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Ricky’s picks for the 2023 Nitto ATP Finals field of eight

It’s early January and the season’s first Grand Slam is on the immediate horizon, so it’s time to make predictions for the prestigious field of eight at the annual Nitto ATP Finals. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Carlos Alcaraz are obviously among the favorites to make it to Turin.

Who could join them there? Let’s take a look!

1. Novak Djokovic – Djokovic was unable to play either the Australian Open or the U.S. Open in 2022 and he–along with everyone else–didn’t get any ranking points at Wimbledon. Despite acquiring zero ranking points at three of the four Grand Slams, the 35-year-old still comes in at fifth in the rankings. There is no doubt that he is the best player in the world. As long as Djokovic plays close to a full schedule in 2023 (perhaps once again missing events in the United States), he should return to the top spot.

2. Daniil Medvedev – A variety of factors contributed to a disappointing 2022 campaign for Medvedev–among them the pressure of being No. 1 and Wimbledon’s Russian ban. The ban still could be in effect this summer, but at least the pressure is off. Expectations are lower for Medvedev, and I expect him to exceed them this season. He generally plays well Down Under (two-time Aussie Open runner-up) and that should send him on his way to a resurgence.

3. Carlos Alcaraz – I would have had Alcaraz at No. 1, but starting the season off by missing the Australian Open due to injury is far from ideal. Still, at just 19 years old he has already soared to the top of the rankings and he should only be getting better and better. Alcaraz is capable of winning on every surface, too. As long as his leg issue doesn’t linger, the Spaniard should remain at least somewhere near the top.

4. Jannik Sinner – Sinner was incredibly consistent in 2022 and probably would have made an appearance in Turin if not for a couple of injuries throughout the season. The 21-year-old Italian reached the quarterfinals of three Grand Slams and in the only slam he fell short of that mark (French Open) he advanced to the fourth round. Sinner’s game works extremely well on every surface, which is just one reason why he should qualify with ease in 2023.

5. Stefanos Tsitsipas – Tsitsipas’ consistency is impressive, but what is his ceiling? Since losing a two-set lead over Djokovic in the 2021 Roland Garros final, the Greek hasn’t been the same on the big stage. Until his one-handed backhand becomes a more reliable shot (if it ever does), I think Tsitsipas will hover around the No. 5 range.

6. Felix Auger-Aliassime – Unsurprisingly, once Auger-Aliassime finally got one ATP title under his belt he was off to the races. Now he is the owner of four, and he is also much more proven at the Grand Slam level than he was going into 2022. Add Canada’s first-ever Davis Cup title into the mix and Auger-Aliassime has a ton of momentum behind him for this season. No. 6 might even be conservative.

7. Rafael Nadal – At 36 years old, physical issues aren’t going to suddenly disappear. In all likelihood Nadal will be on the way down in 2023, in part due to missing more than a few big tournaments and also because the level of play just won’t be the same. Still, the Spaniard certainly has a chance to win another French Open and if he does he should have no trouble staying in the top eight.

8. Taylor Fritz – Fritz not only made his Turin debut in 2022 but he also advanced to the semifinals. It is true that he needed an Alcaraz withdrawal to climb from No. 9 to No. 8, but he still deserved a spot (keep in mind that he got no points for a Wimbledon quarterfinal run). There is no reason to think the 25-year-old American will slow down–especially after leading his country to the United Cup title.


9. Casper Ruud – Leaving Ruud out is less of a knock on him that it is praise for the rest of the field. There would be no shame in losing out to guys like Sinner, Auger-Aliassime, and Fritz. I’m just not sure the Norwegian can sustain what he accomplished in 2022.

10. Andrey Rublev – Not unlike the case with Ruud, I fully expect Rublev to play well in 2023. I simply think he may have already reached his peak. If the Russian can’t get over the quarterfinal hump at Grand Slams, he will struggle to accrue enough points.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.