Three big winners: Carlos Alcaraz, Paula Badosa, Tommy Paul

At 15 he was already looking very good, but it took him a while to be more smarter on court.

Perhaps another Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz, will go up very high. On Saturday at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, he won the tournament, beating American Sebastian Korda in straight sets.

Alcaraz has two gigantic strokes, with his forehand and his backhand. He is very strong, already, and his first serve is mighty. He keeps moving forward when he gets a decent chance, but not all the time. But here is the reality: While many of the teenager or the early 20s, they can look good against some other people who look stylish, but none of them are in the top 30 yet, so in a couple years, then we will all know how they really are.

However in 2017, during the first Next Gen ATP Finals, it looked like they some of the first contestants were nailing it. The ones who won, or reached the final, were Chung Hyeon, Andrey Rublev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alex de Minaur and Jannik Sinner. This year, they are all way up, either in the top 10 through the top 40. That is very impressive. I would think, and maybe I will be wrong, but in 2023, Alcaraz and Korda will be having a good shot to win an ATP 1000, and also go deep at the Slams. Sometimes they can get hurt, but if they are healthy, they can knock out a lot of people.

WTA Finals
Let’s review the young women. Paula Badose has come up gradually, and now driving. A few days ago, she destroyed Aryna Sabalenka 6-4 6-0 in Guadalajara.  If you look at Badosa, who just beat Maria Sakkari 76(4) 64 in the WTA Finals. A couple years ago, she was unfocused on the court. But this week, she is so locked in, and she can mix it up. Sakkari was close, but she made some mental mistakes. Badosa is now composed.

“I suffered but I knew I was going to suffer against a player like Maria, she is an amazing fighter,” said Badosa. “I think the key was to fight as well, I’m the same as her I am a competitor, I like to compete.I stayed aggressive and focused and fighting a lot and I think that was the game plan.”

Tommy Paul

That was a huge win by Tommy Paul, who won Stockholm beating Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. This is his first title, backed with a strong performance with his forehand and his backhand. The 24-year-old from North Carolina is more mature now, and next year, he could even better when he returns more consistent.

“I played some of my best tennis to beat Denis,” said Paul. “It’s the most fun I’ve had playing a tennis tournament. It means everything to win my first title. I’ve worked so hard to achieve this and I’d like to break into the Top 30 at some point.” Go for it.

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