Whether you love him or hate him as he can be a bit marmite for many, you have to say that Djokovic had a quite incredible year, winning three of the four slams plus the ATP tour finals. Losing from triple match point up against Sinner in the Davis Cup semi-finals may give the other players some hope for 2024. even though, it was due in the main to some quite fantastic play by Sinner more than Novak choking.
The GOAT discussion has pretty much been put to bed for the vast majority of tennis
commentators and it really is a futile argument if looking at his record plus head to head etc. And he's not finished yet!
Personally I have found it difficult to warm to Novak, but I absolutely admire his discipline, determination, perseverance and ability to keep improving throughout such a long career. I still find it difficult to not include Rafa, Roger and even Andy Murray in the GOAT discussion for the influence they have had on the game of tennis in a global sense. On results Novak wins hands down but on raising the popularity of the sport throughout the globe so many other players have played their part in different generations. From Bill Tilden in the 1920's to an icon like Borg in the 70's/80's plus so many others like Connors, McEnroe, Nastase, Laver, Sampras, Agassi etc etc. We could all name many players over the history of the game who were legends of their generation. Without these players Novak wouldn't have had the possibility to enjoy such a wonderful career in the world's greatest sport (my opinion) made popular by all of these tennis icons.
Women’s Highlights of 2023
Three women won their maiden grand slams, Sabalenka at the Oz Open, Vondrousova at Wimbledon and Gauff at the US Open. I was particularly pleased with Gauff’s achievement as I feel that she will become a great role model for many young black girls throughout the US and the rest of the world. Gauff has also put Brad Gilbert back on the coaching map due to the immediate impact that he has had on her game. Gauff is unusual in that she always enters the doubles as well as the singles, which is great for that aspect of tennis.
Great to see so many female players who are back on tour or coming back in 2024 after becoming mothers like Svitolina, Wozniacki, Osaka and Kerber.
The biggest disappointment of the year for me was Ons Jabeur’s performance in the final of Wimbledon. She is such a great character and so good for the women’s game that I hope she makes it third time lucky next year. She is not the first nor will be the last to find it difficult to win a first grand slam title.
The most exciting young player to look out for in the women’s game is surely Mirra
Andreeva, a 16 year old Russian player.
What to expect in 2024?
Obviously Alcaraz, Sinner and Rune are the top 3 contenders to knock the Serbian
maestro off his perch and it will be very interesting to see which of these young guys will rise to the challenge. Carlito already has I suppose, but will he find a way to keep
improving now that other players would appear to be less afraid of him? Sinner has
certainly finished the year looking like the main man to challenge for slams but the game just keeps developing and who knows if someone else will make the improvements necessary to get to the top? The influence of Darren Cahill on Sinner should not go unnoticed with the improvements that Jannik has made.
My dream for 2024 would be to see Rafa back in the final of the French playing Novak and hopefully coming out on top! Am I biased? Yes, very much so as the impact he has made on the current game in terms of humility can be seen with players like Ruud, Auger-Aliassime plus the majority of Spanish players who I feel have all adopted the Rafa way of competing with great humility and no excuses.
A big hope for 2024 will also be an improvement in the way the WTA is run and hopefully with a female at the top of the chain of command. The end of season event in Cancun was by all accounts a shambles.
And finally best wishes to Chris Evert in her battle with cancer.
Prime to Sky Sports for 2024
You may have heard that tennis will be viewed mainly on Sky Sports in 2024. This will be a big change, especially in terms of cost for the British public which I feel is a shame as it will exclude many people from seeing tennis who cannot afford Sky Sports! Now TV looks like being the cheapest way to get access as they have an arrangement with Sky.
The pundits on Sky will be headed up by Gigi Salmon alongside Tim Henman, Laura Robson, and Martina Navratilova. Also appearing will be Jo Konta, Feliciano Lopez, Marion Bartoli, Jordanne Whiley, Jamie Murray, Karthi Gnanasegaram, Emma Paton and Jonathan Overend. I will seriously miss Mark Petchey in particular who adds an enormous amount to my enjoyment of any match with his expert analysis, humour and insight into the world of tennis. I also hope that Colin Fleming returns as a quietly spoken, but extremely knowledgeable pundit.
What’s happening with Tuscan Tennis in 2024?
Lots of options for you to come and join us on a special hosted trip including Rome to improve your game on beautiful clay courts and see the world’s best perform in the Italian Open and all within walking distance of the hotel!
Be quick though as only 2 spaces are left for the 8th to 12th May and still 16 spaces for 12th to 16th May.
Click HERE for Rome details.
If you would like to come on one of our classic week-long trips to Tuscany then you can choose from Lucca or Florence below.
Click HERE for Lucca & HERE for Florence
New for 2024!
To celebrate our 30th year of Tuscan Tennis we have decided to set up a new tennis and padel tennis format which will take place at the end of September in Sicily. When we have all the details this will be announced before the end of this year or early January 2024.
We are very excited about this new offer and can’t wait to return to Sicily which was always one of our most popular destinations.