Khachanov and Chung confirmed for ASB Classic
The eight best young players on the ATP Tour are competing in the inaugural ATP Next Gen Finals this week in Milan, excitingly, four of those players have now been confirmed to take part in January’s ASB Classic.
Top seed, Russian Andrey Rublev as well as Canadian Denis Shapovalov, considered the most exciting youngster since Rafael Nadal broke through in 2004, have already been announced. Today, two more of the games next generation have been added.
Fresh off the back of impressive wins at the Next Gen ATP Finals yesterday morning, Russian Karen Khachanov and Korean Hyeon Chung have committed to play in Auckland.
The 21-year-old Khachanov will return for the second time and shows no signs of suffering from second year syndrome. The 6.6ft Russian continues to show why he is considered the next Marat Safin breaking in to the world’s top 30 for the first time in August, reaching five ATP quarter finals and a semi-final in Halle playing a certain Roger Federer on that day.
This year he made his first appearances at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open but it was the French Open where he announced himself as the proud nations future star beating top tier players, John Isner and Tomas Berdych to reach the second week of a Slam for the first time.
“Khachanov for me, along with Shapovalov, are the two guys to watch out for. I think he has the potential to win Grand Slams. He has a really big game. He has a thunderous forehand and with the ferocity of his stroke play, it is no surprise he is being compared to the iconic Marat Safin” says Tournament Director Karl Budge.
54th ranked Chung has been the quiet achiever of this exciting new breed. Whilst the likes of Shapovalov, Rublev and Alexander Zverev may have stolen the headlines, Chung has been steadily rising in the Emirates ATP rankings. His year has consisted of two quarter finals and a semi-final including big wins over Gael Monfils, Sam Querry, David Goffin and Zverev.
As of Thursday afternoon, New Zealand time he is two wins from two matches at the Next Gen Final’s and is set to reach the semi-finals on Friday.
Budge insists, it’s a real coup to get these players so early in their careers given many believe they’ll all be top ten players.
“The last time we had this much excitement about a young group of players we were talking about Federer, Hewitt, Roddick and Tsonga. They have all gone on to be alight haven’t they! This is the next generation of superstars and it’s incredibly exciting to have four of them coming to Auckland at this stage of their career”.