ATP Winners: Novak Djokovic and four other players who had a fine 2023 season
Another ATP Tour season is in the bag and what a season it was, especially if your name is Novak Djokovic.
While Djokovic has rightly taken the plaudits and the bulk of the spotlight, there were plenty of other fantastic stories and successes along the way for other players.
So, who have been the big winners on the ATP Tour in 2023? Here are five who have cause to be very pleased with their work over the last 12 months.
Sometimes you just have to applaud greatness. For whatever reason, that has not always been easy for some tennis fans with Djokovic, but that is an argument for another day. The short version is that it should not just be easy to applaud but considered a total privilege to witness.
2023 has seen Djokovic pull off as close to a perfect season as we are ever likely to see.
The Serbian played just 12 tournaments this year and won seven titles. Three of those came at the Grand Slams with him losing in the final of the other. He also won the ATP Finals.
This season has been one in which Djokovic has rewritten the tennis record book as well. He has taken the outright lead in career Grand Slams, took the record for most ATP Finals titles, extended his record for year-end world number ones, and became the first man in history to win 40 Masters and spend 400 weeks at the top of the rankings.
Carlos Alcaraz had a breakout year for the ages in 2022 and that meant the pressure cranked up even more to repeat it.
Repeating it is exactly what he has done, though. The 20-year-old might have lost his world number one spot but that was more to do with Djokovic’s brilliance than anything Alcaraz did wrong.
He certainly did nothing wrong at Wimbledon, where he produced some simply stunning tennis to beat Djokovic in the match of the year and win a second career major.
That was one of six titles, with at least one coming on all three surfaces. It would have been an outstanding year for anyone, but for someone as young as Alcaraz it was even more special.
Jannik Sinner has never been a secret in tennis. Everyone has known for a long time that he is a special talent.
Heading out of 2023, though, the question everyone is wondering now is whether the Italian is actually a generational talent. With good reason too.
Coach Darren Cahill has worked on previous weaknesses like his net game and he has had a remarkable season, beating Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev twice each over the course of the season.
Sinner finished the year in the top four, with four titles and a Davis Cup success to his name. He doesn’t look like he’s going to do anything other than improve even more in 2024 too.
Jannik Sinner’s 2023:
– Davis Cup champion
– ATP Finals runner-up
– New career-high of #4
– First Masters 1000 title
– First Grand Slam semifinal
– First wins over Djokovic, Medvedev, Rune
– Gucci modeling deal
– Won point of the year
– Got himself the coolest fan army in sports pic.twitter.com/OANp8XP3i4
— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) November 26, 2023
If there is one player that ATP fans are talking about now who wasn’t really on the radar a year ago, it’s Ben Shelton.
The American finished 2022 ranked number 96 in the world, and at that point few would have really tipped him for the rise he has since achieved.
He reached the semi-finals of the US Open, beating players like Dominic Thiem, Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe along the way.
Since them, he was part of the victorious Team World at the Laver Cup and won a maiden ATP Tour title in Tokyo. As a result, he will finish the year inside the top 20 and looking to make further inroads in 2024.
On the face of it, there is little that looks particularly impressive about Alexander Zverev’s 2023 season. He has a record of 55-27 and won just two titles – neither of which were above ATP 500 level.
However, context is always vital, and the truth is that Zverev’s season could have easily gone very differently.
He came into it on the back of a serious foot injury and he wouldn’t have been the first player to struggle to get wins under his belt after a long time out of the game.
He has regained his position in the top ten, though, and more importantly given himself a platform from which to kick on again in 2024.
Read >> World’s best tennis magazine