The year 2021 is reaching its end with some great possibilities on the horizon for next season. From seasoned players exceeding expectations to new stars making their début, our Team Pro Babolat players have shone on the courts.
The year started strongly with our star player Rafael Nadal continuing his endurance record with 800 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 (850 to this day). After a brilliant performance at the Australian Open, the Spaniard confirmed his mastery in the court with two titles in Barcelona and Rome, even though he lost his 14th title at the Roland Garros tournament this year.
They shone in the Grand Slam
Félix Auger Aliassime confirmed his new-found position among the world’s greatest players, particularly with several high-level performances at the Grand Slam, with a quarter final at Wimbledon and a semi final at the US Open. His performances saw him progressing well in the ATP rankings.
In the Grand Slam, three of our Team Babolat players stood out and shocked us when they each reached the final. Jennifer Brady at the Australian Open, Karolina Pliskova at Wimbledon and Leylah Fernandez at the US Open. The latter, at only 19-years-old, impressed everyone in the latest Grand Slam with 3 victories against Top 5 players over the fortnight in the US. Cool and full of determination, the young Canadian won over the heart of the public and opened new era for women’s tennis.
The Next Gen steps forward
On the topic of young players, Carlos Alcaraz made an impression on tennis fans by declaring himself the leader of the Next Gen and a future champion. Named ATP Breakout Star of 2020, our Spanish gem quickly climbed more than 100 places in the ATP rankings to finish 32nd.
2021 was the year of Carlos’ first major achievements: his first match won in the Australian Open Grand Slam, his first title on the Umag circuit (ATP 250), and his first quarter final in the US Open Grand Slam. His year finished perfectly with a victory at the Next Gen Masters.
In this Next Gen Masters we also saw Brandon Nakashima and Holger Rune. The latter made excellent progress in the rankings and is now just shy of the top 100. This promising young player won the title four times in Challenger and amazed the top players with a super match in the US Open against Novak Djokovic that he only lost by 4 hung sets.
2021 was also the year of the Tokyo Olympic Games where more medals were won: Dylan Alcott remained unbeaten at the Grand Slam this year and won the gold medal in the Golden Slam at the Olympics in Japan. On the French side, Stéphane Houdet was very happy with his gold medal in the doubles.
2021, a year of firsts We have had the privilege of an incredible end of the season particularly with the coronation of a new world number 3, Garbiñe Muguraza at the WTA Masters. The Spaniard had won titles previously in Dubai and Chicago. Anett Kontaveit was included in the Top 10 for the first time in her career thanks to an exceptional end of the season: 4 titles from the end of September (Cleveland, Ostrava, Moscow and Cluj) and one defeat at the WTA Masters final against Garbiñe.
The American Danielle Collins was also crowned twice in 2021. She won it at the Palerme tournament, the first WTA title of her career, and at home in San Jose, California.
It was also in the second part of the season that Cameron Norrie shone. The British player improved over 2021 with a first title in Los Cabos before fully revealing his talent when he won Indian Wells Masters 1000 in a brilliant performance. The next generation is preparing Finally, our juniors had an excellent season and performed particularly well in the Grand Slam tournaments. Our number 1 Juncheng Sheng reached the final of the Australian Open as well as the semi finals at Wimbledon, a tournament in which another Team Babolat player Samir Banerjee took the title. The French player Arthur Fils performed well at Roland-Garros up to the singles final and won the doubles final with Giovanni Mpetshi. A small shout out to Johanna Konta, Timea Babos and Victor Troicki who decided to end their careers. We respectively wish them the best in life and thank them for what they brought to the world of tennis.
We have loved watching Team Pro Babolat’s amazing victories this year and we hope they do even better next year! We are waiting impatiently for the return of Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem in 2022, which is looking to be an exciting year. Be patient - the tennis season will be back soon!