Carlos Alcaraz reaches number 1, Novak Djokovic extends Wimbledon regime: Q3 Review | TBEN | Tennis


The third quarter of the 2022 TBEN season saw the emergence of the youngest World No. 1, a familiar face lifting the Wimbledon trophy, and a pair of first-time ATP Masters 1000 champions.

An action-packed season on the lawn saw Matteo Berrettini and Nick Kyrgios deliver a host of standout performances, but it ended with Novak Djokovic taking his fourth straight title on the lawn major. The move to the North American hard courts in August saw Pablo Carreno Busta and Borna Coric claim their first ATP Masters 1000 titles, before Carlos Alcaraz lifted his first Grand Slam crown in style at the US Open in September for first place. reachable in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. reflects on all that and more from an exciting few months on the TBEN.


Alcaraz on top of the world
Despite his promising fourth-round run at Wimbledon being ended by his #NextGenATP rival Jannik Sinner, Alcaraz dramatically broke the Grand Slam code at the US Open, where the 19-year-old won his first major title after a high. bet championship match confrontation against Casper Ruud.

With the winner in New York going to claim both their first Grand Slam title and the No. 1 spot in the Pepperstone ATP rankings for the first time, it was the #NextGenATP Spaniard who ultimately triumphed. Alcaraz won in four sets, despite spending 20 hours and 19 minutes on the field in six games at Flushing Meadows en route to the final.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid,” Alcaraz said. “To be the No. 1 in the world, to become a Grand Slam champion is something I have worked very, very hard for. [for].”

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Alcaraz had already confirmed his qualification for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time by reaching the quarter-finals in New York. He now leads his compatriot Rafael Nadal’s Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin, who became the first player to qualify for the November season finale with his second round win over Flushing Meadows.

Despite his disappointment in the championship game, Ruud looked back fondly on his two weeks in New York, which takes him to a career-high No. 2 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings. “I am very proud to be number 2,” said the Norwegian. “In a way it’s a good thing because I can still chase the last spot.”

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Seventh heaven for Novak on SW19
Novak Djokovic made his move in the Grand Slam title race by taking his 22nd major title at Wimbledon in early July, just one short of Nadal’s record. The Serb defeated Sinner, Cameron Norrie and Kyrgios on his way to his fourth straight win in London, where he now holds a match record of 86-10.

The seven-time No. 1 at the end of the year in London was not without tense moments, not least when he chased Sinner for two sets before taking an inspired comeback win in the quarter-finals. The 35-year-old’s seventh title at SW19 puts him within a record set by Roger Federer, and Djokovic looked eager for more after beating Kyrgios in four sets in the final. “Every time it becomes more meaningful and special,” he said. “So I’m very blessed and very grateful to be here with the trophy.”

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Novak Djokovic celebrates his comeback win against Jannik Sinner at Wimbledon. Photo credits: Sebastien Bozon/Getty Images

Berrettini finds Grass-Court Groove
Another man to enjoy the grass in 2022 was Berrettini, who returned to the surface in style in June after not playing for three months due to a hand injury. The Italian defeated Andy Murray to triumph at the BOSS OPEN in Stuttgart, before successfully defending his Cinch Championships title a week later at London’s Queen’s Club, his seventh tour-level crown.

Despite being frustrated with being forced to miss Wimbledon due to Covid-19, Berrettini can look back with fondness on a grass season in which he won all nine of his matches to improve his career record on the surface to 32-6, a display that cast some doubt around his injury recovery to bed. “I arrived in Stuttgart and didn’t feel great,” Berrettini said, looking back after lifting the trophy in London. “I didn’t hit the ball the way I wanted and I was like, ‘Guys, I think it’s going to be difficult’. But it went pretty well!”

Red-Hot Kyrgios doubles in DC
A grass season full of promising performances from Kyrgios culminated in the Australian reaching his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon, though he ultimately fell short in his efforts to prevent Djokovic from moving to his seventh crown at SW19.

Kyrgios immediately recovered from that disappointment when his North American hard court season began in August at the Citi Open in Washington, DC. The stunning Australian claimed his seventh TBEN title with victory in the American capital, where he also won the doubles crown alongside Jack Sock. “It’s just very emotional for me,” Kyrgios said after his singles win. “To see where I was so far last year is just an incredible transformation. I just came out with a lot of energy.”

Wins over then world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev in both Montreal and the US Open were also highlights of an impressive stretch for 27-year-old Kyrgios, who went 26-7 across the grass and North American hard courts to ascend to No. 20 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings, after being No. 78 in early June.

Carreno Busta Masters Montreal
Carreno Busta’s candid description of 2022 as ‘one of the worst years’ of his career may have required some re-evaluation from the Spaniard after he stringed together an inspired run of performances to claim his first ATP Masters 1000 crown at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers In Montreal.

Berrettini, Sinner and Hubert Hurkacz were among those swept aside by the 31-year-old on the Canadian hard court in August. “It’s a great feeling to be a Masters 1000 winner,” said Carreno Busta after beating Hurkacz in three sets in the final. “It’s definitely the best title of my career and I don’t know how I feel right now.”

Coric Born-a Again in Cincinnati
It was a long and painful road to his third TBEN title for former world No. 12 Coric. The Croat underwent shoulder surgery in May 2021 and entered the draw at this year’s Western & Southern Open in August with a protected ranking after missing most of last season due to his recovery.

A week later, Coric was an ATP Masters 1000 champion, having stormed to the title in Cincinnati for the loss of just one set. The 25-year-old defeated Nadal, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Norrie en route to the final, where he won an emotional championship match against Stefanos Tsitsipas. It was the first tour-level title since 2018 for Coric, who revealed that he now has to devote an extra 30 to 90 minutes a day to prepare his shoulder for the rigors of life on the Tour.

Kohlschreiber, Querrey, Soares Wave Goodbye
Eight-time Tour titlist Philipp Kohlschreiber ended his 20-year career after failing to qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon in June. “The funny thing is I really wasn’t going to announce it… I wasn’t going to go to Wimbledon and maybe, maybe not say,” said the German, who reached a career high of number 16. in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2012 and was a constant presence in the Top 100 between March 2006 and February 2021. “It was exactly that day that I felt, ‘OK, it’s time’.”

Former World No. 11 Sam Querrey also retired after a first round fall at the US Open. The well-serving American won 10 tour-level singles trophies during his career and racked up an impressive 23 wins against Top 10 opponents. “I was a pretty good big game player,” said Querrey, whose last game was against Ilya Ivashka in New York. “I feel like the better the opponent, the better I played and… [I] great victories.”

An illustrious double career also ended at Flushing Meadows, where six-time Grand Slam champion Bruno Soares announced the tournament would be his last on Tour. The Brazilian was hugely popular with fans and fellow players alike. He won 545 tour-level matches and finished 2016 as half of the No. 1 doubles team at the end of the year, alongside Jamie Murray.

Ram/Salisbury takes hard court honors
Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury found their form on the North American hard courts to cement their status as one of the game’s preeminent duos. American Ram and Briton Salisbury won their third ATP Masters 1000 trophy in Cincinnati in August before repeating the feat at the US Open, where they were the defending champions.

Those successes qualified Ram and Salisbury for the fourth consecutive year for the November Nitto ATP Finals. The duo they defeated in the US Open championship game, Pepperstone ATP Live Doubles Teams Rankings leaders and Montreal champions Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, were already the first team to secure their spot on the season-closing showpiece with the first-round victory. in New York City.