primetime crowd in Arthur Ashe against Federer but his efforts just came up short.

Tiafoe's electrifying power game earned him a spot in the Laver Cup World Team and can easily be given the wildcard spot due to his body of work this season. 

Tiafoe was electrifying in his five-setter vs Federer during the US Open (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Tiafoe was electrifying in his five-setter vs Federer during the US Open (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Stefanos Tsitsipas

The Greek has just been officially named an alternate, taking him out of consideration for the wild card. 

The Outsiders

Taylor Fritz

The American has struggled since making the final of Memphis last year. It has to be said that this year was definitely a learning year for the 19-year-old who has plenty of gifts at his disposal. 

His first final of the year came in Dallas, losing to countryman Ryan Harrison in straight sets but failed to defend his finalist points in Memphis, which saw him lose to 490th-ranked Matthew Ebden saw his rank plummet. 

Indian Wells and Miami offered hope for a rebound for Fritz, reaching the third round in California and then the second round in Florida, but he did have his best chance to reach the final 16 in Indian Wells but lost to Malek Jaziri in three. 

After that though, the American struggled to find consistency from tournament to tournament, finally finding his footing in Los Cabos and Aptos. Fritz made the quarterfinals in Los Cabos and lost to Thanasi Kokkinakis, who very much has top-tier talent but injuries have ravaged the young Aussie's career so far. He followed up his quarterfinal run by making the semifinal in Aptos.

His next to tour-level events saw him make the quarters in Winston-Salem and Chengdu respectively. In China, Fritz qualified for the tournament. It has been an up and down year for the talented American who sits behind both Tiafoe and Tsitsipas in the NextGen race. Based off past history, he could get a nod for the wildcard spot. 

Fritz had a solid run in Chengdu a few weeks ago (Zhong Zhi/Getty ImageS)
Fritz had a solid run in Chengdu a few weeks ago (Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)

Alexander Bublik

The Kazakh started off his season with a bang, qualifying for the Australian Open, defeating Lucas Pouille in the first round and then lost to Malek Jaziri. He capped off a fantastic opening couple of months with a Challenger title in Morelos over Nicolas Jarry.

It took months for the Kazakh to put together back-to-back wins but put together his best performance at Wimbledon, qualifying after getting a lucky loser spot (lost 10-12 to Daniel Brands) but got through to put up a decent showing vs defending champion Andy Murray

Bublik took home a second Challenger title in Aptos, defeating Liam Broady in a convincing performance. Just recently, Bublik got into the main draw of the Kremlin Cup as a lucky loser. He made the most of his opportunity to win a couple of matches, including one over Albert Ramos-Viñolas

Bublik played well vs Andy Murray (David Ramos/Getty Images)
Bublik played well vs Andy Murray (David Ramos/Getty Images)

Ernesto Escobedo

Escobedo is third American on this list, showing that the Stars and Stripes do have some strong talent in the NextGen pool. The American qualified for the Brisbane International and fell just short against Kyle Edmund in a match that needed two tiebreaks. He used that momentum to qualify for the Australian Open where he won his main draw match vs Daniil Medvedev and put up a strong performance against David Ferrer, losing in four sets. 

He picked up his first career Masters win in Miami and made his first tour-level semifinal in Houston on the clay. His run of Masters qualifications (which includes a lucky loser in Rome), was good enough for Escobedo to get a direct entry into the French Open. He had a solid draw with Denis Istomin in the first round but was quickly defeated in straight sets. 

The 21-year-old struggled over the summer and the rest of the season, only being able to put together back-to-back wins during the Rogers Cup. 

Escobedo's results in the first half of the year give him a compelling case to get the wildcard (Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Escobedo's results in the first half of the year give him a compelling case to get the wildcard (Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

Sebastian Ofner

The Austrian made waves during Wimbledon but had other results to back that up. He claimed his first title of the year in Antalya, going the distance in every one of his matches. After that first title though, he failed to go deep in another tournament until Mestre where he was a finalist, losing to Joao Domingues. 

Wimbledon was where he had his biggest result of the year. He qualified after coming back from two sets to love down to Britain's own Jay Clarke. He cruised past Thomaz Bellucci before stunning Jack Sock in the fifth set after squandering a two sets to love lead. His Wimbledon run ended at the hands of Alexander Zverev, but it was still nonetheless, a positive week for the Austrian 

Ofner made his first tour-level semifinal in his home tournament of Kitzbuhel. He lost to Joao Sousa in two tiebreak sets in a tight affair which was his last major result of the year.

Ofner had a solid run at Wimbledon. including a win over Jack Sock (Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Ofner had a solid run at Wimbledon. including a win over Jack Sock (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The Home Boy

Matteo Berrettini

If the tournament team are up for it in Milan, they would be more than glad to hand the wildcard to him. He started off his season with a title at a Futures event in Switzerland and only took him a month to get to his first Challenger final in Quanzhou. 

Berrettini played in the Masters 1000 event in Rome against countryman Fabio Fognini (Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Berrettini played in the Masters 1000 event in Rome against countryman Fabio Fognini (Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)

After struggling to put together a good run of results for a few months, he finally made his first Challenger breakthrough in San Benedetto, taking the title over Laslo Djere. A few weeks later, it was another final, but this time outside of Italy, losing to Sergiy Stakhovsky in Portoroz. His most recent best run came in Istanbul, losing to Malek Jaziri. 

So who do you think takes the wildcard spot for the NextGen finals?