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2023: A Year of Dramatic Bookends in Tennis

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Italy’s Jannik Sinner’s victory over Alex de Minaur last month enabled the country to win the Davis Cup for the first time in 47 years. Sinner had 20 wins in his last 23 matches, finishing the season with a 64-15 record. He won four tournaments, reached the semifinals at Wimbledon, and came in runner up at the ATP Finals in Turin. While he began 2023 at No. 15, he ended the year at No. 4.

In the face of other top players shunning men’s and women’s team competitions due to scheduling conflicts, the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup still saw some remarkable moments in 2023. Leylah Fernandez led Canada to its first Billie Jean King Cup win, while players like Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff, and Jessica Pegula missed the historically intense finals. Nikolai Djokovic returned to Melbourne Park after being removed from Australia due to his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19, winning his 10th Australian Open title. Djokovic had one of the best seasons of his career, winning seven of the 12 tournaments he played in 2023 and ending the year as world No.1. Additionally, upstarts Ben Shelton and Chris Eubanks were stars. In the women’s domain, Aryna Sabalenka fulfilled her potential by winning her first major at the Australian Open, while Marketa Vondrousova won Wimbledon. Coco Gauff transcended the sport by showing her remarkable character at the U.S. Open. With wins over Sabalenka in the finals, Gauff’s performance left even former major winner Lindsay Davenport in tears.

In what has been a turbulent year with notable player absences and a merry-go-round of format changes, the love for the game is still intact. New young talent like Matteo Arnaldi and Nicholetta Russo in Italy left their mark, showing that the passion for the sport is still going strong.

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Photo credit www.nytimes.com

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