Maybe we're really heading for what we've inappropriately dubbed Next Gen in recent years without really understanding it. Not surprisingly, despite the arrival of the millennials, the pre- and post-Covid circuit remained firmly in the hands of Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Things remained more or less the same until Wimbledon over the course of a rather strange season, but one that ended differently. Time will be a gentleman, as always, between the ATP Finals and the season finale in Australia in 2023 what were alarm bells could become sirens.
We could start with the victory of Carlos Alcaraz in New York, the extraordinary career of Félix Auger Aliassime under the roof, but above all with Holger Rune. That he had started the season ranked 103rd in the world and that, thanks to his success at Paris-Bercy, he not only became the first player in history to beat five Top 10 players in the same tournament, but also guaranteed a position as first reserve in Turin.
Among other things, him beating five of the top ten players in the world and Stan Wawrinka in the first round. In short: one of the most striking figures, although presumably influenced by the absence of Novak Djokovic in the United States, undoubtedly refers to the Masters.
Taking into account that the Serbian phenomenon would have reached seven in Paris and a total of thirty-nine in his career. In the 2022 season there were five different "new" champions in the nine tournaments in total. The only one who won more than one title was Alcaraz, who after Miami triumphed at home, in Madrid.
Among the surprises of the season is undoubtedly Taylor Fritz -who benefited from the resignation of the world number one to qualify for the finals-, but also Pablo Carreño Busta in Canada, Borna Coric in Cincinnati and Rune in Paris-Bercy.
Djokovic is still motivated
In light of this, Steve Flink recently spoke with David Bellinson on a podcast about Novak Djokovic's semifinal match with Tsitsipas. "Novak hadn't lost a set all week, and he was on his winning streak too.
He had won his last three tournaments, going back to Wimbledon and two in a row in the autumn. He didn't lose a set coming into Tsitsipas and that was an interesting match because he won the first set really comfortably 6-2, then had a 0-30 opening at the start of the second set," Flink said.
"Stefanos got out of that game, started waving his arms up with the crowd, he really played with the crowd and I don't say that grudgingly, I think it was wise because he wanted to let the crowd react, to use a little boost there, 'help me out', and they did.
They really got behind him and Novak. You could see that he was a little bit jarred by that. He wasn't angry, he just was a little more low-key, a little less confident," he added.