In most sports, you often have long periods where certain teams or individuals will dominate the landscape for many years, winning every trophy or major competition very consistently, meaning that others curse their luck for playing during the same era. It makes betting on sports simple, as while the betting odds might not be great, you can always predict a winner when someone is clearly head and shoulders above the rest.
In the world of tennis, for example, in both the men’s and women’s game, there are several individuals who have been at the very top for what feels like an age. These are the players that sports bettor will find odds on every time they appear at a major tour event. We’re talking about Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Serena Williams, players who millions of fans around the world will regularly bet on, no matter their opposition.
While all these players are in incredibly good shape and have prolonged their careers much more than their counterparts from even 15 years ago, they are now all beginning to show their age. All of them have had at some point an injury issue to contend with and have missed valuable time on the court while they’ve recovered. Unfortunately, it seems that even the greatest athletes in the world can’t go on competing right at the very top forever.
Therefore, the question it raises is who the top young talents in tennis who are will replace these megastars, as the one all sports bettors look out for when they’re searching for tennis odds. Is there anyone breaking through right now who is going to be the next Serena Williams or Roger Federer? Let’s look at some of the rising stars, who are just beginning to find their feet in the world of tennis.
A name that most tennis fans, or anyone living in Britain who followed the news over the last 6 months will know is Emma Raducanu. At only 19 years old, she really is only just beginning her tennis career and was relatively unknown until mid-2021. She made her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon, making it through to the fourth round. She then had to retire in her match against Ajla Tomljanvoic after experiencing breathing difficulties, but still managed to shoot her way up the rankings, having been a wildcard entry in the tournament.
For some, this would have been reason enough to call her a rising star, but what followed at the US Open in Flushing Meadows in September was truly remarkable, as she made it through every single round of the tournament to win. It is a feat that has not been seen for an entire generation. Few betting companies would have given odds on someone going through the qualifying stages reaching the final, let alone going on to win it, but that is exactly what she did. It is arguably the greatest sporting achievement of the year.
All eyes will be on Raducanu this year, starting at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
The player who Raducanu defeated in the US Open back in September was the Canadian player, Leylah Fernandez. Her achievement of making it to the final should not be overlooked, as it was another very impressive performance. Previously she had only made it to the 3rd round of a Grand Slam event once, at the 2020 French Open. So, to then make it all the way to the final at Flushing Meadows was outstanding, as she too is only 19 years old.
The United States are huge tennis fans but haven’t seen a US male win a Grand Slam since Andy Roddick back in 2003. Therefore, they are desperate for someone to take up the challenge and become a world-class American player.
Could Brandon Nakashima be the man to end all the years of hurt? He is only 20 but has already risen to number 62 in the world, following some strong performances in ATP Challenger and ITF Futures events. He will certainly be looking to improve his performances at the 4 major tournaments this year, so he could be one to watch the odds-on next month in Melbourne.