Coco Gauff’s meteoric rise to the top of the tennis world has ushered in a new generation of American talent. Gauff, 17 years old and the world’s 23rd-ranked player, serves as a benchmark for the next era in tennis.
With the U.S. Open set to begin Monday, Gauff and a growing group of teenage athletes are ready to take center stage at Flushing Meadows. Get to know tennis’ next generation in the United States:
Anisimova, 19, has already staged several impressive Grand Slam runs. Currently No. 72 in the world, Anisimova has reached the semifinals at the 2019 French Open, the Round of 16 at the 2019 Australian Open and the Round of 32 at last year’s U.S. Open. By the end of 2019, her world ranking had risen to No. 21, the highest of her career.
The New Jersey native enters the 2021 U.S. Open after retiring from August’s WTA Chicago tournament in the Round of 16.
McNally started carving out her path on the juniors tour, winning the 2018 French Open doubles championship at 16 years old. Since making her WTA main-draw debut in 2017, McNally has won four doubles titles, reaching a career-high ranking of 32 in July.
With Gauff as her partner, McNally recently reached the quarterfinal of the Western & Southern Open doubles draw before being ousted by the Spanish duo of Paula Badosa and Sara Sorribes Tormo in a three-set thriller. The 19-year-old, ranked No. 134 entering the U.S. Open, has yet to capture a singles title.
Baptiste burst onto the scene in 2019, defeating Madison Keys in the first round of the Citi Open, her debut match in a WTA Tour main draw. The 19-year-old is coming off a promising season, making a run at the August WTA Chicago tournament before falling to Clara Tauson in the Round of 16. Baptiste also recorded her best finish at a Grand Slam during this year’s French Open, reaching the Round of 64 where she fell to fellow American Sofia Kenin.
Without a singles title to her name, Baptiste looks hungry for a championship, currently ranked 181st in the world.
Volynets, the world No. 197, captured her first ITF singles title in May. The 19-year-old California native has yet to make a splash at any of the Grand Slams, but she’s gaining momentum after several promising tournament finishes this season.
Volynets went on a run in the Nordea Open in July, making it to the Round of 16 before being ousted by Aliona Bolsova. That same month, Volynets advanced to the Round of 32 of the BNP Paribas Poland Open. If Volynets’s rise up the rankings continues, it seems like it’ll be only a matter of time before she makes her presence known on the circuit.
Passing shot 💨 by Katie Volynets!#AbiertoZapopan2021 pic.twitter.com/DUPNNKVnMP— wta (@WTA) March 10, 2021
Passing shot 💨 by Katie Volynets!#AbiertoZapopan2021 pic.twitter.com/DUPNNKVnMP
McNally, Baptiste and Volynets have all received a wild-card selection to the U.S. Open, giving the young stars a chance to shine on tennis’ biggest stage. McNally and Volynets have competed in Flushing Meadows before, with McNally reaching the tournament’s third round last year for her best Grand Slam performance to date.
The U.S. Open is famous for putting young players on the map. Keep an eye out for this group of 19-year-olds to pull off an upset in the season’s last Grand Slam.