The WTA and ATP events in China are just before the European season and after the final Grand Slam of the year — the US Open. These twin season events in China have been changing the chances of players to get into the year end WTA finals for Women and the ATP Masters for Men. [...]


Trailblazing new Generation


Rumania’s Simon Halep

The WTA and ATP events in China are just before the European season and after the final Grand Slam of the year — the US Open.

These twin season events in China have been changing the chances of players to get into the year end WTA finals for Women and the ATP Masters for Men. This year’s Tennis, with the absence of some leading names, has to be named as very open, while the trailblazing aspect came from the New Generation Players (GP), and was definitely exciting with newer faces.

New Generation Players (NGP)

What excited the world of Tennis this year was the openness of its field and the sight of new and young talents propping up frequently, to topple big names. Among the Women, with Rumania’s Halep as 25th No.1, new faces in the Top 10 are 20-year-old Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, Elina Svitolina of Ukraine and France’s Caroline Garcia.

Among the Men, Germany’s Alexander Zverev, Austria’s Dominic Thiem and Australia’s Nick Kyrigios are brushing shoulders with Federer and Nadal in the Top 10. This trend is bound to remain in the years to come. These youngsters are known as ‘NGPs’. They have just past their teens.

The general observation is the NGPs are ‘cleaner’, meaning better aware of the menace that has completely tarnished sports in all of its disciplines, doping. With so many sport persons on the mat and a good many in a suspicion list, NGPs are well forewarned of the consequences of unacceptable practices. It is widely accepted that the implementation of the testing systems in the past were well below requirement. It is changing now.

Players and prominence

Although the media revolves around the Top 200 of the world, the WTA and the ATP have over 7,500 players on tour annually. They represent close to 100 nations. The total prize money of the tour, for both genders put together, exceeds US$ 260 million, while the total number of events exceeds 110 a year. Close to 700 million people watch and follow WTA/ATP events.

The WTA Finals will be in Singapore gets another event called the WTA Elite Trophy and it will be in Zhuhai, China. The men’s ATP masters will be also in late October in London.

The China tour

A few decades ago there were no events in China and the number of events in Asia was meager. Even the few were of little consequence. This year the Asian tour is a rich one, mostly dominated by the prosperity of China. China offered nearly one tenth of the global Men’s prize money this year. It is the same for Women. Other Asian countries are also waking up to the support China is giving to Tennis.

The secret of the Chinese’ success is their player and playing facility development. While many factors contribute to the process of player development, the most salient is the playing facilities in a nation. Most of the Asian countries have very few courts and used only for group coaching. China is an exception to this. This makes Chinese players matured in game play. Eventually, this is what counts and is a primary requirement of high performance stream after age 16.

Player development in the West, East and far-Eastern Asia still lags well behind the requirement of the global professional tour. Their development process is drowned in the age group Tennis which is school Tennis, and this is not the administrative area of any National Association. Most of the countries count their school Tennis players in their registration and state they have tens of thousands of players. This is only fooling themselves, as these players do not appear anywhere in the WTA and ATP rankings. In Sri Lanka, the only ones who appeared in the current Women’s futures in Colombo were through ‘Wild Card’ entry, and most lost without winning even 1 Game in the 1st match they played against foreign players.

Colombo Tennis

Although stoke-making may vary, the tactics and strategy of the game still need the basic ability to engage the opponent, change pace to an advantage, counter opponent’s big shots, hit winners, last the duration of the game, accommodate very good speed in court coverage and perform match after match to win an event. The Top players have them. Veterans such as Nadal and Federer have bounced back because of this. Unexpectedly, Nadal and Federer have become the No.1 and 2 in the rankings. In Shanghai, Federer beat Nadal convincingly.

For the last 3 weeks, Futures Tennis in Colombo showed how vibrant and pleasing is Women’s Pro Tennis. The players are mostly from the bottom 500 of the rankings, with some exceptions. The unfortunate factor was the weather. Even with it, the sight of completely developed players showing their trailblazing ability, was a treat. Those who took the trouble to be there, got something they will remember. From what is known, these will be regular features in the years to come. We have only to do one more thing. That is to have our players in them on merit.

-George Paldano, Former int. player; Accredited Coach of German Federation; National coach Sri Lanka and Brunei, Davis-Cup, Federation Cup captain/coach– contact 94 77 544 8880 –


Share This Post


Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.