5 predictions for the 2023 tennis season

The 2022 tennis season will go down in the history books as one of the most memorable years in recent memory. From the rise of the Next Gen led by Carlos Alcaraz, Holger Rune, and Coco Gauff to the emotional farewells of Serena Williams and Roger Federer; from Rafael Nadal’s emphatic year at the Grand Slams against all odds to Iga Swiatek’s sheer dominance on the WTA tour, 2022 had it all and more on the tennis tours.

What makes the events of the 2022 tennis season even more exciting is that they set up the prospect of more such historic moments in 2023. As the tour keeps getting more and more competitive, the young guns are coming for the established superstars. But can the ATP Next Gen end the Nadal-Djokovic dominance? Can the WTA superstars keep the rampant run of Iga Swiatek in check? Only time will answer these questions and many more.

However, here are 5 things that we believe the tennis ‘crystal ball’ certainly has in store for next season.

#1. Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur to become Grand Slam champions in 2023 tennis season

Coco Gauff broke into the top 5 in 2022.“/>
Coco Gauff broke into the top 5 in 2022.

While Iga Swiatek dominated the majority of the 2022 tennis season, two players came ever so close to adding their names to a Grand Slam trophy. Coco Gauff reached the French Open final and Ons Jabeur reached the finals of both Wimbledon and the US Open. Two of those three finals were won by, you guessed it, Swiatek, while Elena Rybakina extended the streak of at least one new women’s Grand Slam singles champion each season since the start of 2015 by beating Jabeur at Wimbledon.

The 2023 season could see not just one, but two new Major champions. World No. 2 Jabeur and World No. 7 Gauff should be able to handle their nerves a lot better the next time they are in a Grand Slam final. Gauff’s best chance could be at the French Open once again or at her home Grand Slam – the US Open. while Jabeur is an equally strong contender everywhere, we might just see her win the Australian Open or Wimbledon.

#2. Rafael Nadal to equal Serena Williams’ Grand Slam singles record and become the first man to title No. 23

Rafael Nadal celebrates his 2022 French Open win.“/>
Rafael Nadal celebrates his 2022 French Open win.

If there was one thing that Rafael Nadal established in 2022, it was that he should never be counted out even when experiencing severe injury issues midway through a tournament. The Spanish legend became the first man to win not only 21 Grand Slam singles titles but also the first to reach 22. Nadal is now the favorite to become the first to 23 in 2023.

While the defending Australian Open champion is a serious contender everywhere, he is an overwhelming favorite to win a record-extending 15th French Open title. He won the tournament with practically one good foot this year. By winning his 23rd Grand Slam title, he will also equal Serena Williams on the all-time list of most singles majors won, across tours.

#3. Novak Djokovic to emulate Roger Federer’s Wimbledon record

Novak Djokovic celebrates winning The Championships - Wimbledon 2022.“/>
Novak Djokovic celebrates winning The Championships – Wimbledon 2022.

With his 21st Grand Slam and seventh Wimbledon title, Novak Djokovic closed in on Roger Federer’s Open Era record of men’s singles Wimbledon titles. The Serbian great has not lost at Wimbledon since the start of 2018 and is a four-time defending champion at the prestigious event. The Serb is now on course to win a fifth straight Wimbledon title in 2023, and this would be a rather big one, as he would equal Federer’s record of eight Wimbledon titles.

The fact that he is in the heat of a battle with Nadal for most Grand Slam titles on the men’s side adds to his motivation and gives further significance to the title.

#4. A new Grand Slam men’s singles champion to be crowned

Winner Carlos Alcaraz and runner-up Casper Ruud at 2022 US Open.“/>
Winner Carlos Alcaraz and runner-up Casper Ruud at 2022 US Open.

The 2022 US Open saw Carlos Alcaráz win his maiden Grand Slam singles title en route to becoming the world no. 1. While Nadal and Djokovic continued their dominance and shared the other three Grand Slams in 2022, the recent season saw the likes of Casper Ruud, Holger Rune, Jannik Sinner, and Nick Kyrgios, among others, knocking on the doors of ultimate success on the men’s tour.

While Nadal, 36, and Djokovic, 35 are still tough to tame over best-of-five sets, there are many challengers breathing down their necks. Established superstars such as Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, and Daniil Medvedev are also always in contention. However, the Next Gen is coming, and one of the rising young stars might just get it done at a Grand Slam in 2023. Their best chance could be at the Australian Open or US Open.

#5. Venus Williams to hang up her tennis racquet

Venus Williams in action at the 2022 US Open.“/>
Venus Williams in action at the 2022 US Open.

Serena Williams’ retirement was a difficult time for many tennis fans. At least they have the prospect of seeing a bit more of Venus Williams, the only remaining flagbearer of her great generation of players. However, 2023 could be it for 42-year-old Venus as well, marking the end of the Williams sisters’ era. The seven-time Grand Slam singles champion played just four singles matches throughout 2022, losing all four.

While she is set to continue playing next season, the 2023 US Open could see another emotional farewell for another tennis legend.

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