Tennis: behind the Australian Open, will the 2023 season be a game-changer?



The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, which began on Monday January 16, gave the start of a new tennis season that is enticing from all points of view.

In men, a radiant youth

Who to succeed the famous “Big 3”, made up of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, in the ATP ranking of the best players in the world? The question has agitated fans of the little yellow ball for years. If the first is officially retired since September, the other two continue to write a little more the legend of this sport. In Melbourne, Rafael Nadal is already eliminated. Novak Djokovic has already won there nine times and is almost invincible. The simple fact of returning to it, after having been forfeited last year, because not vaccinated against the Covid, reinforces his desire to pulverize all records. The Serb aims to widen the gap of Grand Slam victories a little more (27) against his arch rivals (26 for Federer, 23 for Nadal).

Behind, a host of promising players dream of overthrowing the trio that has become a duo. In 2022, the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz has already shaken up the hierarchy. Titled at the Masters 1000 in Miami and Madrid where he offered himself the luxury of consecutively beating the two behemoths, he then became the youngest world number one in the history of tennis, at only 19 years and 4 months. by lifting his first Grand Slam trophy at the US Open. A ranking that he will be keen to keep, despite his withdrawal from Melbourne at the start of the year.

His irresistible rise is to be compared with that of a golden generation called to dominate the discipline and embodied by new faces such as the German Alexander Zverev, the Greek Stéfanos Tsitsipás or the Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime. The return to the fore of the Austrian Dominic Thiem or the frustrating epic of the Norwegian Casper Ruud, double Grand Slam finalist still in search of a first major trophy, are all reasons to be enthusiastic.

In women, a race after Swiatek

Once again, the tricolor chances will be more to be found on the women’s side. After a sparkling 2022 season, rewarded with a victory at the WTA Masters in Fort Worth, Caroline Garcia will aim for a first victory in a Grand Slam tournament, ten years after the coronation of Marion Bartoli at Wimbledon.

For this, the French will have to challenge an Iga Swiatek at the top of her game. With eight titles in 2022, including two Grand Slams, and the longest series of victories of the century (37), the Pole is the woman to beat in the WTA rankings, where she is nearly 6,000 points ahead of her runner-up, So Jabeur.

The Tunisian has the particularity of occupying the second rank without having ever won a major tournament. ” I’m doing everything I can to win a Grand Slam, I just have to get there! (…)We have worked very hard to improve a lot of things. I feel like this year is going to be very special for me “, she predicted at the end of the last tournament in Adelaide, a few days before the Australian Open.

Behind, the American Jessica Pegula, three times unfortunate Grand Slam quarter-finalist in 2022, will want to break the curse. His compatriot Coco Gauff also dreams of a first major trophy. At only 18 years old, the latter can boast of having been in the final, in singles and doubles, of the last Roland-Garros.

Break Point, a series behind the scenes of tennis

Fans will therefore follow this season with appetite. With, as a bonus, an audiovisual event: the arrival on Netflix of the documentary break point. Posted on the platform Friday, January 13, this documentary offers an immersion in the world of tennis, on the model of the successful series Formula 1: Drivers of their destiny which offered an unprecedented dive into the world of Formula 1.

In ten episodes, the series plunges the viewer into the daily life of the best athletes, to the rhythm of major world tournaments. In the cast: Félix Auger-Aliassime, Stéfanos Tsitsipás, Casper Ruud, Iga Swiatek or even the Spaniard Paula Badosa. But no Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, or Novak Djokovic. Proof of the ongoing change?

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