The unreasonably quick low season is about to finish and shortly skilled tennis will return in all its glory for 2023.

The 2022 season got here with the same old websites and sounds – Rafael Nadal gained the French Open, Novak Djokovic slid his solution to one other title at Wimbledon and Nick Kyrgios grumbled with umpires.

There was additionally the emergence of a brand new and dominant world No. 1 in Iga Swiatek, greats Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Ash Barty all retired, and we noticed a continuation of nice Canadian and American tennis outcomes. 

With that stated, listed below are seven bolder-than-usual predictions for the upcoming tennis season:

A Canadian participant will win a grand slam occasion

We stated we’d be daring, didn’t we?

Although suggesting a Canadian participant might win a grand slam occasion has by no means sounded much less far-fetched.

Mississauga, Ont.’s Bianca Andreescu, in fact, achieved this feat in 2019, changing into the primary Canadian in tennis historical past to win a singles main by capturing the US Open.

Two years later, Montreal’s Leylah Annie Fernandez completed runner-up on the similar occasion.

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov have each reached the semifinals phases at majors, with Shapovalov having his greatest exhibiting at 2021 Wimbledon, whereas Auger-Aliassime made the ultimate 4 at Flushing Meadows in 2021.

The 2 associates, helped by Vasek Pospisil in doubles, additionally simply gained a historic Davis Cup title for Canada in Malaga, Spain. 

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Auger-Aliassime seems to be the prime contender of the group in singles. He gained a Canadian-record 60 singles matches in 2022, collected 4 singles titles, produced a 16-match profitable streak from early October into November, and certified for the end-of-year ATP finals.

Though the Montreal native didn’t get previous the quarterfinals stage at any of the 4 grand slams, he significantly shone on arduous courts final season, profitable 74 per cent of his matches on the floor.

He needs to be among the many high gamers to observe on the Australian Open in simply over three weeks.

Additionally, let’s not low cost Ottawa’s Gaby Dabrowski as a majors contender.

She’s a high 10 fixture in doubles, has gained two blended doubles majors previously and gained 4 titles this previous season, predominantly enjoying with Mexico’s Giuliana Olmos.

Dominic Thiem will return to the highest 20

On the finish of the 2020 season, Austria’s Dominic Thiem regarded poised as one of many prime contenders on the ATP circuit for years to come back.

He had lastly gained his maiden grand slam, defeating Alexander Zverev within the finals of the US Open, he’d twice been runner-up at Roland Garros and had 17 singles titles in his profession, greater than some other present participant in his 20s.

Bodily points would set again this momentum as he navigated a knee damage in early 2021, then ultimately pulled the plug on his season in June as a consequence of wrist ache.

It might be 14 months earlier than he’d report one other ATP match win, lastly notching a victory at a Challenger occasion in Austria.

Thiem would flash indicators of his former stardom within the fall of 2022, reaching the semifinals in Gijon and Antwerp and returning to the highest 100 because of this.

With a full preseason forward to fine-tune his expertise, and nearly no ATP factors to defend for the primary half of 2023, count on an enormous rise.

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An American man or lady will win a singles main

American tennis is on the rise once more.

Though the ladies’s area has lengthy been the beneficiary of the Williams sisters’ dominance, it has been a bit hard-pressed to discover a regular champion outdoors of Serena and Venus.

With the 2 sisters exiting the highlight, two top-10 forces on the WTA look prepared to interrupt via for a significant: Teenage sensation Coco Gauff and 28-year-old Jessica Pegula.

Simply 4 locations separate the pair within the rankings, as Pegula has reached a career-high of No. 3, whereas Gauff is seventh total.

Gauff superior to her maiden slam last, ending runner-up at Roland Garros to Iga Swiatek in June.

Pegula has been one of the constant gamers on the ladies’s circuit, advancing to the quarterfinals in 4 of the final 5 majors, and profitable the WTA1000 in Guadalajara towards the top of the season.

It’s no coincidence the tandem additionally makes an distinctive doubles workforce, profitable three titles and making one slam last collectively in 2022.

Pegula or Gauff will each have robust probabilities for a maiden slam victory.

In the meantime, the boys’s area has not had a significant singles champion since Andy Roddick gained the US Open in 2003 on the age of 21.

Actually, since Roddick retired, nobody has been significantly shut.

Frances Tiafoe did make an announcement run at Flushing Meadows this 12 months, knocking off Nadal en path to the semifinals of the match, changing into the primary American man to achieve that stage since 2006.

Only one different American male has superior to a semi-final since 2009: John Isner made the ultimate 4 at Wimbledon in 2018.

Now, the nation has 9 American males inside the highest 50.

Whereas Tiafoe is definitely a harmful hard-court risk, Taylor Fritz appears to be like poised as the most effective contender to make a run at a significant. 

He gained Indian Wells this season, defeating Nadal within the finals, broke inside the highest 10 of the rankings and certified for the end-of-year ATP Finals, advancing to the semis earlier than falling in a good two units to Novak Djokovic.

Raducanu will return

Britain’s Emma Raducanu had one of the inconceivable storybook runs in tennis historical past in 2021, coming via qualifying to win the US Open.

Along with her gorgeous victory, got here life-changing cash, endorsements and an enormous new highlight that shone on her throughout the UK.

It’s not shocking that Raducanu, who lately turned 20, wanted time to adapt to those newfound pressures and expectations.

Raducanu went 17-19 throughout 36 matches in 2022, and after failing to advance previous the primary spherical at Flushing Meadows, noticed her rating plummet considerably.

She enters 2023 ranked eightieth on the earth. 

She’s additionally stated to have a robust work ethic and dedication to bettering her sport.

A sophomore droop is nothing out of the abnormal for any younger participant, and being out of the highlight and with fewer expectations in 2023, Raducanu is poised to bounce again as a gentle WTA contender.

Iga Swiatek will win Wimbledon

There may be little Swiatek failed to perform throughout her career-best 2022 season.

The soft-spoken and well mannered Polish star was a human wrecking ball on courtroom, profitable two of the 4 majors on the tennis calendar with wins at Roland Garros and the US Open, and had an astounding 37-match profitable streak – the longest on the WTA in 32 years.

Though Swiatek may be pencilled in because the No. 1 favorite on the Australian Open, it’s been the All-England Membership the place she has but to provide a standout consequence.

Swiatek’s versatility on courtroom along with her heavy topspin forehand, dynamic backhand and distinctive athleticism can allow her to realize greatness on all surfaces in tennis.

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Plus, a focus of her low season has been bettering on grass courts.

As an expert, Swiatek has but to advance previous the fourth spherical of Wimbledon – however she did win it as a junior, her solely junior grand slam singles title.

Why no more glory for Iga on the most prestigious match of all of them?

 Serena Williams will return … for doubles?

Twenty-three-time slam champion and world sporting icon Serena Williams formally introduced that she was “evolving away” from tennis final season, penning a chunk in Vogue journal.

Though she didn’t explicitly use the phrase, it definitely implied to the tennis world that she was retiring. 

Williams’ announcement got here throughout her week of competitors on the Nationwide Financial institution Open in Toronto, and she or he’d seemingly shut out her legendary profession with two extra tournaments – Cincinnati and the US Open in Flushing Meadows, the place she gained two matches earlier than bowing out in a third-round thriller to Ajla Tomljanovic.

Though she was handled to a stunning send-off, one thing tells me she isn’t fairly completed.

Maybe this isn’t such a daring prediction – Williams claimed on a convention name selling her funding firm that she isn’t retired and quietly alluded to a attainable return.

“The probabilities are very excessive – you’ll be able to come to my home; I’ve a courtroom,” she instructed reporters.

It’s attainable that is smoke and mirrors, but when that fireplace or motivation returns, what would cease Williams from accepting a wild card to play doubles at a significant match? She might, in fact, workforce up with sister Venus, who stays an energetic participant on the tour on the age of 42.

Additionally, I’d find it irresistible if that invitation for courtroom time had been prolonged to me.

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Rebecca Marino will attain a brand new profession excessive

Rebecca Marino was one in all a number of Canadians who loved a robust 2022 season, and the 12 months was little doubt her greatest on tour in over a decade.

The lately turned 32-year-old had 49 singles wins throughout the calendar 12 months, gained a $60,000 ITF title in Arcadia, Calif., superior to the third spherical of the US Open and reached the quarterfinals at occasions in Washington and Chennai.

The terrific outcomes propelled her again inside the highest 100 for the primary time since 2012, and she is going to start 2023 ranked sixty fourth, a considerable leap from her beginning place of 144th again in January.

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Marino’s story is nicely documented: She took a five-year hiatus from tennis, starting in 2013, as a consequence of psychological well being struggles, making a triumphant return in 2018 by profitable the primary occasion she performed on the ITF circuit.

Since then, she’s steadily ascended again up the rankings, utilizing her deadly serve and lethal forehand mixture.

Marino achieved her career-high rating of thirty eighth in July 2011, and she or he’ll have a number of alternatives to achieve factors and greatest that this upcoming season.

It should all start Down Below in Australia.

Extra from Sportsnet

Djokovic to begin 2023 in Adelaide forward of Australian Open

Auger-Aliassime, Fernandez named Tennis Canada’s gamers of the 12 months

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