FOR NEXT GEN ATP FINALS
Ashley Marshall | October 25, 2017
Rising American Jared Donaldson will fly the Stars and Stripes at a prestigious year-end event next month after qualifying for the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals.
The 21-and-under event, to be held in Milan Nov. 7-11, will feature eight of the best young stars in the game: the top seven finishers in the ATP's Race to Milan, based on ATP points accrued during the 2017 season, plus one Italian wild card.
Donaldson will be joined by Canadian breakout star Denis Shapovalov; the Russian trio of Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev; Croatia’s Borna Coric; and South Korea's Hyeon Chung. Alex Zverev, 20, is skipping the Next Gen ATP Finals to focus on the ATP Finals, which opened up a spot in the draw for Chung.
Donaldson, who started the year in 17th place in the race to Milan, booked his spot in the finals on Tuesday.
He is currently fifth in the standings.
The 21-year-old first broke into the Top 100 last September and has continued to climb the standings ever since. On Monday, he broke into the Top 50 for the first time in his career.
Among the California resident's notable achievements this year include a run to the round of 16 at the Masters 1000 event – the level directly below the four Grand Slams – in Miami in March, and a trip to the third round of Wimbledon in July. He reached the quarterfinals of the Masters 1000 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati in the build-up to the US Open in August before pushing No. 16 seed Lucas Pouille to five sets in the second round in New York.
“The thing that has allowed me to make the biggest strides is lots of quality matches throughout the entire year,” Donaldson told ATPWorldTour.com earlier this month. “I have had a great deal of exposure to ATP World Tour-level matches, which has allowed me to be not only a better player but a more consistent player.
“My serve has become more consistent and allowed me to be more aggressive on my service games. I have also returned well these past few months, which has allowed me to break serve more often and more easily. My game is centered around playing offensive tennis, so the better I serve, the quicker I can go on the offensive on rallies, which allows me to play dictating tennis.”
Three other Americans narrowly missed out on an invitation to the showcase. Frances Tiafoe is No. 9 in the Next Gen ATP Finals standings, Taylor Fritz is No. 11 and Ernesto Escobedo is No. 13.