Sinner within the High 10? Osaka, an actual boss? 10 questions for a season (half 2)

Who of Medvedev, Tsitsipas or Zverev can open his prize checklist in Main?

The hierarchy is tightened on the prime. The 2020 season, though largely truncated, confirmed the pattern seen in 2019 with a important participant who broke the hegemony of the “Large 3” within the Grand Slam on the US Open, Dominic Thiem. Behind him, those that have been a part of the long-awaited “Subsequent Gen”, Daniil Medvedev, Stéfanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, present their fangs to move of their flip this supreme milestone.

So what about their probabilities? Zverev touched his dream final summer time at Flushing Meadows, giving in in extremis in an unbreathable closing towards Thiem. The nice “Sascha” undoubtedly has the mandatory expertise to barter higher and higher these nice conferences. The earliest of the three on the highest stage, he’s the one one to have been on the world podium (finish of 2017) and the one who at the moment has essentially the most in depth report (13 titles towards 9 in Medvedev and 5 in Tsitsipas).

So prepared, and but to date. Zverev can be essentially the most troublesome to learn and the one who has made the least progress in tennis lately. On the psychological stage, he alternates the very stable and moments of bewilderment and nice pleasure. How will he react to his merciless New York failure to which he has typically admitted to rethinking? That is the entire query. On a pure technical stage, the sport of Tsitsipas additionally has extra benefits, whether or not in its capacity to range or on the fly. His full tennis ought to enable the Greek to succeed on all surfaces. Nevertheless, he skilled a slight progress disaster in 2020, even when at Roland Garros, he received his second semi-final in Main.

It’s lastly Medvedev, spectacular on the finish of the season, who maybe holds the rope. In a position to make the wall in protection in addition to to chain serve-volley behind his immense first ball, he is aware of how one can change his tune tactically in high-stakes matches and to place himself in his bubble regardless of his volcanic character. Like his two colleagues, he received the Masters, however he did so by taking the World High 3 Djokovic-Nadal-Thiem in London. He has additionally already skilled a closing on the 2019 US Open the place he made Rafa tremble. Each mentally and bodily, Medvedev is the one with the fewest loopholes to purpose for the Grail proper now.

Will the WTA circuit lastly have an actual boss?

It is a sea serpent, but it surely’s inevitable. Since Serena Williams’ final Grand Slam title on the 2017 Australian Open, 11 completely different gamers have triumphed within the subsequent 14 Majors. Over the identical interval, solely Dominic Thiem dared to disrupt in New York final summer time (below particular circumstances because of the coronavirus furthermore) the unchallenged reign of the “Large 3”. Between the 2 circuits, female and male, the distinction is subsequently hanging.

And the WTA undoubtedly suffers from a deficit of “stars” to symbolize it towards the three behemoths of ATP. This lack of management additionally has its good sides: the suspense as to the ultimate result’s typically preserved till the top and this shifting hierarchy offers satisfaction of place to surprises, Iga Swiatek is the most recent to have benefited from it. However the present scenario is just not essentially doomed to proceed. As a result of if the world numbers 1 have typically modified identification over the previous three years, just one participant has managed to win three Grand Slam tournaments throughout this era: Naomi Osaka.

From there to saying that the Japanese will essentially be the boss in 2021, there’s a step that we’ll not take. Scalded cat fears chilly water. By triumphing in fast succession in New York and Melbourne in late 2018-early 2019 – which allowed her to grow to be number one – Osaka had already asserted herself as Serena’s almost definitely heiress, earlier than falling into line. , disturbed by this new standing. Since then, she has had time to get used to it and feels higher and higher about herself as a champion, not hesitating to make use of it to convey sturdy messages on the political stage.

Nevertheless, she generally lacks just a little persistence to construct factors, particularly on clay the place she doesn’t but flourish. The expertise and the youth of a Bianca Andreescu (if nevertheless her physique leaves her alone), the number of tennis of Ashleigh Barty, present world number one, the arrival of Sofia Kenin or the pugnacity of Simona Halep have one thing to do with it. give him a tough time. With out forgetting the resistance of the “gunsling moms” Serena and Victoria Azarenka. Extra absolutely than an absolute queen, a tough core on the prime of girls’s tennis has each likelihood to type, making future battles for the throne thrilling.

Will Jannik Sinner seem within the High 10 this 12 months?

The query smacks of fireplace. And but … Perhaps it is as a result of Jannik Sinner himself is just not the type to get flamed, of phenomenal focus and utility for his younger age (he’s solely 19 years previous) , that we’re entitled to ask it. Regardless of a 2020 monetary 12 months largely disrupted by the coronavirus and a frozen rating which above all protects the perfect, the Italian’s progress stays fixed and above all fast.

Whereas he was in 78th place on this planet at the beginning of final season, he now has the quantity 37. Already very profitable indoors and in two successful units on the finish of 2019, he has taken on one other dimension in main conferences. Within the fall, he grew to become the youngest participant to succeed in the quarter-finals at Roland since a sure Rafael Nadal in 2005. On his approach, he additionally supplied the posh of eliminating Alexander Zverev who was leaving nevertheless. of a closing on the US Open.

On the Porte d’Auteuil aspect, his pure energy and the cleanliness of his strikes amazed those that didn’t but know him. And if he needed to decrease the flag towards the grasp of the place, Sinner is the one who gave essentially the most problem to “Rafa”. Add to that 3 High 10 wins and also you perceive that the child is just not afraid when the extent rises. He lastly ended the 12 months with a bang, successful the primary title of his profession in Sofia. A crossing level not but reached by Félix Auger-Aliassime (regardless of 6 finals).

Sinner subsequently has the benefit of not having to discover a click on, not like the Canadian. And like him, he has all of the panoply of an bold skilled participant – seriousness, work and expertise – nicely hatched by his skilled coach Riccardo Piatti, with room for enchancment in protection or on the bodily stage. In Australia (overwhelmed within the 2nd spherical in 2020), on the US Open (launched within the 1st spherical) and even at Wimbledon, he may have large factors to get within the Grand Slam. To not point out the Masters 1000 the place he has not but shone. At this fee, it might not be shocking to see him shortly land within the elite. The problem will then be to settle there for a very long time.

Will the 2021 season mark the top of the “Masters” technology of French tennis?

The identify chosen to designate them could also be shocking, we agree. But it surely was accomplished to keep away from bringing out for the umpteenth time the expression of “new Musketeers” which may have weighed in a short time and an excessive amount of on their shoulders. No matter one might say, and regardless of the absence of Grand Slam titles, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, Gaël Monfils and Gilles Simon may have made the rain and particularly the nice climate of French tennis for greater than a decade. All 4 of them have been High 10 members and performed within the Masters, which supplies an concept of ​​the extent reached by this technology. However at 30 years previous for a while now, the time handy over is inevitably approaching.

Most have additionally misplaced floor within the standings. Foremost amongst them Tsonga, present sixtieth participant on this planet, who has lengthy been the chief of the gang. Probably the most profitable of the 4 (18 trophies), the one finalist in Main (Australian Open 2008) and winner in Masters 1000 (Paris-Bercy 2008 and Toronto 2014), Le Manceau noticed the chain of bodily issues limit his ambitions these final seasons. Bundle in Melbourne, the query of his finish of his profession arises with an increasing number of insistence.

Tsonga however proved, particularly in 2019, that he may nonetheless shock indoors and in the perfect of three units. Sufficient to persuade him to insist past 2021? We are able to doubt it. For Gasquet, forty seventh at ATP, the scenario is kind of the identical. And if the Biterrois stays passionate as on the primary day, he himself mentioned that this season may nicely be his final. Gilles Simon (sixty fourth), the oldest of the 4 – he has simply turned 36 – has proven that he had good leftovers final fall in Cologne specifically.

However time is working and there’s no scarcity of reconversion concepts for this late-game analyst. He lately declared {that a} potential function as captain of the French Davis Cup group wouldn’t displease him, and in already had a preview in the course of the ATP Cup 2020 when Gaël Monfils had appointed him to guide the French choice. “La Monf ‘”, the truth is, is probably the exception of this technology. If he completed the final train badly, he stays an bold tricolor number one (eleventh on this planet) and hopes to play nicely for just a few extra seasons. Nevertheless, their particular case alone can not reverse the pattern: it will likely be troublesome within the speedy future to make sure their succession.

What would be the revelation of the season?

Right here we’re getting into the realm of betting and projection. Like a Jannik Sinner in 2020 or a Félix Auger-Aliassime in 2019, who will hit the display screen in 2021 among the many younger skills of the circuit? If we follow essentially the most spectacular dynamics within the final months of competitors outdoors the High 100, two names stand out: these of the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz and the Italian Lorenzo Musetti.

Each impressed within the fall on one floor specifically: clay. At solely 17 years previous, Alcaraz already has 3 Challenger titles. Earlier than him, solely 4 different gamers had accomplished as nicely at this early age: Novak Djokovic, Richard Gasquet, Juan Martin Del Potro and Félix Auger-Aliassime. The Spanish right-hander is subsequently forward of the cut up instances of his idol Rafael Nadal. It was in Rio final February that he received his first victory on the ATP circuit after a fierce battle (3:36 hours of play) towards his compatriot Albert Ramos Vinolas, then forty first within the ATP.

Within the standings exactly, Alcaraz’s progress is dazzling: he went from 490th to 141st place on this planet throughout a season which had been reduce by half. Endowed with an already very stable thoughts and an aggressive sport, an assumed ambition – he desires of changing into world number one -, he goals for the High 100 within the quick time period. The target is affordable, particularly since he advantages from the dear recommendation of his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, former winner of Roland-Garros, to take care of his good momentum.

13 locations forward of him, Musetti (128th on this planet) stuffed with enthusiasm in the course of the Masters 1000 in Rome the place he successively supplied himself sacred names – Stan Wawrinka (to whom he inflicted a bubble) and Kei Nishikori – after leaving qualifying. Within the wake of a decidedly very prolific Italian tennis in the intervening time, it has accomplished wonders specifically because of its one-handed backhand. Within the course of, he confirmed by successful at Forli in Challenger and reached his first half on the ATP circuit in Sardinia. His elder Sinner even considers Musetti to be extra “proficient“than him. It guarantees.

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