The Breakthrough Wimbledon Stars

Who is ready to breakthrough after Wimbledon?

The dust has now settled over Wimbledon. The covers are on the courts. The hallowed turf of Centre Court will next be stepped upon by Novak Djokovic and his 2020 first-round opponent.

But other than Djokovic himself, and the Ladies’ champion Simona Halep, who will look back on Wimbledon 2019 with fond memories? Who may be ready to breakthrough onto the next level of their career?


Roberto Bautista Agut

It might seem strange that a 31-year-old, who has been a professional since 2009, might be considered a breakthrough star. However, this Championships saw Bautista Agut make a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time. He also achieved this without dropping a set until his quarter-final against Guido Pella.

His consistent, flat hitting really worked well on the grass and he is showing that he has a game that can compete with the best on all surfaces. It would be great to see him push on to try and earn a place at the ATP Tour Finals now.

Felix Auger-Aliassime

Again, possibly a surprising choice as a Wimbledon breakthrough because Auger-Aliassime was the fifth favourite with some bookmakers for the tournament and only made the third round.

However, those first two rounds were the first two rounds that he has won in any Grand Slam. From that perspective, he has overcome a hurdle that needs to be jumped to move forward in his career. He can now head to the US Open knowing that his next goal is to go deep into the second week, and undoubtedly, he would be more familiar with conditions there than he was at Wimbledon.


Alison Riske

Despite a really tough draw, it wasn’t a massive surprise that Riske was a Wimbledon breakthrough star. It has been known for a while now that Riske’s grass-court game is superb. She has multiple titles on the surface and came into Wimbledon in 2019 with great form, but defeating Vekic, Bencic, and Ash Barty, showed a level of quality that even Riske’s fans weren’t sure she was capable of.

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam that Riske has a winning record at, and she has never made a WTA final above “International” level. Her next step simply has to be to make a run anywhere else.

Karolina Muchova

There were whispers of a new big-serving Czech coming onto the scene a couple of years ago, and now 22-year-old Muchova really has proven that her breakthrough to the top level is imminent with that win over Karolina Pliskova 13-11 in the deciding set.

Wimbledon 2019 was her fourth consecutive main draw Grand Slam, which means she has now played at every Slam venue so she should feel at home at the top level. There’s no doubt she has great weapons, but what really showed in that Pliskova match was Muchova’s never-say-die mentality. That was one of my matches of the tournament.

Muchova now needs to apply that mentality and game to the WTA Tour and win a tournament. She has made one final on clay, but it will be interesting to see if she can bring her weapons to bear on the hardcourt swing.

Cori Gauff

Obviously. Not sure that I have much more to add to the superb articles written about this young lady elsewhere on this site.

Will be interesting to see how her management team plan her next steps but she’s probably the hottest property in the women’s game right now.

Dayana Yastremska

One of my favorite young players on the WTA Tour. I suspected that she would do well this week and I felt really disappointed that she fell just before a potentially mouth-watering quarter-final with eventual champion Simona Halep.

That fourth-round defeat to Shuai Zhang probably underlines what she needs to do to improve to the next level. Adapting to different game styles, keeping concentration and converting her chances will hopefully see her progress further.

The next chance will be the US Open, and she is already a multiple WTA title winner on hard courts, so I will watch her closely in New York.


Juan Sebastian Cabal &a& Robert Farah

The Colombians have long been a doubles combination that I have admired. It was great to see them win their first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon, and I’m sure that the scenes in Bogota were something to behold.

They made the semi-inals in the US Open last year, so they clearly enjoy Flushing Meadows. The Colombian pairing must now have all the big titles in their sights and I would be disappointed if that was the only Grand Slam they collected in their career.


Yuki Mochizuki

The Boys’ Tournament always seems to be exceptionally difficult to win, and this year’s edition was no exception.

The Japanese generated a lot of headlines, especially in his home country, when he triumphed over Carlos Gimeno Valero to win the Junior Singles. Japanese tennis is enjoying a purple patch with Naomi Osaka’s recent exploits and they will hope that Mochizuki can transition through to the senior ranks smoothly.

He has already won a senior tournament at home at ITF level. The more that he can play the senior tournaments (there is a very good Far East programme that can bring him through) and be successful in them the easier he will find moving onto the Challenger Tour and the ATP Tour.


Daria Snigur

In contrast to Mochizuki, the young Ukrainian Daria Snigur won the Girls’ Singles dropping just one set, in a tiebreak in Round 3.

Snigur has been very consistent in the Junior Grand Slams this season, despite being unseeded. She made the Semi-Finals in Australia and the Quarter-Finals at Roland-Garros, which means she has a game that translates across different surfaces.

The Wimbledon final win against the US’ Alexa Noel was Snigur’s final match as a junior, so she literally is a Wimbledon breakthrough star as she moves into the senior ranks. She has already won three times on the senior ITF tour so hers will be a career to watch with great interest.

Main Photo from Getty

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