A next generation of players consolidated themselves in 2017. Names that are establishing themselves and have found a place amongst the elite. Cases such as Franco Stupaczuk, who won two Opens with Cristian Gutiérrez last year and is in the top ten. Also among that group of players at the head of the rankings, precisely in tenth, are Alejandro Galán and Juan Cruz Belluati. These two young players climbed up to 40 places in the rankings. An explosion of young talent such as Juan Tello and Fede Chingotto, who went from promises to feared opponents on tour. Following in their footsteps are a herd of new ambitious competitors. Will their time come in 2018? We can only wait to find out. A year where legends and promises will seek the same target: to win.
Lucas Bergamini (Bento Gonçalves - Brazil, 18/08/1997) Lucas Bergamini experienced his first encounter with the professional tour last year. After surprising everyone by reaching the quarter finals of the Cerveza Victoria Mijas Costa del Sol Open with Antonio "Pincho" Fernández, Bergamini ended the year playing alongside Lucas Campagnolo. The player coached by Horacio Álvarez Clementi wants to continue developing his rapid and frenetic style of play. Quick, explosive and tireless in defence, this forehand court Brazilian picked up 1009 points last year to end in 47th place.
José Rico Dasi (Valencia, 21/09/1995) Capable of playing both on the backhand and forehand court, this Valencian started last year alongside Juan Manuel Restivo before ending it with Víctor Ruíz. Elastic, feisty and with a natural intuition in defence. The round of sixteen is the hurdle he will aim to overcome in 2018. Last year he claimed 815 points which left him 59th. The initial target will be to get off to a strong start to avoid having to play qualifiers.
Javier Garrido (Córdoba 26/10/2000) He's still not old enough to drive but he can guide his partner to victory. His physique is well beyond his age. After conquering the Junior World Championships last year, Garrido has proved that he is ready to take the next step. Agile and extremely powerful, this player also holds a great deal of character and imagination. In 2018 he will feature alongside Gonzalo Rubio yet again after a first year which ended with 516 points in 59th.
Javier Rico Dasi (Valencia 15/05/1998) The younger of the two brothers from Valencia. But he has very few similarities with José, as he is left handed and plays on the forehand court. He has a great touch and knows how to set the tempo. Brave and bold at times, he will try to become one of the forehand court players to look out for. In 2017 he reached the main draw twice and his tally was of 495 points.
Javier González Barahona (Madrid, 17/09/1998) His first appearance on tour came three seasons ago. Since then, the young player from Madrid has gained composure and become much more solid. This powerful left hander is brave in attack and committed in defence. The target will be to try and find some consistency.
Jerónimo González Luque (Antequera, Málaga, 21/02/1997) "Momo" González as he is known on tour made a handful of main draw appearances last year. It was a year in which he knocked at the door of the biggest events, showing how much potential he has. Elastic, tireless and with great court coverage, the player from Malaga likes to play a high tempo game with spectacular shots. His biggest challenges will be to learn when to pounce and to keep up his intensity.
Jorge Nieto (Madrid, 08/12/1998) This young prodigy is also looking to break through into the main draws on the World Padel Tour. A daring backhand court player with few insecurities on court that is constantly adding more weapons to his arsenal. Very mobile and with the ability to define points, his mental stregnth and work ethic will be put to the test in 2018, when "Coki" Nieto will try and become a regular fixture in main draws.
Agustín Tapia (Catamarca, Argentina. 24/07/1999) The last player on our list isn't only one of the youngest but also the least experienced on the World Padel Tour. But everyone agrees that he is one of the most promising talents out there. The Junior tour was a walk in the park for this Argentine who made a great impression when he appeared on the World Padel Tour with Lucho Soliverez. This season, Tapia will have the chance of completing a whole year on tour and he'll do so with an absolute master in Marcello Jardim. Elegant and with a great physique, he finds it surprisingly easy to finish off points.
These are just some of the players to look out for this season and in the future. Only time will tell when they break through.