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

The elders’ domination has been undeniable during the most prestigious tournaments of 2022: Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open (2/6 6/7 6/4 6/4 7/5 against Daniil Medvedev) as well as the French Open ((6/3 6/3 6/0 against Casper Ruud) and Novak Djokovic was victorious for the fifth consecutive year in Wimbledon (4/6 6/3 6/4 7/6 against Nick Kyrgios). Will the last Grand Slam of the year be the exception? The answer is today, Monday, August 29, at Flushing Meadows in New York.

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This year, Novak Djokovic won’t be seen on the Arthur Ashe Stadium. As he had to retire due to his vaccination status, he’ll have to wait until 2023 to have a chance to win his 22nd Grand Slam. Defeated by Daniil Medvedev (4/6 4/6 4/6) in last year’s finals, the Serbian player won’t be able to defend his points. As of September 11, Djokovic will only have 3 570 points in the ATP rankings compared to 4 770 today. Currently 6th in the world, his survival in the top 10 will depend on the performances of Casper Ruud, Cameron Norrie and Hubert Hurkacz – with few points to defend, they are in an ideal situation.

Currently second in the world, Alexander Zverev is the other headliner missing out on this US Open. The German forfeited because of his ankle injury which hasn’t had enough time to heal since his match against Rafael Nadal in Roland Garros. At the end of the US Open, he will lose his 750 points won last year by losing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals (6/4 2/6 4/6 6/4 2/6). Even if he won’t be able to keep his current second spot, he shouldn’t drop lower than fifth in the world.

The top of the rankings could be shaken up during this fortnight. Rafael Nadal, winner of the two first Grand Slams of the year, is closing in on Daniil Medvedev. As he didn’t participate in the tournament last year, the Spanish couldn’t hope for a better situation: he has no points to lose. The Russian has no choice but to defend his title if he wants a chance to stay number one in the world. Otherwise, his rankings will depend on the performance of ‘Rafa’ who has been nothing but exemplary in every Grand Slam of the year.

There are two other contenders for the number one spot: Carlos Alcaraz and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Respectively seeded third and fourth, winning the championship would allow them to taste new heights. Even if this isn’t the most plausible outcome, underestimating these two talents would be an error. Their last year encounter in front of the New York crowd is the proof (Alcaraz defeated Tsitsipas 6/3 4/6 7/6 0/6 7/6).

Other players could play a decisive role during this US Open. For example, Nick Kyrgios and Borna Coric, who both won a title during this American swing, could be fearsome opponents. As they are not seeded, they could upset top 20 players in early rounds.

Marnie Abbou

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