Picture this scenario. It's 2023, semifinals day at the US Open in New York, world number one Denis Shapovalov is playing fourth ranked Andrey Rublev and third seed Hyeong Chung meets 8th seed Karen Khachanov.

Of course it's hypothetical but a scenario that is not as farfetched as it may seem to the untrained eye. The four ATP Next Gen stars are all 21 or younger and are this week playing at the inaugural Next Gen Finals in Milan. And they've also signed on to play in Auckland's ASB Classic in January.

It's a coup for organisers because the quartet is in demand. All four are being touted as future Grand Slam champions.

In 2000 Roger Federer and Juan Carlos Fererro graced court six at the then Heineken Open in a first round match in Auckland and there have been numerous future champions who have appeared over the years before they became household names such as Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro six months before winning the US Open.


Chung has been compared to a younger version of Japan's Kei Nishikori and has cruised into the semifinals of the Next Gen Finals with an impressive three straight round robin wins.

The Korean hits a flat ball with a particularly strong two handed backhand and he's notched up wins over world number three Sascha Zverev, Gael Monfils, Sam Querrey and David Goffin this year.

Khachanov is a big strong guy in the mould of Marat Safin. He made a fleeting appearance in Auckland this year, losing in the first round but the 21 year old has wins over the likes of Kei Nishikori, Giles Simon, John Isner and Tomas Berdych this year and reached a career high 29 in the rankings in August.

20-year-old Rublev made the US Open quarter finals in September and is the highest ranked of the quartet at 37 while Shapovalov is the youngest at 18 but arguably the most talented. He showcased his ability with incredible wins over Nadal and del Potro at the Montreal Masters in August.

At the moment Shapovalov has the best all court game, the most variety but while it's early days in his development, the signs are promising.

Tournament director Karl Budge has actively pursued the future stars knowing securing the likes of the Federer, Nadal, Murray and Djokovic is unrealistic. It's a wise approach and the signing of the quartet boost a field that has a world class feel to it.

Defending champion Jack Sock has climbed to nine in the world and will play the ATP Finals in London next week while former champions John Isner and Roberto Bautista Agut are both ranked inside the top 20.

It's understood there will be at last one more top 20 player while the eight seeds should all be ranked inside the top 30 with the full field to be finalised later this month.

So far the rival Sydney International hasn't announced a single top 20 player.

Another Next Gen star 20-year-old American Jared Donaldson is also expected to play in Auckland for the first time.