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2022 Tennis Season Annual Review

2022 was a year-packed full of action, with glorious comebacks, controversy, legends of the game retiring and new faces making their mark.

Comeback for the ages by Nadal, Barty goes out on top

The season began in Australia, with the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open. 9-time champion Novak Djokovic was dramatically refused entry into the country, having not been vaccinated. Despite missing the second half of 2021 due to injury, Nadal reached the Final. He would face Daniil Medvedev, who beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Semi Finals. In the Final, Nadal produced a stunning comeback from two sets and break points down to win in five sets and win his second Australian Open title.

On the women’s side, one player dominated for the entire fortnight. Home favourite Ash Barty did not drop a set all tournament, beating Danielle Collins in the Final. It would be her last tournament, as a few months later she would shock the tennis world by announcing her retirement aged just 25.

There were two new ATP Masters 1000 champions: Taylor Fritz in Indian Wells, and Carlos Alcaraz in Miami, the latter at just 18 years of age. There was also a new world number 1, as Daniil Medvedev reached the summit of the men’s game. Jelena Ostapenko won the WTA 1000 title in Dubai, and Iga Swiatek won both Indian Wells and Miami, which meant she became the new world number 1.

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Nadal reigns in Paris again, Swiatek dominates

It was then time for the clay, and Stefanos Tsitsipas successfully defended his title in Monte Carlo. Carlos Alcaraz continued his rapid rise by beating Nadal and Djokovic in Madrid to win the title on home soil, and Djokovic won his first title of the year in Rome. Ons Jabeur won the WTA 1000 title in Madrid, and Iga Swiatek beat her to win the Rome title.

In the second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal faced off in the Quarter Finals, with the Spaniard taking the win. Alcaraz, the tournament favourite for some, was beaten by Zverev. Nadal and Zverev played out a high-quality Semi Final until the German had to retire due to an ankle injury. He wouldn’t play again competitively in 2022. Nadal beat Casper Ruud in the Final to secure a 14th French Open title.

There was another dominant woman at a Grand Slam in Paris: Iga Swiatek. She was unbeatable all tournament, beating Cori Gauff in the Final to win her second French Open title.

Djokovic unbeatable at Wimbledon, new female Grand Slam winner

Wimbledon announced that they would be banning Russian and Belarusian players due to the Ukraine conflict, with other prior tournaments allowing them to compete under no flag. The ATP and WTA subsequently stripped the event of ranking points. That didn’t mean there wasn’t a high level of tennis, however, particularly in a spicy encounter between Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios went on to win the match and reach a first Grand Slam Final. Britain’s Cameron Norrie made a run to the Semi Finals, but was beaten by Djokovic. The Serb and Kyrgios played out an exciting Final, with Djokovic winning in four sets.

Top seed Swiatek’s 37 match winning streak was ended in the Third Round by Alize Cornet in straight sets. Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan won her first Grand Slam title, beating Jabeur from a set down in the Final.

Alcaraz reaches the top of the world, Serena bows out

Onto the US hard courts, and there were two more first-time Masters 1000 winners: Pablo Carreno Busta in Montreal, and Borna Coric in Cincinnati, who was outside of the top 100 before the event. Simona Halep won Toronto, and Carolina Garcia won Cincinnati.

The final Grand Slam of the year was the US Open. Djokovic was unable to enter the country due to vaccination laws. Defending champion Medvedev was beaten by Kyrgios in the Fourth Round, meaning he would lose the world number 1 ranking. Alcaraz survived three five-setters in a row to make a first Grand Slam final, where he would play Ruud for a first Grand Slam title and the world number 1 ranking. Alcaraz would win the match in four sets to cap a truly remarkable year.
2022 Season Review

2022 was a year-packed full of action, with glorious comebacks, controversy, legends of the game retiring and new faces making their mark.

Comeback for the ages by Nadal, Barty goes out on top

The season began in Australia, with the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open. 9-time champion Novak Djokovic was dramatically refused entry into the country, having not been vaccinated. Despite missing the second half of 2021 due to injury, Nadal reached the Final. He would face Daniil Medvedev, who beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Semi Finals. In the Final, Nadal produced a stunning comeback from two sets and break points down to win in five sets and win his second Australian Open title.

On the women’s side, one player dominated for the entire fortnight. Home favourite Ash Barty did not drop a set all tournament, beating Danielle Collins in the Final. It would be her last tournament, as a few months later she would shock the tennis world by announcing her retirement aged just 25.

There were two new ATP Masters 1000 champions: Taylor Fritz in Indian Wells, and Carlos Alcaraz in Miami, the latter at just 18 years of age. There was also a new world number 1, as Daniil Medvedev reached the summit of the men’s game. Jelena Ostapenko won the WTA 1000 title in Dubai, and Iga Swiatek won both Indian Wells and Miami, which meant she became the new world number 1.

Nadal reigns in Paris again, Swiatek dominates

It was then time for the clay, and Stefanos Tsitsipas successfully defended his title in Monte Carlo. Carlos Alcaraz continued his rapid rise by beating Nadal and Djokovic in Madrid to win the title on home soil, and Djokovic won his first title of the year in Rome. Ons Jabeur won the WTA 1000 title in Madrid, and Iga Swiatek beat her to win the Rome title.

In the second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal faced off in the Quarter Finals, with the Spaniard taking the win. Alcaraz, the tournament favourite for some, was beaten by Zverev. Nadal and Zverev played out a high-quality Semi Final until the German had to retire due to an ankle injury. He wouldn’t play again competitively in 2022. Nadal beat Casper Ruud in the Final to secure a 14th French Open title.

There was another dominant woman at a Grand Slam in Paris: Iga Swiatek. She was unbeatable all tournament, beating Cori Gauff in the Final to win her second French Open title.

Djokovic unbeatable at Wimbledon, new female Grand Slam winner

Wimbledon announced that they would be banning Russian and Belarusian players due to the Ukraine conflict, with other prior tournaments allowing them to compete under no flag. The ATP and WTA subsequently stripped the event of ranking points. That didn’t mean there wasn’t a high level of tennis, however, particularly in a spicy encounter between Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios went on to win the match and reach a first Grand Slam Final. Britain’s Cameron Norrie made a run to the Semi Finals, but was beaten by Djokovic. The Serb and Kyrgios played out an exciting Final, with Djokovic winning in four sets.

Top seed Swiatek’s 37 match winning streak was ended in the Third Round by Alize Cornet in straight sets. Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan won her first Grand Slam title, beating Jabeur from a set down in the Final.

Alcaraz reaches the top of the world, Serena bows out

Onto the US hard courts, and there were two more first-time Masters 1000 winners: Pablo Carreno Busta in Montreal, and Borna Coric in Cincinnati, who was outside of the top 100 before the event. Simona Halep won Toronto, and Carolina Garcia won Cincinnati.

The final Grand Slam of the year was the US Open. Djokovic was unable to enter the country due to vaccination laws. Defending champion Medvedev was beaten by Kyrgios in the Fourth Round, meaning he would lose the world number 1 ranking. Alcaraz survived three five-setters in a row to make a first Grand Slam final, where he would play Ruud for a first Grand Slam title and the world number 1 ranking. Alcaraz would win the match in four sets to cap a truly remarkable year.

All-time great Serena Williams announced that the US Open would be her final event, and she went out in style, taking out 2nd seed Anett Kontaveit in the Second Round. Jabeur made her second consecutive Grand Slam Final, and there was no early exit this time for Swiatek as she joined Jabeur in the Final. Swiatek beat Jabeur to win the US Open title, her third Grand Slam and her first outside of the French Open.

Federer retires, Djokovic and Garcia secure year-end titles

Roger Federer played the final match of his career in the Laver Cup team event, a doubles alongside Nadal. It wasn’t to be for ‘Fedal’ in the match, and Team World went on to win the event for the first time. 19-year-old Holger Rune went on a stunning run to win the Paris Masters. Djokovic was beaten in the Final of that event, but recovered a few weeks later to win the ATP Finals in Turin. Canada won the Davis Cup for the first time in their history.

Jessica Pegula won a maiden WTA 1000 title in Guadalajara, but Simona Halep was suspended after failing a drugs test. Caroline Garcia won the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, and Switzerland won the Billie Jean King Cup.

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