Germany's Alexander Zverev is ranked as the world No.24.
Germany's Alexander Zverev is ranked as the world No.24. Soren Andersson

New tournament to showcase world's best under-21s

TENNIS: The next generation of men's tennis stars will be showcased in a new tournament to start late next year.

The Next Gen ATP Finals will be held over five days in Milan from November 7-11 with only players aged 21 and under eligible.

Qualification will be decided on ATP race rankings, with the top seven points earners joined by one wildcard.

"We have a responsibility to market many more players to a much wider audience,” ATP chief Chris Kermode said.

"We have superstars in the game that have transcended the sport over the last 10 years, reached beyond tennis and become global sporting icons - Roger (Federer), Rafa (Nadal), Novak (Djokovic) and Andy (Murray) in particular.

"Changing of the guard is coming. We have a duty to start highlighting and really bringing to life characters in the game that are coming through with immense talent.

"This event will provide a platform for the stars of the future to showcase their talents on a global stage.”

The tournament, which Milan will host for the first five years, is expected to be used as a trial for various rule changes and innovations.

"People throw out ideas, getting rid of this, making it quicker, longer, whatever you have to say,” Kermode said.

"I think we have to put it in an event and test case all this stuff. Until you see it, it's difficult to see whether some ideas work or not.”

German teenager Alex Zverev, who finished the year ranked 24th, is the world's top-ranked under-21 player at the moment.