Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek win Indian Wells

Carlos Alcaraz
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Maybe when you cannot believe that Carlos Alcaraz came to the tournament at Indian Wells that his body was very sore, but day after day, he rose, and the Spaniard won it all, beating  Daniil Medvedev 7-6(5), 6-1. Yes, the Russian was darn  tired, in the second set, as he had played a lot of tough matches, but Alcaraz did all of it, with his amazing forehand and his backhand. He can mix it up all over the place, and he can also charge, and put it away.

The 20-year-old is so quick, running, and he can bend down and slap it, or just touch it, next to the net. His serve can be up and down, but he can blast it into the corners, and then he will be controlled.

Without a doubt, Medvedev really likes in the rallies, especially with his super consistent forehand and his backhand, and he can also chuck it around, everyday. However, he has won one Grand Slams at the 2021 U.S. Open, but he has not won another. He probably will, but he really needs to add some differnent shots, like to attack when he is returning, and also, clip it more into the net.

Alcaraz has won two Slams, and if he continues not to get hurt a lot, then he can win another Slam or more. He is intense.

“Winning this tournament means a lot to me because the week before it began, I had a lot of doubts about my ankle,” Alcaraz said. “I remember my first practice here was just 30 minutes with no movement and probably the first practice with really good tennis players was really tough for me, because I thought I was not going to play my best. I was not feeling well with my ankle, so a lot of doubts for me. But once I stepped on the court, the first round, I started to feel better.”

Medvedev won Miami last year, so while he must be physically tired, he will try to wake up, and grab it again.

Iga Swiatek did it immediately, as the No. 1 smoked Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-0 in the second set in the final. She has lost some matches in the past two and a half months, but when she is rolling, then she can nail it early, crosscourt or down the line. She can get frustrated, but she is now much more mature. As she said: “I would say you just feel like your game is better than anyone out there,” she said.

Indian Wells: Tommy Paul to face Casper Ruud

Tommy Paul
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Taylor Fritz was gone, when Holger Rune hit a number of shots in a 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 victory. Now the American men have one left, in the quarters, as Tommy Paul will face off against Casper Ruud on Thursday at Indian Wells.

Paul is looking better, stroke to stroke, and he can also attack when he has a decent chance. Ruud can be creative, when the 25-year-old can feel that when he is on top of the ball, then he can hit it extremely hard.  Paul said that he really wants to win a huge tournament, like this one.

“My goal coming into this year was to win titles. I made I think two or three finals last year,” he said.  “Never won the tournament. So this year was, like, my main goal is to win tournaments. I got one title, and I want more. I mean, I want to leave the tournament with a win. The best feeling in tennis, and it doesn’t happen too often.”

Jannik Sinner is winning all the time, beating everyone right now. The Italian out-hit over Ben Shelton, and now he will be a decent  favorite when he faces
against Jiri Lehecka, another young man who is only 22 years old. He is quick, fast, and he can also jump on the ball. The Czech has been up and down this year, but at least he won at the start of the year at Adelaide, Australia.  However, Sinner knows that he has to be much more thoughtful, point after point.

”I never take things for granted. I mean, every tournament, every match you go on court trying to do your best, trying to stay mentally focused,” said Sinner. “That’s what I try to do.”

Who would have known that the American Emma Navarro took down the No. 2  Aryna Sabalenka 6-3, 3-6, 6-2? She has been playing fantastic over the past eight days, with some tremendous shots, with her forehand and her backhand. She has been returning really well, and she can mix it up when she is thinking where to go. Plus, now she is more comfortable, on the court, and off.

“It’s a little bit unnatural for me to be in the spotlight and be playing on a court like that with a ton of fans and TVs and eyes on me. It’s not my natural way,”  Navarro said. “But I feel I’m definitely getting more comfortable Also I think that was my second or third fist pump ever.”

She will have to face against Maria Sakkari, who loves to rally, and she rarely gives it up. However, she can push the ball, at times. That should be a marathon.

The other American, the former 2023 U.S. champion, Coco Gauff, easily beat  Elise Mertens 6-0 6-2. Now Gauff  will face against Yuan Yue of China, who is very steady, but in order to chop the American, she will have to nail it in her forehand. Gauff has a fantastic backhand, and she is also wonderful at the net, but she can slip up with her forehand. Without a doubt, though, she can really focus, even when she is not playing great. She is more mature and she is getting better, gradually.

Indian Wells: Taylor Fritz vs Holger Rune

Holger Rune

Here comes the American, again, when Taylor Fritz  will have to take out against Holger Rune, who once again, he is playing more real, on the court. He has had a decent season, this year, but he has to re-figure what he must do, and stay there, if he has to.

 On Wednesday night in at Indian Wells, he will be pumped up, but he has to think about what types of his shots, and where he will go. He did it here two years ago, when he put together for 10 days, and he became super consistent. However, after that, he won some terrific matches, but he has yet to do another ATP 1000 again,  so now, he will try to go it again.

Last year, the Denmark  Rune had some fine matches, going deep on the hard courts, the clay (especially in Monte-Carlo and Rome) and the grass. He didn’t win it all, but it was close enough, so if he is feeling good, then the No. 7 can start beating against the top players. He can be super solid, with his backhand, and he can return, too.

But if Fritz can be immediately aggressive, then he can push him way back and put it away. He can bash his forehand and his backhand, and he can hit it down the line, and also go crosscourt.  Yes, Fritz can return pretty decent, and when he is confident, he can make an attempt to hit it very deep. The think is, though, is he is not terrific at the net, and his backhand could be so-so. But as he said: “I think both, it’s the same kind of thing,” Fritz said. “I’ve always felt confident here, even before winning. I feel like I always performed well and played well. It’s the same thing. I come here and from the first hit, kind of just feeling the courts, it feels really good for me.”

Rune is only 20-years- old, so he has to understand exactly what he has to do, when he returning, and mix it up. He is fast, running, and he can move forward, and trust it around. Rune’s  forehand can be  powerful, his backhand is somewhat solid, and he can throw it all around the box. But it is all about the week, and while he hasn’t gone deep this year, perhaps he is adding some more different shots.

Both Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev won there matches, and they will face off on Thursday. It has to be a tremendous match at nigh. A darn, good match.

NOTES
Also late at night on Wednesday, the No. 11 Daria Kasatkina will take on Yuan Yue. Kasatkina reached the finals at Abu Dhabi and Adelaide this year, and while she didn’t win it, she was threatening. Yuan has been quiet over the past few years, but now she is trying to hit the ball, harder. They all have to, at some point.

On Tuesday, the No.1 Iga Swiatek crushed Yulia Putintseva 6-1, 6-2. You never know when she doesn’t play well at all, but that is very rare. Caroline Wozniacki played pretty decent when she beat Angelique Kerber 6-4, 6-2. They both were hurt, physically, a small amount, but they kept going. Wozniacki thinks she can go even further. Oh, really? Hmmm.

A stunner: Luca Nardi upsets Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells

Novak Djokovic

At the beginning of Indian Wells, the No. 1 Novak Djokovic is the best player. But once and a while, he can lose, especially early. He did, when the 20-year-old Luca Nardi shocked him, when he put together some amazon rallies.

Without a doubt, Djokovic was somewhat flat, in the third set, and Nardi ran so fast. He won it, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The fans could not believe it, but the intense No. 123 kept going hard, and he ran second after second. When he won, he was thrilled, whether he will last this week is a new question, but he did say that he was thinking what he had to do.

“I think that before this night no one knew me,” Nardi said. “I think it is a miracle, because I am a 20-year-old guy, 100 in the world, and beating Novak. It’s crazy.”

Yes it was, but now he has to face against the American, Tommy Paul, who beat Ugo Humbert, a very good player.  Paul has not had a great year in 2024 at the top 10 men, but he put some solid wins. It is time to play even better and  try to move up further.

“I’ve been working on playing aggressive, even at the most important times,” Paul said. “I’ve been doing better at that.”

On Wednesday night, the other American, Ben Shelton, has to over think against the Australian champ Jannik Sinner. In the Aussie Open, Shelton went into a fifth set, but the smart, veteran Adrian Mannarino chopped him down. But on Tuesday, at night, Shelton will have to play as well as he can as Sinner is on fire, week after week. He will have to snap on his arms, and go down on the lines. It should be a super intense contest.

The long time women players who have won so many terrific matches, when the champions,  Carolina Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber, will play each other on Wednesday night. If you like to watch some long rallies, then sit down and gaze because it could take hours. That can go cross court, backhand to backhand, and also,  change it up, more. Will one of the players win another huge event, ever again?  Probably, yes, this year, but it is unsure. 

Speaking of which, the  American Taylor Fritz won Delray Beach, beating Paul. They know each other well and which they go. However, Fritz did win Indian Wells two years ago, so now, if he can nail it into the corners, consistently, he will have chance to go far. However, he has to knock down over Holger Rune, who is a darn good player, when he is on. He can be super solid, with his backhand, and he can return, too. But if Fritz can be immediately aggressive, then he can push him way back and put it away. Good, luck.

Naomi Osaka: ‘When and where she can become No. 1’

Naomi Osaka

At what point will the four-time Slam champion Naomi Osaka rise again? She just came back two months ago, and she looked decent, but she wasn’t fantastic yet. She is certainly getting better, as last year, she had a new baby, so she had to stop, for a while. However, she wants to play, when she can, and at Indian Wells, in the first round, she smoked the veteran Sara Errani, 6-3, 6-1. 

She can smash the ball, with her forehand and her backhand, and her first serve can be massive. She can be so intense, when she is satisfied, and then if she can check out, when she is her thinking, and then she can lose. However, Osaka has won her Grand Slams, on the hardcourts, so she can leap the ball, and hit it right on the lines.

It is impossible to know when and where she can become No. 1 again. Osaka is still young, though, so maybe she is adding with her game, such as at the net, and to return it. She has to, as she will face the Russian Liudmila Samsonova, who looked pretty good.

The 2021 US Open champion  Emma Raducanu is out there this week, and she has been struggling over the past year. But she is more healthy now, and her forehand is flatter. Her backhand is striking, and she could throw it around until she has a chance to really nail it. But not yet, as it will take weeks before she recovers mentally. Also, last year, the 21-year-old had to go to the surgery, with her wrist and her ankle.

“I want to work on becoming a better tennis player,” Raducanu said. “I think for me I’m not too concerned about this year’s tournaments. A lot of people out there would say that I need matches, but I think that for me I want to work on my game and development. Taking time to do that is very necessary and not just following the crowd, or playing a lot of matches, or dropping down [to Challenger level] to do that. I want to work on developing skills. I felt like because I was so go-go-go since December, I felt like I became a little fatigued, so it was good to go back, freshen up and practice for the American swing, which I’m a big fan of.”

The other British Katie Boulter just won in San Diego, which was huge, as she never past into the big tournaments. Now she has, being much more aggressive.

How about the 19-year-old American Alex Michelsen, who is improving a lot. He won a few matches in February and March in Delray Beach, Dallas and Los Cabos, upsetting Alex de Minaur. Last year, he reached the final in Newport, stunning John Isner. A few weeks ago, Michelsen finally feels that he can stay there for a long time.

“I feel like I’ve been everywhere,” Michelsen said. “But I feel like after I won my first couple of rounds in Australia I was like, ‘Wow, I’m a professional. Wow, I’m pretty good.’ So I think that was my big like, ‘Aha!’ moment for sure.”

Another young person, the Frenchman Arthur Fils, can be up and down and can chuck it all over the place. However, he does have to be more thoughtful on the court.

NOTES
Daniil Medvedev can play fantastic, but he can also back up. After he lost in Dubai, and he lost in the semis against Ugo Humbert — a very good player — he said: “Here I was taking it match by match because I was unfortunately maybe too much looking at my body. First match, how does it feel. Next day, next match, three sets, how do I feel. It was not that bad, but I was not free for 100%, especially on the serve. I couldn’t just go for it. Hopefully this can change because Indian Wells. It’s not like I have one month to prepare. Hopefully I can go for it more.  When I’m free, I want to win every tournament I play. … Again, I’m happy with the result, honestly, with the semifinal, with the way I felt, the body, but I’m disappointed with the energy I had because it was not the energy of a winner of the tournament, which I like to have, which I have had many times.”

Two good who have won a Slam are Jannik Sinner and Caroline Wozniacki . He is playing great this year. Wozniacki is hitting her terrific backhand, taking down Donna Vekic 7-6(5), 6-3. Will she stay here in this tournament?  Maybe, but she has to prove it.

Jelena Ostapenko wins it again in Upper Austria Ladies Linz

The now No. 11 Jelena Ostapenko finally play top to the bottom, and even that, she can smash it into the corners. In the final, the once 2017 Roland Garros champ beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 6-3 pretty easily, without so many error, which she has done it many times. But when she is more consistent, and to mix it up more, then she can be much more controlling.

The Latvia has won “just” one Grand Slam, but she has also gone deep in the events,  so maybe she can do it again. 

At the WTA 500 tournament in Upper Austria Ladies Linz, she was totally thrilled.

“It was a really good week, and I felt like every match I was playing better and better,” Ostapenko said. “It’s really amazing to win two singles trophies this year already (she won at Adelaide), and winning a doubles trophy as well, [and] playing Australian Open [in the doubles with Lyudmyla Kichenok] final — it’s like four tournaments and four finals, which is really great. I’m just happy with the way I’m playing this year. I think I feel like I’m more mature and more confident with my game, so it even motivates me more to work hard and get back to the Top 10.”

Yes she will, very soon, or maybe not. Last year, Ostapenko  did win Birmingham in June, and at the 2023 Australian Open, in the fourth round, she beat Coco Gauff before she lost against Elena Rybakina. On the day, she can play marvelous, almost stunning against the current No. 1, Iga Swiatek at the 2023 U.S. Open. After that, though, Gauff overwhelmed her. Ostapenko did not much after that in the fall, so now she must have been more thoughtful.

Back to Upper Austria Ladies Linz,  Alexandrova is up and down, terrific and lousy, too. She is aggressive, but then she can backs off. However, she has had a fine year, beating Elena Rybakina in Australia, and then last week, she took down  Anastasia Potapova, and in the semis agains  Donna Vekic, she stood in there, but it took forever, winning 5-7 7-6(4) 7-6(6). She must have been exhausted in the final. 

The Russian veteran has not been very good  at the Slams last year, but at least she won the ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands in June, on the grass. She also really likes to play on the hardcourts, and her backhand can be so solid, and she can return into the corners, too.

However, she has never reached into the quarters at the Slams, so this year, she can do something different.

NOTES

On Upper Austria Day, the now retired and one Slam winner Ana Ivanovic was honored in the front of the crowds.  Her good friend and a fine player, Barbara Schett, was there….

That was new, when the young Russian, Diana Shnaider, won the Thailand Open beating  Zhu Linz 6-3, 2-6, 6-1…

In Montpellier, in France, Alexander Bublik beat Borna Coric 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. He finally did it, so now in the third set he can let go and really turn it on…

The U.S. men just started in the Dallas Open. There are a lot of many Americans who are playing such as Ben Shelton, Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul and  Christopher Eubanks. The winner will be?

Australian Open men’s final: Sinner over Medvedev

Jannik Sinner
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

When you play for the first time, in a Grand Slam, then he can raise up so high, but if he is so nervous, then he can fold, quickly. That is not Daniil Medvedev, who won the 2022 US Open two years ago, yet the young Italian, Jannik Sinner, has not done it yet. On Sunday night, he will charged up, or will he panic, early? It is hard to saw, but over the years, the great players were shaky, early, and then, they will focus and look for the prize.

Sinner, was tremendous in the semis, when he blasted against the No. 1 Novak Djokovic, with some wonderful forehands and his backhands, running everywhere. He can flat it out, and he can also spin it. His serves are pretty hard, close to the corners, and when he returns, he can push it deep, here and there.

But that does not mean that he is even close to be perfect, yet, as while he has beaten a number of fine players, but he has lost in some tight matches. Sinner is growing up, but he needs to grab it, as soon as possible, right now. Really, you never know when you start, as over many decades, many players have shut down, such as Kevin Anderson, Kei Nishikori , Marcos Baghdatis,  Rainer Schüttler, David Nalbandian, and on and on.

However, the 22-year-old   Sinner, is more aggressive, and he can also think inside within his head. He can beat him, but to do it again, he must attack with his forehand, and really hustle. His tennis coach and his broadcaster, Darren Cahill, said, “When you play a certain style of tennis and you keep taking losses, you can’t keep doing the same thing. You have to change and your game has to evolve. That’s what Jannik has been attempting to do for the last couple of years. That’s a great quality and that’s what he needs to continue to do. Never stop evolving and never stop getting better.”

He has to, as Medvedev knows exactly how to play, when he is locked in. He can lose, and he has, here and there, but when he is feeling good, he can throw some tremendous shots. His forehand and his backhand are so solid, and he can blitz the ball. He edged over Alexander Zverev in five sets, a brutal one. He lost against Sinner three in the fall, so he does know how to try to beat him, and he has to change it.

“I said before the tournament, I want a change, I want to become better with myself,” Medvedev said. “To not have after the matches these moments where I’m like, ‘I did this with the crowd, why did I do it? Did it help me?’ I just don’t want to have it any more. I want to play tennis, I want to be proud of myself, I want to fight.”

However,  Sinner beat Medvedev three times in the fall, at Beijing, Vienna, and the ATP Final in Italy.  That was very good, but Medvedev beat Sinner six times, so it is darn close.

He will try to be totally confident, and more thoughtful.  

“The three matches, all of them were tough. Two tie-breaks and two three-setters,” Medvedev said. “I had my chances. All of them were in the end of the season where I felt like I was not at my 100 percent, even if I was playing pretty good. I was maybe at 97, 96 per cent, and against him you need to be at 100.”

Regardless, Sinner will win it in five wild sets.  

Australian Open day 8: Fritz: ‘It’s one-sided with Novak’

Novak Djokovic

It is possible that  Taylor Fritz will finally upset Djokovic for the first time, but the No. 1 has all but  dominated him, over eight matches. The American is playing well in Melbourne, yet when they hit the balls, backhand against backhand, the Serbian is much more consistent. At the 2021 Aussie Open, Fritz was close to trip Djokovic, but the current No. 1 pounded him in the fifth set and he grabbed it, 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2. He was more comfortable, while Fritz was shaky.

After that, they played another five matches and Djokovic won it, winning 11 sets. He will have to do something much better on the hardcourts, because his serves and his forehand will have to be spot on.

“Since then when I’ve played him, I’ve played pretty poor, I think. I think that I have a lot more level to bring than I’ve previously brought against him. As far as playing me, hasn’t ever had a reason to change up what he’s doing or change strategy because it’s always gone his way,” Fritz said. “I think there are people that I have played quite a bit over the years who I’ve gone back and forth. Maybe I win, maybe I lose. Between us we’ve made a lot of adjustments to the game plan and changed a lot of things around. I mean, it’s been one-sided with Novak. I feel like he’s played me pretty much the same every time.”

He is going to have to. He cannot complain, or become two frustrated, so just go out and try to frustrated him. In general, Djokovic  is more knowledge, on the court, and once again, he will win it in four, tough, sets.  

The No. 4 Coco Gauff is so clean, when she is playing, hitting with some excellent, deep   returns. Her backhand is so strong, wherever she wants to, and at the net, she can also put it away, everywhere. The 19-year-old has won “just” one Grand Slam, but she is much more appropriate now, as two years ago, her forehand was sloppy. However, she does have to focus all the time, as she has to face against  Marta Kostyuk, another player who is trying to rise. The  21-year-old Ukraine can be somewhat decent, and she can also try to hit it down the lines, but this year, she has not gone deep, hardly at all. Against Gauff , she has to try to attack, early. However, the American will bash her, to win it in two solid, sets.

There are two other matches which should be some dusty, close contests, when Aryna Sabalenka will go against Barbora Krejcikova, and also, Jannik Sinner will face versus  Andrey Rublev. Sabalenka  did win the AO last year, here, while Krejcikova  won another major, when she won Roland Garros. Sabalenka is a jumbo hitter, from both sides, while Krejcikova is excellent at the net. If Sabalenka manages to serve consistently, rather than to chuck in a lot of double faults, then she can set it up and nail it into the corners. The Czech Krejcikova can get it early, and find where she is going, but she has to be very careful. She is intense again, and she will beat Sabalenka in three, difficult sets.

Italian Jannik Sinner is still young, but each few months, he looks sharp, on the court. He is a lofty hitter, and his serves are close into the corners. He still has to be better when he is returning, and bending down when he is close at the net. Russian Rublev can also attempt to drive him measureless, and he can play with his huge forehand. Sinner has beaten him the past two times when he won it at Miami and Vienna, so he can raid it,  earlier. Sinner will win it in five, harsh sets.

Australian Open, Day 4: Time to really rally

Taylor Fritz

Some of the American men are still in the tournament in Melbourne, after they won two matches. That is not spectacular yet, but it is very good. The young, rising Ben Shelton, has to face against the solid veteran,  Adrian Mannarino, when the Frenchman can be so steady, and he can mix it up a lot. The San Diego man can get frustrated, when he is not playing well, but week after week, he is now more consistent, especially with his second serve and at the net. But in the court, he has to focus almost all of the time, or he can lose, when he stops.

Taylor Fritz has been up and down over the past five months, when the current No. 12 lost some odd matches, yet it is time for him to attack more, and to return it deeper, if he can. When he is on, he look sharp, and he can put it away. However, if he wants to go back into the top 5 this year, he must be staunch. He will face against Fabian Marozsan.

Believe or not, Sebastian Korda is close to be right there, to look much better than he was last year. Yes, he was injured himself, so he wasn’t perfect at all, but at least he is trying to more patient. However, he has to go up against Andrey Rublev, who is a very tough opponent. The Russian is very powerful, when he is on, and he can smile, to hit it both sides.  Plus, the No. 5 wants to improve his volley, and also, closing at the net. Korda has to knock him down, or Rublev will out-hit, him.

How about that the American, Alex Michelsen, who won today. He is only 19 years old, and he lives in California. He is pretty tall, and he can crush the ball, but he is still pretty young, so when he has to face against Alexander Zverev , he is going to have to play every second.  

Both  Frances Tiafoe and Christopher Eubanks lost today.  again. Which of the U.S. American men will win a Slam this season, or even to do it in the ATP 1000? It is possible, but can they beat Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz? The challenge is on…

TennisReporters.net top 32 men: 5-1

Novak Djokovic

5 Andrey Rublev
He is very powerful, when he is on, and he can smile in the ball, to both sides. When he is feeling very good, the Russian can go for it, early, or if he is feeling patient, he can mix it up from the backcourt. However, he has yet to win a Grand Slam, and while he can be right there, but then, his other spectacular player rarely become nervous. He does, on occasion. Unfortunatly, he has yet to reach the semis at the Grand Slams, as the 26-year-old has backed up when it was close. He did win Monte Carlo, and Bastad, Sweden, and also, when he reached the final at Shanghai, China in October . That was very solid, but Novak Djokovic beat him time and time again, so if he wants to upset him, next year, he has to improve his volley, and also, closer at the net.  He might be able to win a Slam in 2024, then he is going to be a real show.

4 Jannik Sinner
Here is another one who can eventually grab to win a Slam. The Italian had a terrific week in the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy,, beating Daniil Medvedev, upsetting Djokovic early on, but then in the final, the Serbian rose, while Sinner looked pretty tired, or maybe he was  collapsing. In a sense, it doesn’t really matter, as in the fall, he played fantastic, winning Beijing and Vienne, beating  Daniil Medvedev, twice. He stood toe-to-toe, grinding him down, and with some his massive strokes, with his backhand or his forehand. He even won the ATP Masters in Toronto in August, revolting so high. However, he can mess it up, depending which week, whether he is playing great, or mediocre. He is tall, and he can put it into the corner, but next year, if he can win Slam for the first time. To do it though,  he has to return better and deeper, and meld it up, even more.  He has to be more true , and really pay attention before he gets on the court. It is almost mandatory.

3 Daniil Medvedev
The other Russian had a up and down year, winning a bunch of matches, but also, when he looked darn good at the U.S. Open against Djokovic in the final, he looked like he had a real chance to win it, but in the second set tiebreaker, he was right there. then he missed some unpaired error. He does really like to rally, very flat, and he will to wear down the opponents, but at times, he doesn’t like to come into the net enough, so his decisions could be questionable. He has a little bit with the spin, now,  and his first serve is flat, to different areas. The man can look startling, and this year, he won Rotterdam, Netherlands,  Doha, Qatar ,  Dubai, Miami and Rome. In the fall, he was very decent, but not fantastic. He is quite caring, and he looks to think, when he is talking, which is awesome, but in the court, if he wants to win another Slams, he must change a few things, especially when he can go down really low, and put it away.

2 Carlos Alcaraz
He has become darn fast,  sprinting to the right and to the left, mixing it up, and he can win it into the corners for a winner. The Spaniard is very young, and he still has a decent amount to improve, but he already can change his tactics. His forehand and his backhand are jolly sturdy, and he can also touch it on the net and put it away. However, after he won Wimbledon, and he played wonderful ball, after that, he could not win another title. Of course he was hurt, bodily, once and a while, and perhaps he was mentally shake, yet next year, he will learn how he will approach it. In the first half, he also won Buenos Aires, Indian Wells, Barcelona, Madrid, and London/Queens, and of course, Wimbledon, in the clay, the hardcourts, and the grass. That was almost flawless, but then   he wasn’t after that. At the end at the ATP Finals, Djokovic beat Alcaraz in straight sets, out hitting him, backhand versus backhand.  Maybe at the Australian Open, he can win the title, that is if his second serve and his return can be upwords.

1 Novak Djokovic

Way back when, when he won his first Grand Slam at the 2008 Australian Open, he was so swift, and his backhand was already phenomenal, but his forehand was good, but not great. His return was so sensible, and he could play stroke after stroke, and he rarely became tired. However, he knew, year after year, that he had to get much better so he could not only beat everyone, but to win the titles, he had to be more muscular, in the matches. Now, he has won 23 Grand Slams, a record, and here and there, he could miss some strange errors, but he will always try to hang in there, and re-do it.    He won three Slams this season, and next year, he might be able to do it again. He has won 98 Slams, and he is third behind Jimmy Connors (109 titles) and Roger Federer [103 titles.) In 2024, Djokovic could pass Federer, and eventually, maybe next year, he can tie Connors. Either way, he is the dominates.