Far too early tennis Grand Slam predictions for 2023

NEW YORK – The tennis major season officially ended this weekend Carlo Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek each won their first US Open titles.

It was the first of what is likely many Grand Slam trophies for 19-year-old Alcaraz and the third for 21-year-old Swiatek. Both are the best players in the world today and are widely regarded as the sport’s brightest rising superstars.

This year three men – Alcaraz, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic — and three women — Swiatek, Ashleigh Barty and Elena Rybakina — took home the most coveted titles of the year.

With four months to go before the next Grand Slam – and a slew of other tournaments, the ATP and WTA Finals and an all-too-short off-season for first-time players – it’s not too early to guess who will emerge victorious in 2023 while it’s on there are some players – cough, cough, alcaraz and swiatek – who could very well win several big titles next year, we’re limiting each player to just one to keep it interesting.


Australian Open

When: 16-29 January 2023

Where: Melbourne, Australia

Champion 2022: Rafael Nadal and Ashleigh Barty (now retired)

Men’s Winner 2023: Carlo Alcaraz

After Alcaraz’s monumental run in New York and rapid rise to world No. 1, he must be the favorite for the first Grand Slam of the year, especially after proving just how good he can be on hard court.

Over the past two weeks, Alcaraz has showcased his overwhelming athleticism and mental toughness, proving that no lead was too insurmountable – and no rally too challenging. While many players struggled after winning their first Major, Alcaraz never seemed to struggle with pressure or attention. Expect more titles for Alcaraz in 2023, starting with Down Under in January.

Women Winner 2023: Coco Gauff

Ever since she burst onto the scene at the age of 15 in 2019, it seemed all but inevitable that Gauff would one day become a big champion. She was close in 2022, reaching the final at Roland Garros and the quarter-finals at the US Open, and she seems poised for her ultimate breakthrough in 2023. Now in the top 10 for the first time in her career and her game continues improve, Melbourne feels like the perfect place for their first major title.


French Open

When: May 28 – June 11, 2023

Where: Paris

Defending Champion: Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek

Men’s Winner 2023: Rafael Nadal

Nadal’s incredible reign on clay and at Roland Garros will eventually come to an end, but we’re not quite there to call that era over yet. After winning the tournament 14 times, including five in the last six years, the French Open remains Nadal’s best shot at his 23rd Grand Slam title. It will undoubtedly be tough, especially with young players like Alcaraz and runners-up in 2022 Kasper Ruudand with Nadal’s bad luck with injuries, but Nadal remains the favorite until proven otherwise.

Women Winner 2023: Iga Swiatek

As she proved at the US Open and during her 37-match winning streak earlier this season, Swiatek has become a contender on multiple surfaces. But clay remains her preferred and most dominant surface. During the 2022 clay-court season, she won three titles, including at the French Open, losing just two sets during that run. It’s almost impossible to see anyone hitting her in Paris any time soon.


Wimbledon

When: July 3-16, 2023

Where: London

Defending Champion: Novak Djokovic and Elena Rybakina

Men’s Winner 2023: Novak Djokovic

Similar to 2022, much remains uncertain for Djokovic next season due to his unvaccinated status and after the whole deportation thing from Australia last year. Will he be able to enter Australia in January? won’t he? We still don’t know for sure (although it is looks more and more likely). But all things considered, Djokovic has won the last four titles at the All England Club, despite all the chaos of his 2022, and seven in total. The man loves the grass on center court, and it clearly loves him back. If there’s one big title he’s set to win in 2023, it has to be Wimbledon.

Women Winner 2023: Ons Jabeur

Unlike the men, Wimbledon feels wide open for the women at this stage. But Jabeur, who reached the final at both the All England Club and the US Open in 2022, will certainly be looking to avenge her two disappointing Grand Slam runs in the new season. Their varied game is well suited to the turf, and two of their three career titles have surfaced. Jabeur has said she believes she will win a Grand Slam in the future and Wimbledon feels like her best opportunity next season.


US Open

When: 28 Aug-Sept 10th, 2023

Where: new York

Defending Champion: Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek

Men’s Winner 2023: Frances Tiafoe

Is that a recency bias? Absolutely. But Tiafoe had one of the most notable runs at the US Open in recent memory. There was an incredible fourth-round win over Nadal and a straight-set win Andrei Rublev in the quarterfinals, and then in the semifinals he fought Alcaraz with everything he had and forced a decisive set even when it had looked all but over before. Before leaving the pitch after the loss, he told the crowd, “I’m going to come back and win this thing,” and it’s hard to doubt him. For now, let’s tag him as the one who stopped the then 20-year drought among American men for a Grand Slam title.

Women Winner 2023: Simona Halep

Ahead of the 2022 tournament, five of the previous seven US Open women’s champions were first-time big winners, but Swiatek and others at the front of the game have continued to show consistency and it seems like we’ll see a dominant group win for the majority of the titles in the coming years.

Exactly who’s in that group alongside Swiatek remains to be seen, but Halep, a two-time Grand Slam winner and winner of the 1000 Canadian Open in August, certainly could be. She’s had a resurgent streak of late, reaching a semi-final appearance at Wimbledon this summer alongside the Toronto title and was a favorite to enter the 2022 US Open before being handed a shock first-round elimination. Now works with Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams‘, former coach, it wouldn’t be surprising if she lifted another big trophy in 2023. Why not New York?

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