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Tennis: Three men to watch in 2023

As a scintillating 2022 season draws to a close ahead of the ATP Finals next month, we look ahead to next year and the three men who could make an impression on the ATP Tour.

Tennis undoubtedly entered a transitionary phase in 2022 with the retirement of legend and 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer who bowed out of the sport at the 2022 Laver Cup. 

Rafael Nadal had a blistering start to the year and picked up the Australian Open title before adding the French Open to his collection a few months later, but injury saw him withdraw from Wimbledon at the semi-final stage before being knocked out of the US Open in the fourth round.

Despite Nadal’s double Grand Slam haul it is another Spaniard, and one almost half his age, who is making headlines and rising to the forefront of the sport.

Carlos Alcaraz

19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz enjoyed a breakout year in 2022 and won his maiden Grand Slam at the US Open in New York. 

Alcaraz defeated Casper Ruud to become the youngest champion at Flushing Meadows since Pete Sampras in 1990 and the first man born after the turn of the century to win a major singles title.

The Spaniard also enjoyed an incredible rise in the world rankings in 2022. At the first Slam of the year in Australia he was ranked 31st in the world - after his US Open victory in September he rose to the top of the world rankings, becoming the youngest man to be ranked world No. 1 in tennis history.

The teenager was the ATP Tour’s most consistent player in 2022 as he picked up the most points, the most prize money, the most tournament finals and the most tournament titles. 

Alcaraz is without a doubt the main man to watch in 2023.

Casper Ruud

Norwegian Casper Ruud has enjoyed a steady but strong rise up the world rankings in the past two years and reached a career high of world number two in September.

After previously never progressing past the fourth round at any Grand Slam in his career, Ruud exploded onto the scene in 2022 and reached two finals at both the French and US Open, losing at the final hurdle to Nadal and Alcaraz respectively.

Aged just 23, he is already the highest-ranked Norwegian tennis player in history and has nine ATP Tour titles to his name so far.

Ruud will surely be looking to claim his maiden Grand Slam title in 2023 after coming tantalisingly close twice this year, he could well be the man to challenge the predicted Alcaraz dominance in the years to come.

Taylor Fritz

Taylor Fritz is the highest ranked American in the ATP Rankings and had his most successful year to date in 2022.

The 24-year-old defeated Nadal in the final of Indian Wells to claim his first Masters 1000 title and become the first American to win the title since Andre Agassi in 2001.

Standing at a giant 6ft 5in, Fritz is a powerful player who causes many opponents problems with the power he generates, especially in his service game.

Alongside his win at Indian Wells, Fritz reached three other quarter finals in 2022, most notably at Wimbledon before losing to Nadal in five sets.

Fritz became the first American to break into the top 10 in the world rankings since Jack Sock in 2017 and is currently ranked 8th in the world, quite a climb from being ranked world number 24 in January.

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