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Sinner with the Canadian Open title

3 Most improved players in men's tennis in 2023 ft. Jannik Sinner

The tennis season in 2023 culminated with Italy winning their second-ever Davis Cup title, with Jannik Sinner leading the way. Novak Djokovic finished the year as the No. 1, having won three of the four Grand Slams and finishing runner-up in the other.

While the great Serbian’s ruthless efficiency is nothing new, there have been a few other players who have made their mark this season. Carlos Alcaraz won his first Wimbledon title this year, which is almost surely not going to be his last.

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However, in this article, we are going to take a look at three players, who showed great improvements this year by playing well throughout it.

Quite ironically, two of those three players are well past 30 and are enjoying their tennis at this stage of their careers. Let us get on with the list:


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#1. Jannik Sinner:

22-year-old Sinner signed off by winning the Davis Cup for his home nation, Italy, in Malaga. He had to beat the redoubtable Djokovic on his way towards ultimate glory. Before that, he had lost to Djokovic in the final of the Tour Finals.

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Sinner also managed to win his first ATP Masters 1000 title by triumphing at the Canadian Open earlier this year. Even before that, Sinner lost to Daniil Medvedev in the final of the Miami Open after having beaten the then World No. 1, Carlos Alcaraz, in the semifinal.

Sinner reached a career-high ATP Ranking of World No. 4 in October, which is the highest ranking ever achieved by an Italian. His fantastic win-loss record of 64-15 is testimony to the fact that Sinner is the most impressive of all youngsters in tennis after Alcaraz. Winning a slam is something Sinner has not been able to do so far, but one can be hopeful of him breaking that jinx in 2024.


#2. Grigor Dimitrov:

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The 32-year-old Dimitrov has been playing quite superbly of late. He has regularly made deep runs in most of the tournaments he has entered in, the latest being the Paris Masters, where he lost to Djokovic in the final. It has been the case with Dimitrov throughout the year, as he has got tough draws and formidable opponents to deal with.

Given his obvious talent, the Bulgarian has been sort of an underachiever, as he has won only eight ATP singles titles in his career. However, one has to take into account the fact that his career has coincided with those of the Big 3 (Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer). One can safely assume that he probably would have been more successful in any other era.

Dimitrov has seen a surge in his ranking, as he has risen from being the No. 28 to No. 14 this year. Given that he has mostly entered the tournaments with strong fields, his win-loss record of 41-21 this year remains quite creditable.

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#3. Adrian Mannarino:

It is not often that a 35-year-old tennis player features in the list of the most improved ones in a particular season. However, Mannarino has made it possible by displaying great form, especially during the latter parts of the year.

Three of the Frenchman’s five career titles have come this year alone. Admittedly all of them were ATP 250 tournaments. To make things more creditable for him, the titles have come in two separate surfaces (indoor hard and grass).

Mannarino is not a very powerful player, but his fitness and movement on the court remain top-notch. He seems to have aged quite nicely and can indulge in prolonged matches against much younger opponents.

Mannarino’s win-loss record of 43-24 in 2023 was quite special, especially given that he still has a negative career win-loss record of 288-312. The Frenchman jumped from being the No. 46 in the world at the start of the year to being the No. 22. He is not left with too many years at the top and it feels good to see him making the most of his talent during the twilight of his career.

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Edited by
Vaishnavi Iyer
 
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