Tennis: Passing the Torch in 2019?

18 Nov

Passing the Torch at the Nitto ATP Tennis Finals for 2019?


The fact that Stephanos Tsitsipas, aged 21, beat Domenic Thiem, 26, in the ATP Finals that pit the eight players with the best records in tennis during the 2019 season is not so meaningful in itself until one realizes that Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer were among the eight, and only Federer reached the semis. Tsitsipas took out Federer in straight sets, and Thiem similarly beat Alexander Zverev, another high ranked rising star. With rankings and loads of money riding on the outcome this London finale has almost the drama of a Grand Slam.


And this year, perhaps its significance for tennis enthusiasts will seem greater than the outcome of the four prior Grand Slams. With uncharacteristic caution I predict that we have seen the end of the three-person hegemony that has dominated men’s tennis for more than fifteen years. In the year ahead the ranking will tighten, and the likes of Tsitsipas, Thiem, Medvedev, Zverev, and Berrettini (the finalists other than the Big Three) will share the headlines and high-profile trophies in 2020.


I may look foolish a year from now, and wouldn’t mind if I did so. Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer might defy my prediction, as well as their age! And their dominance of tennis based on perfecting distinct styles of play has brought so much delight to tennis lovers that if the cosmos were premised on justice they would never be dethroned!

2 Responses to “Tennis: Passing the Torch in 2019?”

  1. Susan Moxley November 19, 2019 at 3:39 am #


  2. Ozman Dias November 21, 2019 at 7:48 am #

    Delighted to find a like-minded tennis fan in you, Professor. While the grit and retrieving genius of Djokovic is breathtaking, and the indomitable persistence of Nadal is awe-inspiring, it’s the mental chess play of Federer that truly captures my admiration. He raised the game beyond the purely physical skill level to new heights of genius and mental agility that evolved the sport into a new experience. My only regret is that the brilliance of Kyrgios has not managed to overcome his temperamental weaknesses to help him emerge as a history-maker. That man could overshadow all his predecessors in the sport if he could only quieten the distractions in his mind.

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