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.

No. 1 Novak Djokovic wins and wins

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic can win  so many tournaments next year. He is older, for sure, as he is 36-years-old, but in 2023, he beat everyone, especially in the fall. The young players have improved a good amount, and yes, they can upset the Serbian, but they have to jump on him, early. Or Djokovic can be patient, and really chance it up.

In the ATP Finals last week, he beat Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner, in the semis and in the final, and he didn’t lose a set. He was essentially perfect.

As his coach, Goran Ivanisevic said:  “I think Carlos didn’t play his best tennis. Still you need to beat him,” he said. “Nole lift his game. He came ready. He knew how to play unbelievable matches this year.  Carlos already won two Grand Slams and he’s future of tennis. Jannik really step up this year. He showed the world and himself that he’s ready next year to win Grand Slams, and he’s not afraid of anybody.

I think they going to both of them practice hard. The season is over. I think next year’s going to be very, very competitive and interesting year.”

Yes, during the year, he lost some so-so matches, and he lost. But Djokovic kept  moving forward, striding, and still learning. He has now won 98 singels titles, which is phenomenal, not only when he has won 23 Grand Slams, but he has won many various events, in Asia, Australia, the United States, Canada, Europe, ext.  The huge hitter has also won in the hardcourts, on the clay, in the grass, outside and inside. But he is smarter on court, and perhaps, off the court.  

“I knew as soon as [Novak] got into the semifinal, he’s going to win the tournament. The mentality changed,” the Croatian Ivanisevic said.  “The new Novak Djokovic arrived on the court from Saturday. When real Novak Djokovic arrives on the court, then the moment is nobody that can play with him.”

When he won the Australian Open for the first time in 2008, Djokovic ran so fast, and he was super steady, but while his backhand was absurd, his forehand, his return and at the net needed to enrich. However, even though he had some difficult seasons, he still drove himself, and he added with different strokes.

 “It’s very tough to improve with him (smiling). But he wants to improve,” the one-time 2001 Wimbledon champion. Ivanisevic said. “ That’s the good thing and bad thing for me as a coach and the rest of the team. He improved a lot his volleys, his game at the net, and his position at the net. Now when he comes to the net – okay, today  he missed some easy volleys [against [Sinner]  – but generally this week and this year he plays some amazing volleys.  His position at the net is a lot better. Is very tough to pass him. Before he was very easy to pass. Now he knows what he’s doing at the net. He’s comfortable at the net. Final of U.S. Open he played two, three most important volleys in the final against [beating Daniil Medvedev]. He’s not afraid to come to the net. He’s hitting the forehands much, much harder. He’s going for the shots. Serving, second serve, sometimes he’s hitting over 200. He’s just going for it.”

Yes he did, and he still wants to be perfect, at the net. In January, Djokovic can win another Australian Open. Clearly he will be the favorite. But eventually,  the older you get, it is hard to sprint very fast. However, in 2024, he could do it again. He will make a huge effort.

Will anyone win a Slam next year? Maybe. Clearly, Alcaraz is very young and he is improving, so he could win one Slam, or two. You can throw in with Sinner, who had a terrific fall, but he has yet to win Slam, so in December, he must be thinking about how to return, deeper, and also, at the tough, nets.
 The American men had a solid year, overall, but no one reached into the final at the Slams. OK, maybe next year. Five of them are in the top 25 with Taylor Fritz, Tommy Paul,  Frances Tiafoe , Ben Shelton  and Sebastian Korda. They are still pretty young, so they could rise, higher, but to beat Djokovic, or the rest of the top eight players, they will have to be much  deeper, about exactly what to do. Please.

ATP Finals day 8: Novak Djokovic over Jannik Sinner

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic over Jannik Sinner

A few days ago, Jannik Sinner upset Novak Djokovic in three terrific sets. Before he started to play, he must have thought that when his forehand and his backhand could be super consistent, and to stay in there, and also, not to risk it all the time. In the third set, he knew that to win the contest, he has to changed it up. a lot. He certainly did, and he won it 7-6(2) in the third set in in Turin, Italy. He finally figured it out.

“It doesn’t really matter the matches before, how they have been. Especially with this format, you can win against one, but after you can lose. It’s different,” Sinner said. “But still happy that I can go one more time on the court here in Turin [Italy]. Good atmosphere. Hopefully I can show some good tennis.”

Djokovic occasionally can miss the ball, with his thoughts, but he will go for it, once again. He is a terrific return, and his backhand going cross-court is murders. On Saturday, he nailed Carlos Alcaraz  very quickly, out-hitting him in straight sets, with everything. At Wimbledon, in the semis on the grass, Djokovic beat Sinner in three sets. The Italian was erratic, in the match, but now, Djokovic thinks that Sinner has improved during the fall.  

“He just played a fantastic match. That’s what I told him at the net,” Djokovic said after the Italian beat him this week. “I think in the most important moments, he played his best game and he absolutely deserved to win.”

Sinner has gone deep over the past two years, with some wonderful days, but also, in the matches, he did some critically points. Djokovic can slip, here and there, but not much. Therefore, the No. 1 will win it again, beating Sinner 7-5, 6-7, 6-3. The that will be 98 titles by Djokovic. Talk about phenomenal.

ATP Finals day 7: Sinner over Medvedev, Djokovic over Alcaraz

Novak Djokovic
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Jannik Sinner over Daniil Medevev (written on Friday)

In Italy, Jannik Sinner is on fire, hitting some massive strokes. He has won all three in the ATP Finals, so clearly, he will have to rocking and rolling. However, he will face against Daniil Medvedev on Saturday, and the Russian has beaten him all six times. He edged him 7-6, 7-6 in Beijing, China in the final, last month, so the Italian was darn close, but now, he will have to change it up, or attack, earlier. He also lost against Medvedev in Vienna in the final, too, pushing him back in three tough sets.

“It’s obviously a little bit more pressure, but it is kind of a positive pressure. I like to be in this situation,” said Sinner. “I had never beaten Holger Rune and I it was clear that it was going to be a great battle. This is an important victory for me & I know I have a great opportunity to do something important on Saturday. I like to have some pressure.”.”

Medvedev has to, as the Russian realizes exactly way to go, to hit the right shots, and he can also pound it, point after point. He did win two matches, but against  Carlos Alcaraz, he looked fair, yet he needed to smash the ball, early. This time, though, he has beaten him a lot, so he might do the same things.    

“At this moment Sinner in top form. I felt like in Vienna I made a good response to what he did in Beijing, but I still lost. I need to be even better, to respond better to his shots.” said Medvedev

Anyone can lose for ever, against the best players, but once in a while, you can play tremendous, and stick in there.  This time, will finally snag it, and Sinner will win 5-7, 6-4, 6-4

Novak Djokovic over Carlos Alcaraz

Is this really true that Carlos Alcaraz spoke with his coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero, when he was struggling this week, early, and current, he is happy again. That must be true as the former one time Roland Garros champion Ferrero looked very good for years, but also, he was depressed. However, he is pushing himself, and now, Alcaraz is understanding what to do.

 He has to, as he must face against the No. 1 Djokovic. That will be a huge challenger.

“I opened my eyes. This is the last tournament of the year and I have to give everything I have.We also spoke about the level and what I had to do,” Alcaraz said. “I realized that my game depends on whether or not I enjoy myself, whether or not I smile. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing for me. Obviously, the joy and the smile have returned to my game and I think that was reflected in the matches.”

He did and on Saturday, at night, Alcaraz  will have to play backhand to backhand, as the No. 1 is usually nearly perfect. They have played each other four times, mostly very close, and they have split each other. The Serbian beat him at Roland Garros, and then the Spaniard took him out at Wimbledon.

Also, Djokovic out-hit him in August, in Cincinnati, on the hardcourts. Alcaraz  realizes that to come into the net, when he can, and also, to return, respectably, then he will have another great chance to beat him.

“I’m going to try and find my A-game,” Alcaraz said.

Djokovic has lost a few times, this year, and his forehand could go off, but in the third set, he will raise his game, and he will win it 6-4, 6-7, 6-4.

ATP Finals day 5: Sinner over Rune, Djokovic over Hurkacz

Hubert Hurkacz
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Jannik Sinner over Holger Rune
The two young people will face off on Thursday in Italy when Jannik Sinner could win another tremendous match, when he upset against the No. 1, Novak Djokovic, 7-5, 6-7(5), 7-6(2). In the third tiebreaker, he hit some phenomenal backhands  and his forehands, too. He also returned darn deep, and true.

“I think I was really brave and intelligent in important moments, especially the third set,” Sinner said.

However, now he has to be consistent, day after day, when he will play against Holger Rune. While the Danish has had a very good year, but not great, yet, but hopefully, his strokes will be harder. Also, he has to be patient, and at times, mix it up. On the clay in Monte-Carlo in the semis, he edged Sinner 7-5 in the third set. He knows that the fans will be cheering very loud, as the Italian is totally absorbed, but still, he can out-hit him, forehand to forehand.  Or maybe not.

 “[Sinner] can do whatever he wants on the court,” Rune said. “He can hit a great forehand, great backhand, great volley. Great movement, serve, everything. Obviously it’s more tough here in Italy to play him. I’m just going to prepare.”

Then he can, and it will be very close, maybe for three hours, but in the third set, Sinner will punch him in the chin, and win it 7-5, 3-6, 7-5. 

Novak Djokovic over Hubert Hurkacz

Djokovic did beat Rune in a marathon, so he is split, 1-1. If he wants to reach into the semis, then he has to beat Hubert Hurkacz to move on. The Polish person Hurkacz just started playing  as he is replacement with  Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is injured.

Djokovic  really wants to reach into the semis, so he will battle, point after point. The 36-year-old says it is pretty standard  to lose, and then, to win it again.   “It’s normal to lose some of my matches like this (against Sinner), but I have to be content with the fighting spirit. I managed to make a comeback from set down, break down in the third set,” Djokovic said. “ Played in really challenging and difficult conditions on the court. I’m proud of the fight that I put in. It just wasn’t enough for the win.”

This time, Djokovic did beat Hurkacz 6-3, 7-5.

ATP Finals day 3: Rune over Tsitsipas, Djokovic over Sinner

Holger Rune

Holger Rune over Stefanos Tsitsipas
Holger  Rune played over three hours, and in the third set, he was capable of upsetting Novak Djokovic, but he could not, as the No. 1 Serbian was more intense. The young player Rune looked terrific at times, doing down the lines, toe-to-toe with there backhands, yet he could not shake it off.
Perhaps on Tuesday, he will have to recover, and then when the match begins, be can push Tsitsipas. Of course, at the ATP Finals in front of the crowds, almost everyone wants to show themselves.

The Greek has had some fascinating matches, this year, very good, with a lot of top spin, but also, he can trip himself.  He lost somewhat easily when he went down versus  Sinner, as he did not serve and the return deep enough. Because of that, he will do it again,and the Danish Rune will win it 6-4, 6-7, 6-3.

Novak Djokovic over Jannik Sinner
This is the first time that the No. 1 Djokovic and Sinner have played in the hardcourts. Yes, they have had some cool matches, especially at Wimbledon, twice, on the grass, and while the Serbian out-hit him, but the Italian was somewhat strong. Yes, Djokovic has a better backhand, and with his serve, and also, when he throws in a bunch of winners  at the net. Really, to beat Djokovic, he will have to take a long of risks, inside the court.  He has to push early, and try to attack him when he gets a real chance. He has had an excellent fall, as Sinner began to be more consistent. Plus, he has also become more quicker, when he runs, and he also can mix it up, a lot.

As Sinner said, “You know, staying humble and working hard and everything, for me, are the main reasons why I am here. And I know we’ll continue to do this. And obviously in my mind, I know that I can improve.”

Of course he can upset him,  at one point, but Djokovic is still more thoughtful, point to point. Djokovic will win it 6-7, 6-3, 6-2.

ATP Finals begins in Turin, Italy

Jannik Sinner
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Both predictions were written before play started.

Jannik Sinner over Stefanos Tsitsipas
On Sunday, at the ATP Finals, two of them will start in the first match when  Jannik Sinner will face Stefanos Tsitsipas. It will play in Turin’s Pala Apitour, in Italia. It will be very interesting, during eight days, whether the court is respectable, and very intense.
Clearly, the No. 1 Novak Djokovic is favored, but he has lost once and a while, during the year, so any the seven players can play excellent, and up set him.

They will start though in the first match when the Italian, Sinner, will continue to rise even smarter. He has had a terrific fall, smashing his forehand, his backhand, and with his hard first serve.  However, the 22-year-old has beat Tsitsipas two times, but he also lost five times, so with the rallies, he has to much more consistent.

Yes, the Greek Tsitsipas has had a good, but not great year, but when he is healthy, he can really turn it on.

“Hopefully it’s something positive for me trying to have a great connection with the crowd and hopefully I can handle it and handle the situation with the right mentality, because I feel I have a little bit more pressure, which is a very positive sign for me,” Sinner said. “His strength is the serve and his high intensity. He puts a lot of intensity on the court.”

Tsitsipas  came so close to win a Grand Slam, but he has yet to do it. Perhaps, next year, he can improve at the net, and his return, with more depth. What he has done, though, it when he is locked in, he can bash the ball, point after point. Four years ago, in 2019, he won  the  ATP Finals champion in London, and he played tremendous. He has to do it again, quickly. The 25-year-old, Tsitsipas, thinks that Sinner has matured, a lot.

“He tends to play very fearless tennis and he moves very well,” said Tsitsipas. “He has improved his movement a lot and his consistency in his shots. I do believe that he’s a very athletic player. Not very [muscular], not very heavy. He has that lightness about him when he covers the court. He has very good abilities and talent when it comes to feeling the ball and getting behind it.”

Sinner won’t try to do that, however, in Italy, on the court, he might be extremely nervous, to start. But he does know that when he can really focus, and really control it, then in the third set, be will attack on the lines. Sinner will win it 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
 
Novak Djokovic over Holger Rune
It is hard to say whether Rune is feeling healthy on the court. Without a doubt, when he is feeling really terrific, and then he can control it, and mix it up, too. However, Djokovic knows almost everything, and he has played for many, many years. He has beaten everyone, the top players, time and time again. However, they have played each other four times, and Djokovic and Rune split it.

In Paris, he beat him 6-4 in the third in the quarters against Rune. He looked pretty good, as on the clay and the grass, the 20-year-old Dane won some impressive matches, but on the hard courts, he skidded. He is still getting better, this year, and his return and his first serve needs to improve, but his backhand is fantastic.

He will jump up and down, and try to attach with his heavy forehand, but Djokovic is still better, and he will win it 6-3, 6-4.

Coco Gauff: ‘A weight lifted and I’m able to play more freer’

Coco Gauff

Will Coco Gauff  win match after match, as the American is so much better than she used to be. The 19-year-old might lose in China, but she did beat Veronika Kudermetova  7-6, 6-2, and the Russian was playing terrific, but in the second set, she looked tired. However, the American has improved her forehand, a lot, and she also has begun her return, much harder. The 2023 U.S. Open champion is smarter, when she is playing. She is rising, fast.

“I do think I feel more confident. I think having that win makes you more confident in these moments,” she said. “Especially the way the US Open went for me, a lot of three-set matches, a lot of tough moments.  I think it’s way more pressure in the Grand Slam than a 1000, even though there’s still pressure, but it’s just less. I’m able to handle these emotions more because of that experience.  Honestly, I do feel more confident stepping on court. Plus the way I kind of started on the scene, a lot of people wanted that for me and expected that from me. I feel like now it’s a little bit of a weight lifted and I’m able to play more freer, focus on the long-term and how to be able to set myself up to win even more.”

The No. 3 Gauff just beat Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-2, another very good player, which means that she is so steady. She is terrific at the net, and she is very fast, running. She hasn’t lost since Montreal, so if she can beat the former No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the semis in Beijing, China, then she will continue to be on the blaze.

How about Swiatek, who when she plays, and she is shut in, she can beat anyone, on the clay and the hardcourts.  She did win Poland, in July, but after that she did not win a title, losing against Gauff in Cincinnati. She has beaten her four times, yet Gauff out-hit her at the end. Both her forehand and her backhand are so strong, and her return is very aggressive, but the No. 2 can forget what she is thinking about herself. However, off court, she is more calm.

“I just kind of played what I felt I needed to and what I felt was right at the moment. Yeah, well, for sure the confidence level got higher when I just saw that I’m in control,” she said.

The Italian Jannik Sinner  won Beijing,China, beating the two Grand Slam players with Carlos Alcaraz  and Daniil Medvedev. Not many people can do that, but Sinner continues to remedy all around. The 22-year-old has lost to the very good players, which were close, but he couldn’t decide how to process. At the U.S. Open, he played against  Alexander Zverev in the fourth round, and he was pretty close, but in the fifth set, he over hit it. However, he was not  to sad, as last month, he won Toronto, the ATP 1000. He was ready to rumble, once again.

“I’m more proud about how I improved the level this year, mentally especially. I felt like or I feel that I’m much stronger,” he said. “Also physically I know that I have to work a lot, so this is an aspect where we are going to push a lot in end of the year, especially for the next year then.  But I felt like I was playing really consistent tennis throughout the whole year.”

NOTES
The WTA Finals is now set with Aryna Sabalenka, Swiatek, Gauff, Elena Rybakina, Jessica Pegula,  Marketa Vondrousova, Ons Jabeur and Karolina Muchova. They will play in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of October.

In Shanghai, the ATP 1000, the odd Alexander Zverev lost against Roman Safiullin, who is playing well, but the German looks TIRED. Take a week off and recover…Three of the men won including Ben Shelton, Sebastian Korda and Christopher Eubanks. Will they stay during the weekend?

The top 10: the men after the U.S. Open

Frances Tiafoe
MALTPhoto

Here is my list of the men with the biggest impact from the US Open.

1. Novak Djokovic
Clearly, at this point, he is the best player, ever, now winning 24 Grand Slams. He is ahead of Rafa Nadal (22) and Roger Federer (20). The Swiss is retired, and the one thing is that possibly next year, the Spaniard Nadal will return and play in the 2024. Can he win another Slam again, maybe at the Australian Open, and of course, with  Roland Garros, who has won it 14 titles. He has to be totally healthy, but his body is breaking down, gradually.

With Djokovic, he almost never gets hurt,  which is why he can just raise his game, in the matches, and chase it up with his forehand, his backhand, his serve, his return, and with the net. Yes, he can make a few errors, but beyond that, he can re-set it again, open his eyes, and bash the ball. He has had an incredible year, but let us see if he continues to win more titles during the fall.

2. Daniil Medvedev
The Russian had a terrific tournament at the U.S. Open, but in the final, he did not push himself closer to the net. In the second set, he was so thick, but in the tiebreaker, he backed up, and the Serbian jumped on him. Yes, Medvedev can win another Slam, but there are a couple things that he needs to do, such as going closer to the baseline, and also, to work on the volleys. If he goes, he will have a chance to go deep once  again.

3. Carlos Alcaraz
The young Spaniard was playing fantastic, until the semis, and then he started to throw in some odd shots. He has won two Slams, and clearly, he is darn good, but he needs to be a little bit more calm, when he is playing. The 20-year-old will continue to improve, just like Djokovic when he was adding with some new volleys.

4. Ben Shelton
The American came out of nowhere, in the semis, as after he looked very good at the Australian Open, but after that, he lost a lot, all the way until August. Then in Flushing Meadows, he looked much stronger and more potent. He could not handle Djokovic, but he really does want to catch him, and beat him, pretty soon. That is a vast  challenge.

5. Taylor Fritz
He looked pretty good, although into the quarterfinals, and then he stopped thinking exactly what to do. There were moments at times against Djokovic, but he missed so many basic shots. He can be a darn good player, but if he wants to go further, into the top 5, he was to return better, his second serve, and also, at the net.

6. Frances Tiafoe

He is another person that he lost early during the summer, and then once he came into the U.S. Open, he was fresh and ready to dance. He did, all the way in the quarters, and then against Shelton, he looked pretty decent, but when he was way to the right and on the left, he was there, and he is thought he could put away, close to the lines, but he missed a lot. Then he was gone. He can smile a lot, and he has improved over the last two years, but will he actually win a ATP 1000 at some point? Possibly, but who knows.

7. Andrey Rublev

The other Russian can look so efficient, and he can also be forceful, but then he will to start sliding. He has beaten a lot of very good players, but not against the top ones. Maybe he is good enough, but not to win a Slam.

8. Alexander Zverev
It is almost impossible to see where he is going. He played some wonderful matches, but then in the quarters, he looked really tired, again. Sure, he can play great, but in the fall, he is going to have to attack early, and try to stick it away, or just sit there, point after point, and hope he can grind them down. Maybe he will, but if the German does the same things, he might never win a Slam.

9. Jannik Sinner
The Italian can look spectacular, and he is a huge hitter, but in the fifth set against  Zverev, he lost himself. He is only 22-years-old, and in August, he won Toronto. That was a big positive, but he need to be much more fitting in the fall.

10. Alex de Minaur
The Aussie had a solid summer, winning Los Cabos, reaching into the final at Toronto, and then in the quarters at the U.S. Open, he was pumped up, but in the last two sets, Medvedev crushed him. Good bye, and quickly. He is rational and he has to improved his return and his backhand, but if he can reach into the top 5 next year, he must think about where he should go, and trick the other people.

US Open picks: Monday, Sept. 4

Daniil Medvedev

Jannik Sinner over Alexander Zverev

The powerful Italian has raised in the game, with some intelligent shots. He is being more patient, in the rallies, and he waits until he has a chance to put it away. Yes, Sinner can miss it, when he isn’t playing well, but at least over the past eight days, he has been solid.

Zverev is now hitting slightly harder, with his forehand, and also, to attach towards the net. He is returning more officially, and he is improving close at the net. However, Sinner can chase it down, and he can also throw in a bunch of aces. He will, but it will take at least three hours, and  Sinner will out him in four hard sets, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4, 7-5.

Alex de Minaur over Daniil Medvedev

Each year, if you can commit yourself, then eventually, you will improve a good amount. De Minaur has said that this year, he could see that he finally understands to hit the back ruthless, and raid more often
“I know what I want to accomplish, what I want to do and and it’s always great when you can execute as well. I think what I’m bringing is the kind of energy and intensity from the first point till the last and and it’s been showing because it’s been really helpful to keep my level throughout the whole match.”

Well said, but Medvedev will find energy most of the match. Two days ago, in the match, he was so-so, and he yelled at his coaches, but he still managed to beat Sebastian Baez 7-6 in the third set. He was satisfied, but still on the court, he looked pretty upset. Because of that, the Australian will where him down. Yes the Russian is a better player over all, yet De Minaur will rise up and defeat him in five brutal sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.

Jessica Pegula over Madison Keys

The last time they played each other was in San Diego last year ,  and Pegula beat her 6-4, 7-5. Surely, it was a tight contest. Pegula does really like to rally, and move it all over the place. However, Keys is a bigger first serve, and either way, when she  gets set, she can hit as hard as she can, deep, or in the corners. However, when she if healthy, and that isn’t often, she can drive the ball. 

Yes Keys has done deep at the Grand Slams, reaching the final at the 2017 U.S. Open. But that was different, and while she can hit so harsh, she can go away. 

Pegula  is unpredictable at the majors, but the 29-year-old is more mature. She will drum Keys 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

Marketa Vondrousova over Peyton Stearns
The young American, Stearns, won  the NCAA team titles two times at the University of Texas. She went pro, two years ago, and when she started at the WTA, she looked OK, but she lost against the top 15 players.  Finally, she is not only aggressive, but she is also more thoughtful, on the court.

However, at Wimbledon, Vondrousova beat her in the first round, and eventually, she won the tournament. Yes, that is on the grass, but she is more solid, and she swings very hard. When she is on, the Czech has almost all of the shots, but there are times when she lets go. Either way, Vondrousova will beat the American 6-2, 7-5.