After a ten-year break, I’ve decided to come back to updating the website on a weekly basis. I didn’t think I’d do something like this in June ’13 when I decided to stop. Now the times are different, there’s finally a refreshment, yet not so big I could imagine ten years ago. The veterans, the best players of the previous decade (Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal) are still at the top, yet a few years older than them, the best player of the 00s – Roger Federer – finally decided to quit. We will not see him in action in 2023 – it’ll be the first year without any of his appearances at the main level since 1998! The fourth-best player born in the 80s, Andy Murray, still plays, he’s nowhere near his form of the year 2016 though, when he reached the top, and shortly after he suffered a serious hip injury that forced him to suspend his career with a possibility of retirement. Four players of the elite when I stopped (David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga & Juan Martin del Potro) – they all have finished their careers, Tsonga & Del Potro did it this year, the Argentine made a cameo actually, likewise Federer.
Predictions are nerve easy, nevertheless, I assume that the year 2023 may bring a new sort of exciting rivalry between four players born in the 21st Century (Carlos Alcaraz, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Holger Rune & Jannik Sinner). My book about the best players of the Open Era, I divided into chapters of decades, and each new chapter was preceded by photos of the four best players born in specific decades. From this perspective the generation of players born in the 90s has been the worst and wasted to some degree (Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas & Daniil Medvedev) – none of these players have won 2 major titles at least! They all have already crossed the boundary separating young perspective players from the experienced ones (the age 23-24 symbolizes it in some regards from my point of view). Apart from Thiem, who is already a veteran, according to pre-21st Century standards, other best guys born in the 90s are still at the top, yet tough to imagine that any of them would be able to dominate the next few years like many great champions before (Bjorn Borg in the second half of the 70s, Ivan Lendl in the 80s, Pete Sampras in the 90s, Federer in the 00s, Djokovic in the 10s). Zverev comes back to the circuit after a seven-month break caused by a serious injury (tearing 3 ligaments in his right ankle ), his future at the top it’s a big question mark. The 19-year-old Alcaraz has recently become the youngest player in history to finish the season as no. 1, nonetheless, there are many question marks considering his future because he still hasn’t done anything impressive on grass and indoors. Auger & Rune finished the ’22 season in great form, certainly, they have the basis to dream about overthrowing Alcaraz soon; I look forward to observing their efforts as well as Sinner’s, who 1.5 years ago seemed like a potential no. 1 this decade, but he hasn’t significantly developed since then, he’s still deprived of a major semifinal, albeit he has almost done it in an arguably most entertaining match of the season. Will he step forward next year? If not, I guess he should be a leading figure anyway, certainly he is good enough to win a few Masters 1K titles at least.
I don’t want to repeat myself, I need a new format, therefore I’ve decided to analyze the year 2023 with flashbacks to the season 1993 – one of the first few I witnessed in my life watching matches week by week. I’m not sure how exactly I’ll be doing this, time will tell…
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