© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Juan Manuel Cerundolo won his first tour-level title in Cordoba in February.

Cerundolo & Co. Looking To Follow In Tsitsipas & Sinner's Footsteps

The 2019 Milan champion Sinner has won four tour-level titles this year

The Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals have provided the perfect springboard for players to soar to the top of the game since its inaugural edition in 2017.

Former champions Stefanos Tsitispas and Jannik Sinner have both cracked the Top 10 in the FedEx ATP Rankings since competing in Milan, while World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev captured his maiden major title at the US Open in September.

Ahead of the 2021 event, taking place in Milan, from 9-13 November, eight #NextGenATP stars will be aiming to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, with Argentine Juan Manuel Cerundolo using their success to drive him forward.

“It is motivating because you see where they are ranked now and it is what we here are all trying to achieve,” Cerundolo said during the pre-tournament press conference. “But it is just one tournament. It doesn’t mean we are going to get there, so we are going to try to keep moving and play every match. We will try to get there. I am really happy to be here. I think it is a really nice experience.”

You May Also Like: Rookie On Tour: Alcaraz Relives Milestone Moments

Italian Lorenzo Musetti has reached tour-level semi-finals in Acapulco and Lyon this season and will be flying the flag for the home crowd as he is aims to replicate the Milan performances of countryman Sinner, who lifted the trophy in 2019.

“I saw the matches from Jannik [Sinner] when he won, so I hope to do the same and win the trophy,” Musetti said cracking a smile. “I think everyone is honoured to be in this competition and playing the event this week.”

Sebastian Baez, alongside Cerundolo, is one of two South Americans in the draw. The 20-year-old has won five ATP Challenger Tour titles this season, with all of them coming on clay. However, the World No. 111 is confident he can adjust to the hard-court conditions quickly, despite only playing three matches on the surface in 2021.

“When I was a kid, I liked playing more on hard courts,” Baez said. “As I live in Argentina, I play every time on clay courts. But I really like to play on hard courts, so this is a new chance to try and continue and learn. This is a new experience and a good chance and opportunity with great players.”