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Tennis: Djokovic perfect, Monfils reborn, Tsitsipas no longer responds… Our class council for the third quarter

Novak Djokovic.

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Tennis: Djokovic perfect, Monfils reborn, Tsitsipas no longer responds… Our class council for the third quarter

Novak Djokovic

What to say ? The perfect quarter. Two tournaments, two trophies. The first in Cincinnati, where the Serbian eliminated some big guns on his way (Davidovich Fokina, Monfils, Fritz and Zverev) before taking his revenge on Carlos Alcaraz after a splendid final. The Spaniard deprived him of his 24th Grand Slam title, in his garden, at Wimbledon, at the end of July. The 24th finally arrives less than a month later, at the US Open. “Nole” only drops two sets in the tournament, in the 3rd round against his compatriot Laslo Djere (4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3). The only fear of a course without eddies at Flushing Meadows, where he benefited from a relatively open part of the table. The world number 1 therefore won three of the four Grand Slam tournaments in 2023. As in 2011, 2015 and 2021. More than ever at the top of the pantheon of this sport.

Also read: Is Novak Djokovic the greatest tennis player of all time?

Jannik Sinner

The young Italian (22 years old) is gaining momentum. If the great performance in the Grand Slam is still awaited (defeat in the round of 16 of the US Open against Alexander Zverev), Jannik Sinner won his very first Masters 1000. A nice run in Toronto where he took out Berrettini, Murray , Monfils and Paul, before crushing Alex de Minaur in the final. His time in Cincinnati is one to forget, with an elimination in the round of 16 against Dusan Lajovic. But no doubt he was a little blunted by his journey in Toronto. Regardless, Sinner proved this quarter that he knows how to win major titles. “Winning this type of tournament is the dream of every tennis player,” he confided after his won final. But I started to believe in it a little more from last year. Because I felt that I had the level to win. I demonstrated it this year, by reaching the finals or semi-finals.”

Daniil Medvedev

The Russian performed less than usual in Canada and Cincinnati, two tournaments he has already won in the past (2019 and 2021). Alex de Minaur and Alexander Zverev were his tormentors this year, in the quarter and then the eighth. But by reaching the final of the US Open, his first Grand Slam since the 2022 Australian Open, Daniil Medvedev reminded us that we must always count on him. At Flushing Meadows, he especially dismissed the title holder Carlos Alcaraz, whom he had not beaten since the 2021 edition of Wimbledon. “Of course Daniil is there. He is still there, explains the Spaniard about his opponent. I am convinced that we will find ourselves again in the last rounds of the major tournaments. In each of our matches, we played very good points and fought great battles. So yes, I think it will be a great rivalry.

Also readUS Open: “What are you still doing here”, Medvedev’s tribute to Djokovic

Carlos Alcaraz

No trophies during the North American tour. An incongruity in a player who has accustomed us to snatching everything in his path. But his quarter remains very solid, with a quarter-final in Toronto, a final in Cincinnati and a semi-final at the US Open. “I thought I was a better player, capable of finding solutions when the match is not going the right way,” analyzes the Spaniard with two Grand Slam titles after his defeat against Daniil Medvedev at Flushing Meadows. But after this match, I will have to rethink my position: I am not mature enough to handle these kinds of matches. I have to learn from it” There is no doubt that with such a state of mind, the young Murcian (20 years old) will come back stronger. If that’s even possible.

Ben Shelton

The one who never left the United States last year gained experience and maturity during his world tour. Before returning to form on his land. Beaten by stronger players than him in Toronto (defeat in the 16th round against Carlos Alcaraz) and Cincinnati (defeat in the 16th round against Stefanos Tsitsipas), the 20-year-old Atlanta native created a surprise at the US Open by winning the last square. Her phone call celebration caused a buzz after her quarter-final success against her compatriot Frances Tiafoe. Celebration resumed in the semi-final by Novak Djokovic, his bedroom executioner. Before the final sprint, the powerful left-hander can be proud of his season. Promising.

Gaël Monfils

The 37-year-old Frenchman has had a series of tournaments on hard, a surface that he particularly appreciates. Round of 16 in Washington, quarter in Toronto, eighth in Cincinnati, 2nd round at the US Open. Very good results for a player who missed seven months of competition between 2022 and 2023 due to a right foot injury. “La Monf'” has especially put some pretty names on its list, including Alexander Bublik, Stefanois Tsitsipas, Christopher Eubanks, Alex de Minaur and Cameron Norrie. In addition to rewarding the public with some spectacular points of which he has the secret.

Andrey Rublev

As is often the case, the 25-year-old Russian failed to make it past the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam. Daniil Medvedev appeared much stronger at Flushing Meadows (6-4, 6-3, 6-3). A real glass ceiling. Otherwise, his third quarter is mediocre. Rublev was taken out in the round of 16 in Toronto and Cincinnati, first by Mackenzie Mc Donald, then by Emil Ruusuvuori. Two opponents well within his reach. The Muscovite has been living in the top 10 for too long without really getting closer to the top. He should still get his ticket for the Masters at the end of his season. In the meantime, he has just won the UTS, an exhibition tournament initiated by Patrick Mouratoglou.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

The Greek no longer responds. Three early eliminations, from his entry into contention in Toronto (against Gaël Monfils), in the eighth in Cincinnati (against Hubert Hurkacz) and in the 2nd round at the US Open (against Dominic Stricker). A real slump for the man who reached the final of the Australian Open at the start of the year. To make matters worse, Tsitsipas has just been tamed by the Slovak Alex Molcan, 113th in the world, in the Davis Cup. He who is keen to compete in the Masters at the end of the year will have to work extra hard to secure his place in the eight best players of the year. The Greek is currently sixth, but with little lead over Holger Rune, Alexander Zverev, Taylor Fritz or even Casper Ruud, in ambush.

Also read US Open: Federer, Whitney Houston, Roland-Garros... 5 things to know about Dominic Stricker, Tsitsipas's scorer and Bonzi's opponent

Holger Rune

The Dane has simply not won a match since Wimbledon. The fault is back pain. At 20 years old, his thirst for success is great, but Holger Rune could perhaps have had the maturity to take time to rest for the final sprint. His defeats in the first rounds of the three tournaments played (Toronto, Cincinnati, US Open) certainly did not do his morale any good, in addition to penalizing him in the Race. He has just withdrawn from the Laver Cup (September 22-24 in Vancouver). Wise decision.

Casper Ruud

The Norwegian has been running at full speed in 2022. In comparison, his 2023 season is very disappointing for the moment, despite another final at Roland-Garros. The Oslo native lost in the round of 16 in Toronto, in the round of 16 in Cincinnati and in the second round at the US Open, a tournament where he reached the final last season. Ruud will have to rectify the situation during the Asian tour and at Bercy at the end of October if he wants to have a chance of being in the eight who will compete in the Masters. He is currently 10th in the Race.

Happy Auger-Also

The Canadian's cataclysmic season continues. Unable to stop his negative spiral, the Montreal native only won one match on the entire North American tour (against Matteo Berrettini in Cincinnati). As a result of the races, Felix Auger-Aliassime moves away from the top 10 in the ATP rankings and is already completely out of the running for the end-of-season Masters (54th in the race). “It’s a passage that I experienced with Félix when he was 14,” says his father Sam Aliassime. He had a knee problem, and we spent six months struggling before really returning to competition. But the dad says he is “not afraid”, because “the morale is there”.

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