Italy as a power absolute world power and above all as a future-oriented world powerthat of the new generations, renamed by the ATP Next-Gen, complete with a mini circuit and Finals.
At an absolute level, considering the top 55 players in the world, Italy with 5 tennis players (Sinner number 15, Berrettini 16, Musetti 23, Sonego 45 and Fognini 55) it is the third most present nation in the ATP ranking after the United States with 9 players and Spain with 6.
But at the Next-Gen level, for two years, Italy is the nation with the most players in the top 100 of the race to Milan 2021 and 2022. Last year we had 12 players and this year even 14: among the strongest under 21 players in the world are Jannik Sinner number 2 in the race, Lorenzo Musetti 4, Francesco Passaro 9, Matteo Arnaldi 11, Luca Nardi 12, Mattia Bellucci 15, Giulio Zeppieri 17, Flavio Cobolli 20, Francesco Maestrelli 22, Luciano Darderi 24, Matteo Gigante 31, Samuel Vincent Ruggeri 63, Marcello Serafini 91 and Gabriele Piraino 98.
A constant growth with two small declines: in fact in 2017 we had 6 players in the top 100 Next-Gen, 4 in 2018, 8 in 2019, 6 in 2020, 12 in 2021 and finally 14 in 2022. In 2017 the top Azzurri are were Matteo Berrettini and Gianluigi Quinzi, in 2018 Gian Marco Moroni, Raul Brancaccio and Jacopo Berrettini, from 2019 onwards Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti to command an increasingly numerous platoon.
In 2017 we stayed at fourth place among the countries with the most players in the top 100, in 2018 eighth, in 2019 second, in 2020 fifth, in 2021 and 2022 first. We did one unit better this year than France which had 13 Next-Gen top 100, the United States 9, Argentina 7, Czech Republic, Spain and Australia 5, Romania and Brazil 4 .
For the season that is about to begin, the Italian Next-Gen standard bearer will no longer be Jannik Sinner but Lorenzo Musetti. However, the blue player will not be satisfied with this platonic title, but will go in search of much more important goals being the third youngest in the ranking after Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune. Reaching the two rivals among the top 10, crowning some important placements in the Grand Slams or in the Masters 1000, will be the main objective to achieve for the talented Italian player.
Musetti’s deputy in the Next-Gen consortium is Luca Nardi, 19 years old, No. 9 in Italy and No. 135 in the world. Born in Pesaro on 6 August 2003, Nardi won all three challenger finals in 2022: in Forlì, in Lugano and in Manacor. He has only played 6 of ATP matches in his career. He made his debut, thanks to a wild card, in Antwerp 2020 as number 917 in the world, losing with honor in the first round to Marcos Giron (number 94). Then this year he received a wild card at the Internazionali d’Italia (beaten in the first round 6-4 6-4 by Cameron Norrie), qualified in Hamburg losing in the first round against Pablo Carreno Busta, got his first win career in a main draw in Astana beating Alexander Shevchenko before surrendering to Stefanos Tsitsipas (7-6 7-6) and finally lost narrowly in Naples against Corentin Moutet.
The number 3 of Italy among the Next-Gen is Flavio Cobolli, followed by two other hopeful players such as Francesco Maestrelli and Luciani Darderi. Two 19-year-olds to follow close to the top 500 in the world: Gabriele Piraino (541) and Giorgio Tabacco (618).