With another exciting season of professional tennis behind us, it’s time to look ahead to 2023, and 10 of the racquet-wielding wonders who could set the game alight in the season ahead. Some of these players are established top-10 names, whilst others are rising stars, tipped for greatness, but all of them are sure to entertain!
If you buy tickets to see one player in 2023, it should probably be Iga Swiatek. The Warsaw native has been in “Pole” position at the top of the WTA singles rankings for much of 2022, a feat which she achieved via 2 Grand Slam wins, at Roland-Garros and the US Open, and a winning streak which lasted a whopping 37 matches! Still only 21 years old, Swiatek has gone from future star to Grand Slam champ in an incredibly short time, and for much of 2022 was the favourite in virtually every match in which she competed. Swiatek’s game is flexible and aggressive; she combines a range of shots throughout matches, allowing her to play a devastating all-court game which often blows opponents away. Although there will be a lot of pressure on her to deliver again in 2023, Swiatek has already shown that she has got what it takes to succeed consistently at the highest level.
Carlos Alcaraz is another young player who has already reached frightening heights. The teenager ended 2022 as the men’s singles number 1, becoming the youngest-ever player to reach the top spot, doing so off the back of a US Open win and titles in Miami and Madrid, among others; his break-out year will mean that 2023 tennis tickets will be in high demand if Alcaraz is playing. Having grown up idolising fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal, it is no surprise that Alcaraz employs a hard-hitting, spin-heavy, physically-demanding game. He also has a few tricks up his sleeve, though, including a deft drop-shot which he can play from anywhere on the court – a shot which surprises opponents and delights crowds! With his career ahead of him and some huge wins against multiple Grand Slam champions already in his back pocket, Carlos Alcaraz might fancy 2023 to be an even better year than 2022.
Ons Jabeur is not just a skilful, entertaining, and successful tennis player, but she is also a history-maker. As the highest-ranked men’s or women’s player of Arab or African heritage ever, Jabeur has completed plenty of tennis firsts, but it is her ability to blaze a trail in an almost effortless manner which makes her a must-watch player. The Tunisian’s game is characterised by unexpected and unorthodox shots, played with devastating accuracy and bamboozling amounts of spin. Ons Jabeur is as pleasing to watch as she is frustrating to play against, and the fact she managed to reach 2 Grand Slam finals in 2022 and finish the year as the number 2 women’s singles player in the world prove her game is as much about substance as style.
Long-touted as one of the next big things, Felix Auger-Aliassime is a young player with a bright future. The 22-year-old Canadian ended 2022 ranked comfortably inside the top-10, but it was his final quarter of the season that enabled him to sit so pretty: not long after winning a match against world number 1 Carlos Alcaraz at the Davis Cup Finals, Auger-Aliassime won 3 tournaments in a row in October – the Firenze Open, the European Open, and the Swiss Indoors Basel – before reaching the semifinals of the Rolex Paris Masters, and qualifying for the ATP Finals. With such a hot streak of form coming at the end of 2022, the 2023 season could be a big one for Auger-Aliassime; his all-court game, strong forehand, and relentless performances make him a formidable and entertaining player.
Coco Gauff burst onto the scene in 2019, when she beat tennis legend Venus Williams in the first round of the Wimbledon Championships, aged just 15 years old. Still only 18, the young American ended 2022 inside the top-10s for both WTA singles and WTA doubles players, having reached the final of Roland-Garros in both draws. Equipped with a strong serve, mental grit, and fantastic court coverage, Gauff is a strong player whether she’s competing solo or with a doubles partner. Her ability to rise-up the rankings in both singles and doubles also nods to her consistency, a difficult thing to master as a younger player. With plenty of big wins still to come, Coco Gauff is definitely one to watch in the new season.
Denmark’s Holger Rune had a fantastic 2022, and is sure to have an even better 2023. The 19-year-old former junior number 1 only broke into the singles top-100 at the beginning of the year, but has ended the season inside the top-10. The young Dane knocked-out talented Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, at Roland-Garros during the first half of the year, but his biggest win came in France in November, when he beat Novak Djokovic in the final to claim the Rolex Paris Masters trophy. It was an incredible victory, and one that characterised Rune’s impressive game; big hitting, relentless running, and tactical astuteness were all on show, and all of these traits combined to bring about a fairy-tale win for one of men’s tennis’ fastest-rising stars.