The Newcomer of the Year in the 2020 ATP Awards goes to the #NextGenATP player who entered the Top 100 or Top 150 for the first time in 2020 and made the biggest impact on the ATP Tour this season. There are six nominees this season: Carlos Alcaraz, Sebastian Korda, Lorenzo Musetti, Jurij Rodionov, Emil Ruusuvuori and Thiago Seyboth Wild.

ATP Awards winners will be revealed later this month.

Player Age Career-High (Date)
 Carlos Alcaraz  17  No. 136 (October 19)
 Sebastian Korda  20 No. 116 (November 9)
 Lorenzo Musetti  18  No. 123 (October 19)
 Jurij Rodionov  21 No. 141 (November 9)
 Emil Ruusuvuori  21  No. 84 (November 2)
 Thiago Seyboth Wild  20  No. 106 (September 14)

Carlos Alcaraz, 17 (Spain)
Alcaraz started the year barely inside the Top 500 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, sitting at No. 492. But the Spanish teen would soon take off on a meteoric rise that would rocket him up to a career-high No. 136.

Coached by former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, Alcaraz signalled his intent early on as the started the season by putting together a 14-match winning streak to win two ITF 15K events and reach the final at another. He went on to win his first ATP main draw match in emphatic fashion, outlasting No. 41 Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round of Rio de Janeiro.

Alcaraz lifted his first ATP Challenger Series trophy in Trieste, and backed it up a week later by reaching the final again at Cordenons. But the Spaniard’s best was yet to come: on home soil, Alcaraz lifted back-to-back Challenger trophies in Barcelona and Alicante – the latter sealed with his second Top 100 victory of the year in the final. As a result, Alcaraz joined an exclusive club of players who have won at least three Challenger titles before turning 18, including Richard Gasquet, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro and Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Sebastian Korda, 20 (USA)
20-year-old Sebastian Korda’s strong late-season results – highlighted by an electric Roland Garros main draw debut – sent the American soaring up the FedEx ATP Rankings and have him knocking on the door of the Top 100.

Korda started the year ranked No. 242, and steadily chipped away at his ranking on the back of solid results at the ATP Challenger and ITF circuits, including third rounds at Indian Wells and Newport Beach. But he saved his best for the fall, and after making his Grand Slam at the US Open he went on to stun the field in Paris, reaching the fourth round at Roland Garros from qualifying.

The American closed out the season with his first Challenger trophy in Eckental. It was a long time coming for Korda, who had dropped his first eight finals as a professional.

Lorenzo Musetti, 18 (ITA)
There’s no place like home for Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti. The 18-year-old fought his way into the main draw at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, and once there he turned heads with some big-name upsets over former Top 5 stars Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori to reach the third round.

Musetti used his Masters 1000 success as a springboard and he continued the momentum a week later in Forli, where the Italian claimed his first ATP Challenger Tour title. He closed out the season with some more success at home, reaching his first ATP Tour semi-final in Sardinia.

“I’m playing really good tennis, my best tennis and I’m confident. I think I have the weapons… to compete at this level,” Musetti said. “The ball is a tennis ball and the other guy is a human being, so everything can happen on the court. I’m just playing and trying to do my best.”

“I’m taking a lot of emotions and wins. I’m very proud.”

Jurij Rodionov, 21 (AUT)
Jurij Rodionov cut his FedEx ATP Ranking by more than half to finish the year inside the Top 150 after a breakthrough season saw him check off a lot of milestones. The Austrian claimed his second Challenger title early on in Dallas, defeating Andreas Seppi and Denis Kudla – two Top 100 players – along the way. He reeled off eight match wins in a row to claim the title in Moreles and reach the semi-finals in Columbus.

The 21-year-old didn’t slow down despite the ATP Tour’s suspension, and Rodionov qualified for his first Grand Slam main draw at Roland Garros. He made an epic debut as he ousted French player Jeremy Chardy, No. 65, in the first round after coming back from two sets down and having to save match point, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4, 10-8.

Rodionov closed out the season by scoring one of the biggest victories of his career: playing against a Top 20 player for the first time and on home soil in Vienna, the Austrian defeated Denis Shapovalov in straight sets to claim a statement first ATP Tour win.

Emil Ruusuvuori, 21 (FIN)
Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori broke the ATP Top 100 as he continued his slow and steady rise to the top of the game. The 21-year-old made a strong start of the year with a run to the final at the Canberra (Bendigo 1) Challenger, defeating Jannik Sinner along the way.

Ruusuvuori continued to chip away at his FedEx ATP Ranking as the season resumed, he reached his biggest main draw after qualifying for the Western & Southern Open in New York. He made his Grand Slam debut at the US Open, claiming his first major win against Aljaz Bedene in a roller-coaster five-set clash, but was forced to retire in the second round due to injury.

The 21-year-old saved his best tennis for the end of the season, reaching his first ATP Tour semi-final in Nur-Sultan, tearing through the main draw from the qualifying rounds. 

Thiago Seyboth Wild, 20 (BRA)
Thiago Seyboth Wild lifted his FedEx ATP Ranking by almost 100 spots to reach a new career-high in 2020 by claiming some big-name upsets and checking off a lot of ‘firsts’.

Even though the Brazilian had won just his second ATP Tour main draw match at the Rio Open, his home tournament, Seyboth Wild played like a veteran the next week to lift his first ATP Tour trophy in Santiago. The 20-year-old took a set off home favorite Cristian Garin in the quarter-finals to claim his first Top 20 win (Garin retired in the second set).

Seyboth Wild continued his steady progress as he made his Grand Slam main draw debut at the US Open, and went on to reach the final at the Aix de Provence Challenger – taking down No. 80 Gianluca Mager in the opening round. 


Source: Tennis – ATP World Tour