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Wimbledon Debentures' ATP end of season Awards



Player of the Year: Novak Djokovic

Well, this was a tough decision.


The Serbian magician finishes 2023 as the year end world number one, with seven titles, including the Australian, French, and US Open. He recorded just six losses all year on the ATP circuit, with his only real disappointment coming in the Wimbledon final against Carlos Alcaraz.


At the age of 36, it is incredibly rare to see any sportsmen dominate in such a way. Many could mistake this dominance with a lack of competition in the rest of the circuit, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, the talent and skill of players like Alcaraz, Sinner, Rune and Medvedev are what has propelled Djokovic into producing some of his best tennis in the so called ‘twilight’ of his career.

 

Match of the Year: Wimbledon Final Carlos Alcaraz vs Novak Djokovic 1-6, 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 

Carlos Alcaraz’s remarkable 4hr42min Wimbledon final victory over Novak Djokovic, will go down as one of the most remarkable maiden Wimbledon victories of all time.


In what was only his third appearance at Wimbledon, the Spanish superstar became the first man in 10 years to defeat Djokovic on Centre Court and did so with the style and composure of a season veteran.


After dropping the first set 6-1 it looked dire for Alcaraz, but he demonstrated his remarkable resolve and versatility to win the next two sets. Despite Djokovic rallying back in set 4, Alcaraz held his nerve and outplayed his veteran rival with some astonishing tennis in the final set, claiming his second grand slam title, one he will never forget.

 



 

Breakthrough Player: Jannik Sinner/ Ben Shelton

A breakthrough season can mean a variety of things. For some it is the arrival of a tennis player from relative obscurity to the forefront of public consciousness, while for the other it can mean the rising of one’s game to such a level that they are now considered amongst the best players in the world.


Hence why there are two players who have won this award.


Ben Shelton’s first full year on tour saw two fantastic grand slam runs sandwiched either side of some rather underwhelming performances at the French Open and Wimbledon.


That said, his performances on the hard courts of Australia and America have enamoured him to fans around the world.


His powerful serve and entertaining demeaner on court has made him a fan favourite, and victory at the Tokyo Open in October proved that Shelton can bring results to go with the hype.

 



The other winner of our breakthrough award is the Italian sensation Jannik Sinner. Unlike Shelton, Sinner was well known within the tennis world before 2023, but his lack of titles meant that many wondered if he was on the same level as the likes of Djokovic and Alcaraz.


2023 provided a rather definitive answer.


After a shaky start to the season, Sinner’s second half of 2023 was spectacular. Picking up his first Masters 1000 title in Toronto, he then followed this up with victories against Medvedev in both the Beijing and Vienna Open finals.


A run to the Tour Finals final, and Davis Cup victory with team Italy, capped of a remarkable end to the season for Sinner, who ended 2023 with a record of 2-2 against Djokovic and 2-1 against Alcaraz.


It seems that Sinner’s power and consistency has increased this year and he has well and truly broken through as one of the best players in the world.

 

 

Underrated Season: Daniil Medvedev

With the rise of Alcaraz and Sinner and the dominance of Djokovic, many people may have forgotten Daniil Medvedev in 2023.


But the world number three produced a number of exceptional results in 2023, including winning his first clay court tournament at the Rome Masters, and picking another Masters win in Miami.


Medvedev reached more ATP finals than anyone else in 2023, and although he didn’t manage a Grand Slam, did produce deep runs at Wimbledon and the US Open.


All and all, his five titles made it a very decent year on tour for Daniil Medvedev.

 

 

Rivalry of the Year: Medvedev vs Sinner

Sinner and Medvedev met five times in 2023, with four of those being finals, and the other a semi-final.


Medvedev claimed the first two matches, including the Miami Masters, but it was Sinner who got the better of their final three encounters, including the finals of Beijing and Vienna.


The pair always seemed to produce an astonishing quality of tennis every time they met and their match in the final of the Vienna Open was perhaps the finest of the bunch.


Sinner started 2023 without a tour victory over Medvedev. Now with three under his belt he will feel even more confident in his status as one of the best players around.    



 

Shot of the Year: Alcaraz vs Djokovic French Open Semi-Final

Another difficult decision, but Carlos Alcaraz’s incredible shot against Djokovic in the Roland Garros semi-final takes the crown.


After Djokovic played a well place drop shot, Alcaraz could merely pop the ball back on Djokovic’s side of the net leaving the whole court exposed. Djokovic accepted the supposed gift of the empty court and volleyed the ball for what seemed like a routine point victory.


But Alcaraz demonstrated extreme speed and shot placement to reach the ball just before its second bounce and at full stretch hooked it around a helplessly stunned Djokovic.


Truly a shot that needs to be seen to be believed.




 

Player to Watch in 2024: Arthur Fils

Obviously the afore mentioned Sinner and Shelton will no doubt take the tennis world by storm next year, but another young player whom I believe will announce themselves on tour in 2024 is Arthur Fils.


At only 19, the young man has already risen to number 36 in the world rankings. Well-equipped off both wings, and lightning around the court, Fils will no doubt make a mark in 2024, with perhaps his breakthrough moment occurring at the French Open.

 



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