The 2021 season was filled with incredible moments for tennis fans, and the majors all provided some brilliant matchups and big surprises. With 2022 just around the corner, the Australian Open will be upon us before we know it and we will be prepared for another big season of grand-slam tennis. With the 2021 season giving us the incredible story of Emma Raducanu lifting the US Open Championship, fans will be looking for the next big story in the tennis world. Those looking to place a bet on any of the four majors can do so with the operators found at Compare.bet. Here we look at the men and women with hopes of taking home a major this season, including the big favourites and some outside chances too.
Novak Djokovic is undoubtedly one of the all-time greats of the sport and has been ranked number one in the world for a record 351 weeks. The Serb won three of the four grand-slams last year, but ended the season on a bit of a downswing, being defeated by Daniil Medvedev in the US Open. 2021 was a year full of records for Djokovic, and was one of the greatest calendar years in the history of the men’s game but even so it will be a year that Djokovic will harbour some regrets about. He failed to win the Olympic gold, the US open and the Davis Cup, and will be hoping to bounce back with even more dominance in 2022. If he manages to win his 21st grand slam, he will become the man with the most major victories ever, overtaking long term rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Former British No. 1 Greg Rusedski said he expects Djokovic to do exactly that this season, and by the end of his career, go past Serena Williams’ tally of 23, and potentially reach an all-time record of 25. He told Express Sport: “If he wins in Australia, he gets to 21, you’ve got to think he’s probably going to win two in the calendar year. So that’s 22 already. Year after that, then he wins one or two more so 23. [He will end on] Anything between 23 and 25.”
Alexander Zverev has come close to winning his first major a few times, and after his Olympic gold this year, the 24-year-old is tipped to have a big year. Former world No. 1 and tennis legend Justine Henin believes this may be the year for the German. She told Eurosport: “It’s going to be very interesting to see how everybody handles it. Daniil Medvedev is taking off. Zverev – it will be the year for him. I think he’s ready to go for a Grand Slam in 2022, obviously we’ll still have to see how he does over the five-set question, but you get the feeling that at some point, it’s going to work out for him. He has taken on a new dimension.” He will certainly be a big rival of Djokovic, and he goes into the season in great form, winning the ATP Tour finals at the end of November.
When Daniil Medvedev beat Djokovic in the US Open, many said it could have been the ushering in of a new era in men’s tennis. The 25-year-old failed to topple the Serb in last year’s Australian Open, but managed to expel his demons with victory in Flushing Meadows. The Russian is ranked second in the world and is hotly tipped to take Djokovic’s spot at the top of the tree in the men’s game.
What a year it was for Emma Raducanu. The 19-year-old made her grand slam debut as a complete unknown, making the fourth round before having to retire due to breathing difficulties. But it was the US Open she really announced herself, dramatically winning the whole tournament, becoming the first ever qualifier to win a grand slam in the open era. Fans will have to temper expectations for Raducanu, as she will be making her first appearances at the Australian Open and at Roland Garros and she can’t win every time she steps on the court. Even so, 2022 will be a big year for the teenage Brit and she will be hoping to back up a magical year with consistent strong finishes in the majors, and she will certainly be targeting a second grand slam win when Wimbledon rolls around, to become the first female home winner in SW19 since Virginia Wade in 1977.
Ash Barty ended 2021 as the World No. 1 for the third consecutive year, and the Australian will be hoping to continue her good form in the 2022 season. The reigning Wimbledon Champion will be aiming to take home her home major next month in the Australian Open, which she is yet to win. Her third round loss in the US Open to Shelby Rogers was a big surprise, as many tipped her to win the title, and she will aim to bounce back for the beginning of the grand slam calendar.
Aryana Sabalenka has yet to make it past the semi finals in a grand slam in her career, but as the world No. 2, she has shown flashes of brilliance in her career so far. At just 23 years of age, the Belarussian still hasn’t hit her peak, and 2021 was a big year for her, as she put some of the fears she was incapable of performing at grand slams to rest. With two semi finals appearances last year, one at Wimbledon where she beat Elena Rybakina and Ons Jabeur before falling in a closely contested match to Karolina Pliskova. She then backed up at the US Open, beating Danielle Collins, Elise Mertens and the French Open champion, Barbora Krejcikova before losing to Leylah Fernandez. Many are expecting her to take the next step in 2021, and make the final of, and possibly even win a major.