Many players on the ATP tour surpass their goals and ambitions in many different ways, however others are still yet to reach their potential. I have chosen a handful of players who I believe are underrated by fans around the world; this could be not appreciating or realizing how good they are OR my opinion that the certain player should be getting better results…
Hubert Hurkacz (Poland)
Hubert Hurkacz is a top Next Gen player ranked 29 in the world in the ATP rankings. Hubert burst onto the scene making his top 100 debut in late 2018 and then backed this up with his best year to date in 2019 reaching the top 40 for the first time. He won his maiden title in Winston-Salem, as well as making the Quarter-Finals in Indian Wells (ATP 1000) beating Pouille, Nishikori and Shapovalov along the way. Not to mention decent showings at three other Masters 100 events; Madrid, Montreal and Shanghai where he made the Round of 16.
Hubert plays an all court game; an aggressive baseliner and a strong serve. Standing at 6ft 5 tall, he has all the attributes to succeed at the sports highest level with this powerful yet athletic game style. He is able and willing to win short rallies, long rallies and even finish points at net when needed. Hurkacz is also an extremely smart player, he is able to adapt his game style depending on who he is playing. At the ATP Cup he beat Thiem from giving him no angle and made little errors in long exchanges, whilst against Schwartzman he overpowered him with shorter rallies and won comprehensively. He eventually was unbeaten in the ATP Cup this year (also beating Coric) and had a semi-final showing at Auckland’s ASB Classic.
I am always so impressed when I see Hubert play and always has great battles against the top players. He is an entertaining, smart and calm player (quite similar to Tomas Berdych) and has all the attributes to be a future top 10 player.
Marton Fucsovics (Hungary)
Marton Fucsovics is an extremely exciting and talented player ranked 84 in the current rankings. He had a strong year in 2019 reaching a career high ranking of 31. He continued this form into 2020 making Round 4 at the Australian Open (eventually losing to Roger Federer) and upset Denis Shapovalov in Round 1 in 4 sets.
Marton was a highly ranked junior being ranked number one in the ITF junior rankings when he was only 16. His start to professional tennis was similar to Grigor Dimitrov’s making impressive strides at a very young age. Unfortunately for Fucsovics (and Dimitrov) he has struggled for consistency throughout the season and has not managed to play his highest level of tennis. He has spoken out in the past about the challenge of coming from a ‘small’ country and having pressure to succeed from his great junior career (won Wimbledon juniors in singles and US Open in doubles).
I think Marton has done extremely well in his career considering he is from a smaller country and has had less resources/opportunities than many other players on tour. I still think he has a lot more to give and would expect to be in the top 50 at the very least for the foreseeable future. Like Hubert, he can play on all surfaces and has all the shots in his armour, he just needs to find that consistency week by week and maybe not doubt himself in close matches.
Other notable players:
Jan-Lennard Struff is a well-known ATP player, being a Top 50 singles and doubles player for a long time now. Struff is another player with an all court game that can play on all surfaces and challenge the Top 10 consistently. So why is he underrated?
Sometimes I feel fans and players don’t actually realize how good Struff is/can be. It’s very rare you will see him lose comfortably and he is managing to play doubles also at a very high level. Ranked at 34 currently (career high of 33) I have always felt his ranking has not shown his ability on court and he should be a future top 30 player comfortably.
Dan Evans has had a mixed but overall impressive career where he is now ranked inside the top 30. Dan’s talents on court is unquestionable with an entertaining playing style that can be compared to the likes of Roger Federer. His feel on his slice and volleys especially is one of the best you’ll see… alongside his fighting, competitive spirit. Dan started 2020 off really well beating de Minaur and Goffin at the ATP Cup, then a QF in Rotterdam and SF in Dubai (both ATP 500’s). He will be discussed in more depth in a future article…
Also worth a mention! Ernests Gulbis, Mikael Ymer and Tennys Sandgren.