The 2011 ATP Season is winding down, as there is just the Paris Masters and the World Tour Championships ahead in terms of significant events.
So far during 2011, we have seen some relatively unknown players make names for themselves.
Milos Raonic of Canada, for example, made the fourth round of the Australian Open and then he picked up a title at ATP San Jose. Raonic, a serving giant at 6'5", is still just 20 years old with what appears to be a fantastic future ahead that could put Canadian tennis on the map.
Raonic reminds me of former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek in several ways, but most notably in terms of body type and reliance on a crushing serve.
Raonic, on the negative side, has had some trouble with injury already and that could curb his potential in the future. However, with time on his side you have to think the Canadian will make it into the top 10 on tour eventually.
Another player who made a name for himself in 2011 was Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine. The 22-year-old made the quarters in Melbourne, through Robin Soderling and the Ukrainian often displays incredible racket skill.
Dolgopolov picked up a clay court title in 2011 (Umag) and he is currently ranked at an impressive world No. 17.
Dolgopolov does not have an impressive stature or a strong physique. He stands at just 6'0" and he is one of the more slight players in the top 30 in terms of muscle between the shoulders.
However, when playing his best, he is capable of going toe-to-toe with anybody as we saw the Ukrainian battle Novak Djokovic to a very long tiebreaker in Flushing Meadows a couple months ago.
Dolgopolov's impressive foot speed and his distinguished racket skills could see him crack the top five sometime in his career. As he is just 22 years old he should develop more muscle strength in the years to come.
Additionally, his best tennis should be on display more consistently as he continues to gain more experience on tour.
It is my opinion that Dolgopolov will be the world No. 1 player at some point in his career, although I do not think that will happen until he is at least 25 years old.
Raonic and Dolgopolov are both in this week's Paris Masters draw.
Raonic will face Julien Benneteau of France in the opening round while Dolgopolov, who has a bye through round one, will face either Mikhail Youzhny or Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round.