The “tri-valry” among Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic is the biggest show in tennis. But as the U.S. Open kicks off on August 29, others are vying to take center stage. L. Jon Wertheim previews seven players worth watching.
If Australia’s last tennis hero, Lleyton Hewitt, was a throwback—an undersize scrapper who prevailed with a surfeit of speed and guts—the country’s next likely star represents the new school. Tomic was born in Stuttgart to refugees from Croatia and, with his family, immigrated to the Gold Coast. His father, who once drove taxis for a living, is now Tomic’s full-time coach. At 18 he is already ranked in the top 75, fresh off an impressive Wimbledon quarterfinal showing. Standing six feet three, he serves ferociously and pounds ground strokes with a force that, inevitably, will spawn the nickname A-Tomic.