Newcomer of the Year in the 2021 ATP Awards goes to the #NextGenATP player who entered the Top 100 for the first time in 2021* and made the biggest impact on the ATP Tour this season. There are five nominees this year: Sebastian Baez, Jenson Brooksby, Juan Manuel Cerundolo, Hugo Gaston and Brandon Nakashima.
ATP Awards winners will be revealed later this month.
Sebastian Baez, 20 (Argentina)
The 20-year-old Sebastian Baez enjoyed a memorable 2021 season as he became the youngest player in ATP Challenger Tour history to win six titles at this level in a season, while also claiming the most match wins in a single year among players aged 20 and under (44).
The Argentine began the season just outside the Top 300 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, but cracked the Top 100 for the first time at the end of November after triumphing in the Campinas final.
The World No. 98 spent the majority of the season playing in South America, but showed off his talent to the world at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, where he reached the semi-finals at the Allianz Cloud.
Jenson Brooksby, 21 (United States)
Jenson Brooksby had earned just one tour-level win before the 2021 season and sat outside the Top 300 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. However, following a series of standout results, the American soared up the rankings this year, ending the campaign at No. 56.
The 21-year-old reached his maiden ATP Tour final in Newport, before he advanced to the fourth round at a major for the first time on home soil at the US Open, defeating Aslan Karatsev and countryman Taylor Fritz before losing to Novak Djokovic in four sets.
Brooksby also reached tour-level semi-finals in Washington and Antwerp and captured three ATP Challenger Tour trophies.
Juan Manuel Cerundolo, 20 (Argentina)
Juan Manuel Cerundolo stunned the field at the Cordoba Open in February as he came through qualifying at the ATP 250 event to become the first player to lift a trophy on his ATP Tour debut since 2004.
The 20-year-old, who had won eight straight matches to claim the Cordoba title, then triumphed at three clay-court ATP Challenger Tour tournaments, ending the season No. 90 in the FedEx ATP Rankings after starting outside the Top 300.
In a breakthrough season, the 21-year-old rose into the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings in November following his run to the last eight at the Rolex Paris Masters, where he qualified and become the lowest-ranked quarter-finalist at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament since World No. 121 Michael Llodra in 2012.
Earlier this year, the World No. 67 reached his first tour-level final at the Swiss Open Gstaad and also advanced to four ATP Challenger Tour championship matches.
Brandon Nakashima, 20 (United States)
America’s Brandon Nakashima continued to make strong and steady progress in 2021 as he climbed from No. 166 in the FedEx ATP Rankings at the start of the year to a career-high No. 62 in November.
Prior to his 20th birthday, Nakashima became the youngest American to reach multiple tour-level finals since Andy Roddick went 5-2 in finals as a teenager in 2001-02, after runs in Los Cabos and Atlanta.
Nakashima also showcased his talent at ATP Challenger Tour events in Quimper and Brest, clinching the title at both tournaments in France, before he enjoyed a run to the semi-finals at the 21-and-under event in Milan to round out his strong season.
* Previous Newcomer of the Year nominees are not eligible