Latest Post

La résurrection de Stefanos Tsitsipas Jannik Sinner, on top of the world

This week, the clay season has officially started. At the tournaments in Estoril, Marrakech and Houston, players stepped on clay for the first time in several weeks. Nevertheless, the Monte Carlo master 1000 hasn’t started yet. This prestigious tournament will mark the beginning of the clay season for the greatest players such as Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev or Stefanos Tsitsipas.

This third master 1000 of the year starts off the fascinating European clay swing. It will be followed by the Barcelona Open and the masters in Rome and Madrid. This string of intense weeks will lead to Roland Garros. There is still a long way to go and numerous uncertainties before this very anticipated event.

Embed from Getty Images

The comeback of Novak Djokovic remains one of the most eagerly awaited events of the 2023 season.  After winning the Australian Open with an astonishing and hegemonic tennis, he’ll try to continue the momentum in Europe. Nevertheless, more than two months without playing a single match is a long time. In 2022, the Serb had needed several weeks to play his best level of tennis – even though the situation wasn’t the same. Defeated in the first round of the Monte Carlo master last year, Novak Djokovic will try to clinch the title. Those points could be crucial in his fight against Carlos Alcaraz for the world number one spot. Semi-finalist in Madrid and winner in Rome, the Serb has 1360 points to defend.

One of the main opponents of Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo is Stefanos Tsitsipas. As the winner of the tournament for the past two years, he remains undefeated since 2019. He is the only one to have won back-to-back Monte Carlo titles since Rafael Nadal. Nevertheless, his 2023 track record isn’t convincing. Since his Australian Open final lost against Novak Djokovic, the Greek hasn’t shined. Slowed back by a right shoulder injury, he hasn’t pass through the fourth round of a tournament since January. Having played only four matches in one month in the United-States, his first encounters in Monte Carlo might be tricky. To defend his title for a third consecutive year is crucial to keep the third spot of the rankings and to continue the clay season with confidence. In 2022, he registered 16 wins for a total of 2050 points in a these few weeks. Matching or surpassing his own performance is a tall order but not insurmountable on his preferred surface.

Embed from Getty Images

Daniil Medvedev’s case is special. During his whole career, he has never hidden his hatred for clay: “I don’t want to play on this surface !”,he said in the Madrid Open in 2021. On clay, the balls are slower and the rebound is higher. These characteristics don’t go well with Daniil Medvedev’s game made of flat balls and a high-speed rhythm. Nevertheless, the Russian player has had the best start to a season of his career. To not consider him as one of the main contenders for the Monte Carlo title, and the rest of the clay season, would be a big mistake. Since his loss in the fourth round of the Australian Open against Sebastian Korda, Daniil Medvdev has lost a single match, against Carlos Alcaraz in the finals of Indian Wells. Having won four tournaments in so little time gives him huge confidence. 2023 might be the year for a maiden title on clay for Daniil Medvedev.

While Carlos Alcaraz seemed unbeatable during the Indian Wells fortnight, the dazzling attacks of Jannik Sinner got the better of him in the semi-finals of the Miami Open. In the aftermath, he announced his withdrawal of the Monte Carlo masters. Injured on the left hand and the spine, he’ll have to wait at least two weeks to start his clay court season. This new injury does not bode well for the young Spaniard. His explosive and energetic game does not seem to spare his body. After dazzling the tennis world in the 2022 clay court season, his chances of defending his points seem uncertain. He’ll have to get well soon if he still hopes to keep his titles in Barcelona and Madrid.

Embed from Getty Images

Rafael Nadal’s fate seems even more blurry. Since his hip injury in the second round of the Australian Open, the ‘King of Clay’ hasn’t played a single match on the ATP Tour. After forfeiting for Monte Carlo, he still hasn’t revealed the date for his return to competition. Even if his chances to win a fifteenth Roland Garros title diminish week after week, history shows to never count him out. In 2022, he had only won three matches before arriving in Paris. The rest is history.

Other played might achieve great things during the clay court swing, especially Jannik Sinner. His two finals and one title title 2023 enabled him to re-enter the top 10. Even if he never shined on clay before, the Monte Carlo master might be a first opportunity if he manages to get out of his tricky draw.

Marnie Abbou

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *