Boris Becker highlights four young ATP stars ‘you will hear a lot from in the coming year’

Boris Becker in 2023

Tennis great Boris Becker has identified the ATP quartet of Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Holger Rune and Ben Shelton as the young players “you will hear a lot from in the coming year.”

The former world No 1 described Sinner as a “superstar” and an “incredibly likeable athlete”, while highlighting improved performances in Grand Slams as “the next big step” for the Italian.

Sinner, who is at a career high ranking of world No 4, has made significant strides this year as he finished a brilliant 2023 campaign with a 64-15 (81%) record.

The 22-year-old claimed titles in Montpellier, Toronto, Beijing and Vienna, and was a runner-up in Rotterdam, Miami and at the ATP Finals in Turin.

The Italian also made his first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon and finished his season by leading Italy to their second Davis Cup title and first since 1976.

READ MORE: Jannik Sinner underlines Darren Cahill’s key contribution to his sensational growth

World No 2 Alcaraz, also had another superb season, winning six titles, including his second Grand Slam crown with his victory at Wimbledon. The 20-year-old Spaniard became the youngest ATP player to be ranked world No 1 following his 2022 US Open triumph.

Shelton finished his impressive first full year as a pro at No 17 in ATP Rankings, having made the quarter-finals at the Australian Open and the semi-finals at the US Open. The 21-year-old American claimed his maiden ATP title in Tokyo in October.

Rune, meanwhile, recovered from a run of 10 losses in 11 matches to finish his year with positive showings in Basel, Paris and Turin after hiring Becker as his coach in October.

The 20-year-old Dane, who is the current world No 8, was particularly strong during the 2023 clay-court season, winning a title in Munich and reaching the final at ATP Masters 1000 events in Monte Carlo and Rome.

Speaking to Eurosport’s Das Gelbe vom Ball podcast, six-time Grand Slam champion Becker named the four leading young players and was full of praise for Sinner.

“With Jannik Sinner you can clearly see that he has improved in the last one or two years. He was always dangerous, but he has now a certain consistency and a relaxed attitude on the court, which allows him to stay true to his line and play tennis even in critical phases,” the German said.

“[This is] the basis for the next big step. It has to be to get to the semi-finals or finals of a Grand Slam tournament and maybe even win it.

“He is a reserved, polite, well-mannered boy. Where else does that exist? He is a superstar and yet relaxed, reserved and an incredibly likeable athlete. You will also hear a lot in the coming year in conjunction with the trio Alcaraz, Rune and Shelton.”

READ MORE: Boris Becker analyses why Carlos Alcaraz suffered dip in form after Wimbledon triumph

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