With another blockbuster year of tennis concluded all eyes turn to the 2023 Australian Open and the star-studded roster already confirmed. Let’s take a look at the 6 players who aim to make a splash in Melbourne below.
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Denmark’s wonder kid Holger Rune had a brilliant 2022 and is on the tip of many tennis fans’ tongues as he enters the new year with a spring in his step. The 19-year-old broke into the singles top-100 at the start of the year and has finished the year in the remarkable 11 position.
The young Dane put Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas to the sword at the Roland Garros, but the teenager’s biggest win came against Novak Djokovic in the Rolex Paris Masters final as he vanquished the titan to claim the trophy.
Rune’s powerful forehands, relentless stamina and tennis intelligence arm the Danish player with a dangerous arsenal of weapons and is one of the men’s fastest-rising stars.
Alcaraz detonated the tennis ecosystem in 2022 becoming the new world no.1 and winning a plethora of accolades including a maiden US Open Grand Slam.
The Spanish Starlet has been touted to be the future of men’s tennis and it seems as if he has lived up to the billing as the teenager ascended in mighty fashion to win 5 accolades over 2022.
Alcaraz punished Casper Rudd in the US Open final showcasing to the world that he is here to do business. Alcaraz left an indelible mark at Flushing Meadows and also added Miami, Rio, Barcelona and Madrid Masters silverware to his trophy cabinet over the year. Alcaraz comes into Melbourne as one of the favorites to secure the trophy.
Jack Draper exploded from obscurity this year cementing himself as one of Britain’s most exciting young prospects. Draper, who is only 21 years old, played some wondrous court craft at the 2022 US Open. The Brit was forced to retire in the third round but notably bulldozed Felix Auger Aliassime in straight sets in the previous round.
Draper is already being dubbed as the “lefty howitzer” and has showcased his weaponry over 2022. Draper was ranked 303rd this time last year and now sits at the no. 42 spot in the men’s ATP rankings (a 261 spot rise). The Brit’s 136mph serve and spellbinding ground game surely will elevate the Sutton-born Brit over the Australian Open and 2023 season.
Gauff burst onto the scene in 2019, when she shocked the world and beat tennis heavyweight Venus Williams in the first round of Wimbledon, aged just 15 years old. Aged still only 18, the young American ended 2022 ranked 7th in the WTA rankings.
The American is still on the hunt for an elusive Grand Slam win, after falling short this year, reaching the final of Roland Garros but ultimately losing to in-form Iga Swiatek.
Equipped with a huge serve, strong mental fortitude, and an eye for the baseline, Gauff is a top player who will crack the WTA 2023 wide open. At such a young age, Gauff still has plenty of time to secure the titles she is chasing.
The Polish powerhouse really turned up the heat in 2022, winning both the French Open and US Open, a winning streak that lasted a whopping 37 matches and securing the no.1 spot and she is only 21-years-old.
Swiatek remained the favorite at virtually every competition and supplanted kingpin Ash Barty after her shock retirement. Swiatek’s game is flexible and very aggressive and has the gas tank to outlast even the fittest in the game. Although there will be a lot of pressure on Warsaw-born no.1 to deliver again in 2023, she has shown what it takes to get the job done.
Tennis maverick Kyrgios is one of the most frustrating players to watch. The Australian is one of the most gifted tennis players to wield a racket but has had a rollercoaster of a career.
A finalist at Wimbledon in 2o22, Kyrgios had one of his best years’ on the court, nailing his anger demons and playing some truly tantalising tennis. One of the favorites this year at the Australian Open, Kyrgios will look to double down on 2023 at the ripe age of 27.
The loquacious Aussie has the best serve in tennis and one of the most explosive baseline games on the tour. The towering Canberra-born player can turn it on in a heartbeat and completely nullify an opponent with his mind games and aggressive courtcraft.
Ranked 93rd this time last year, Kyrgios has knuckled down and punched his ticket back to the top flirting with the top 20 positions again. The Australian bad boy will be one to watch this year and will be hunting a maiden Grand Slam.
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