Paris: Croatian Borna Coric and Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis led the teenage contingent in the men`s draw at the French Open on Monday but American Frances Tiafoe`s debut proved a brief one.
Coric, who plays with a maturity way beyond his years and is already in the world`s top 50, beat experienced American Sam Querrey in four sets while wildcard Kokkinakis, one of his country`s exciting brigade of young guns, battled past Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, also in four.
Tiafoe, who only turned 17 in January and is the youngest of the seven teenagers in the main draw, found his first grand slam appearance a chastening one as he lost 6-2 6-1 6-4 to hard-hitting Slovakian Martin Klizan.
"It was great. I had a blast. I didn`t play my best today. Hopefully I can play again in the main draw next year," wide-eyed wildcard Tiafoe, looking every bit the nervy teenager, said in front of the world`s media.
"It`s definitely different, walking around, seeing the greats in the locker room.
"But it`s great. Definitely fun."
Tiafoe will be one to watch in the future but Coric is already looking like the real deal, with comparisons already being made to a young Novak Djokovic.
The 18-year-old, also making his debut at Roland Garros having rapidly scaled the ATP rankings to reach 46th, looked like a seasoned professional, saving a set point in the opener on his way to a 7-6(8) 6-3 0-6 6-3 victory over Querrey.
Apart from a wobble in the third set Coric had too much craft for the world number 38.
"It`s for sure a motivation, it gives you more self-belief to know that someone else who`s your age can do it," Coric said of the new brigade.
Spanish claycourt specialist Tommy Robredo waits in the next round, although with a win against Nadal and Murray already on his CV, Coric will not go in to that clash feeling daunted.
Nick Kyrgios, 20, is already established as head boy in Australia`s new golden generation after his stunning Wimbledon upset of Nadal last year, but Kokkinakis, 19, looks like keeping him company in the years ahead.
Already up to 84th in the rankings after winning his first claycourt title, a Challenger in Bordeaux this month, he delighted a sizeable Aussie contingent with some dazzling tennis against Basilashvili.
Fellow Aussie Bernard Tomic, himself only 22, is next.
"Feel like I`m playing good enough tennis to knock him off. Should be a good match," Kokkinakis said.