Who are tennis' future Grand Slam champions? Jenson Brooksby, Amanda Anisimova, Coco Gauff...

In the wake of Carlos Alcaraz's US Open triumph, Andy Schooler picks out nine players with the potential to follow in the Spaniard's footsteps and become a Grand Slam champion.

In tennis, you are always looking for your next superstar. 

Carlos Alcaraz was the latest player to reach tennis superstardom following his US Open triumph. And below, we look at the contenders who could follow in his path.

Jenson Brooksby

At 21, the American is one of the oldest player to feature in this article.

There's good reason for that - a toe injury kept Brooksby out for more than a year after what appeared to be a breakthrough performance at the 2019 US Open when he beat Tomas Berdych.

Still, it proved simply a delay to his ascent up the rankings. An excellent second half of 2021 has continued into 2022 and the Californian looks very much the real deal.

His quirky game style is proving awkward for his opponents with strong defensive skills to the fore. Maybe he'll need to add that bit extra to succeed at the very highest level - Alex de Minaur is a similar player who hit something of a glass ceiling around the same age - but right now he is still improving and looks to have a good chance of taking the reins from some of the game's current big guns.

Jannik Sinner

This time last year, it was Sinner who was the name on everyone's lips.

He's already been labelled 'future world number one' and while the arrival on the scene of Alcaraz has quelled that talk somewhat, the Italian is still very much on course for a career at the top of the sport.

Perhaps the headlines being garnered by Alcaraz will actually help the 20-year-old go under the radar to a certain extent.

Another player with plenty of power in his racquet, Sinner has been particularly impressive under pressure with his second serve standing up to scrutiny - only three players who won points behind their second delivery in 2021.

A little more consistency will be a target in 2022 but the Italian is clearly working towards bigger goals having ditched coach Riccardo Piatti in February, replacing him with Simone Vagnozzi.

Holger Rune

It's fair to say the three names above can already be described as bona fide ATP stars but the real magic in columns like this is to pick out names from further down the list who go on to greatness.

That's obviously easier said than done but Rune must stand as good a chance as anyone who started the year outside the top 100. The Dane has already notched three top-50 wins, while he took a set off Novak Djokovic at last year's US Open.

Rune likes to attack and come in behind his big forehand and while results in the last 12 months at tour level may look somewhat disappointing overall, it should be remembered he is still only 18.

Jack Draper

I feel a little bad putting up a Briton in this column given the references to the 'new Andy Murray' which may follow but Draper is bang on course to be British tennis' next big thing.

Maybe a Grand Slam title will be asking too much but there has been steady improvement in the 20-year-old's game since he reached the final of Junior Wimbledon in 2018. This season he's hit a new level, winning four Challenger Tour titles in the first three months.

If you won't take my word for it, listen to GB Davis Cup captain Leon Smith's verdict: "He's a very, very good competitor. He finds a way and that's a really good quality to have. He's got a massive serve, his forehand, I think, on a number of surfaces, even the clay, is going to do a lot of damage. He's got a solid backhand. If he can get the physical side right and play a full schedule, I think it's very positive for him."

Coco Gauff

It's almost three years since Gauff beat Venus Williams at Wimbledon en route to the last 16 of what was her maiden Grand Slam.

Given that, perhaps some will be surprised that she hasn't yet gone on to contend for a major title (although she did make the quarter-finals of last year's French Open).

However, it should be remembered she was only 15 at the time of her Wimbledon run and steady, if less spectacular progress has been made since.

She finished 2019 ranked 68th in the world and in subsequent years improved to 48th and 22nd. This season she has moved inside the top 20.

Still only 18, Gauff is the youngest player in the world's top 150 and while she probably needs to become more tactically aware, she looks well positioned to strike at the highest level in the coming years.

Clara Tauson

A Grand Slam winner at junior level, Tauson is now making waves in the senior game with the 19-year-old having already cracked the world's top 40.

Inevitably dubbed 'the new Caroline Wozniacki', Tauson is actually a more aggressive player than her compatriot.

It is another former world number one who has had a bigger influence on her career to date, namely Justine Henin. Tauson trains at Henin's academy in Belgium and the four-time French Open queen has regularly been on hand to offer tips and advice.

It is certainly working with Tauson having already pocketed two WTA titles and bigger things look highly likely.

Amanda Anisimova

When Anisimova made the semi-finals of the French Open in 2019, the American looked to have the world at her feet.

But just a few months later her father and coach, Konstantin, died unexpectedly. It is little wonder that Anisimova's career faltered somewhat.

However, recent signs are that the 20-year-old is ready to resume her assault on the rankings.

In January, she won her first WTA title in almost three years and followed that up by defeating Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open, playing some fearless tennis. A return to Grand Slam contention is more than possible.

Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva

Andorra doesn't exactly have a reputation for producing tennis players - in fact the country had never been represented in a WTA draw until last year - but that may be about to change.

Jimenez Kasintseva was the youngest player in the draw when she won the 2020 Australian Open girls' singles and she's still only 16.

Born to an Andorran father and Russian mother, she is currently the youngest player in the world's top 300. There's plenty of work to do but also time to do it and the potential to become a star is certainly there.

Linda Fruhvirtova

Linda Fruhvirtova on media duties in Miami in 2022

It's easy to throw this name in the mix after the Czech's run to the last 16 in Miami recently but for close followers of tennis, Fruhvirtova has been on the radar for a while.

That's largely been thanks to her coming through the academy in France run by Serena Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou. During her time there, Fruhvirtova has won the prestigious Les Petits As junior tournament, while last summer she made the semis of Junior Wimbledon in both singles and doubles.

Having made her senior breakthrough in Miami, where she beat seeds Elise Mertens and Victoria Azarenka, expect to be seeing a lot more of the teenager in the coming years.

Also, keep an eye out for her sister, 14-year-old Brenda, who has already won on the ITF World Tour.

READ MORE: The 10 youngest Masters 1000 champions - where does Alcaraz rank?

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