The Breakthrough of the Year award at the 2021 ATP Awards goes to the #NextGenATP player who first entered the Top 100 in 2021 * and made the biggest impact on the ATP Tour this season. This year there are five nominees: Sebastián Baez, Jenson Brooksby, Juan Manuel Cerúndolo, Hugo Gaston and Brandon Nakashima.
Sebastian Baez, 20 (Argentina) Sebastian Báez, 20, enjoyed a memorable 2021 season as he became the youngest player in ATP Challenger Tour history to win six titles at this level in one season, at the same time. who had the most wins in a single year among players aged 20 and under (44).
The Argentine started the season just outside the Top 300 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, but broke into the Top 100 for the first time in late November after triumphing in the Campinas final. The world No. 98 spent most of the season playing in South America, but showed his talents to the world at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, where he reached the semifinals at the Allianz Cloud.
Jenson Brooksby, 21 (USA) Jenson Brooksby had picked up just one tour-level victory prior to the 2021 season and was ranking outside of the Top 300 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. However, after a series of outstanding results, the American rose in the rankings this year, finishing the campaign in 56th place.
The 21-year-old reached his first ATP Tour final in Newport, before advancing to the fourth round in a major for the first time at the US Open, defeating Aslan Karatsev and compatriot Taylor Fritz before losing to Novak Djokovic in four sets.
Time will tell whether Roger Federer will get to end his career on his own terms.
Llodra reflects on Roger Federer
In a recent interview, former World No. 21 Michael Llodra spoke about growing up and training with Roger Federer during their formative years.
"I had the chance to face him (Roger Federer) several times. We are a year apart, I've known him since I was 12," Llodra told Telegram. "We grew up together." The Olympic doubles silver medalist further went on to reveal that while he saw "flashes" of Federer's brilliance, it took the Swiss time to sort out his problems.
"He had flashes but he was a bit nervous and had ups and downs. As soon as he managed to sort it out, he became a whole different player," he added. "He has such ease, and all his shots are perfect." Recently, it came to the knowledge of fans that Tennis Australia suffered from losses majorly due to the pandemic.
The organization went out of its way to make sure a successful edition of the Australian Open took place in 2021. They had to spend way above the limited budget to ensure the completion of the Grand Slam tournament.