The WTA and ATP seasons are officially over, and what a year it was on and off the court. With record-setting moments (hello, Novak Djokovic!), maiden major victories and new stars cementing themselves at the top of the game, 2023 was one to remember.
But in a season brimming with memorable moments and achievements, who reigned supreme? Which players had the biggest breakthroughs? Who left it all out there? We look at all those players as we choose our top honors of the tennis season.
Men’s player of the year: Novak Djokovic
There is no debate to be had here. At age 36, and several years (or 16) older than most of his current rivals, Djokovic reached the final at all four majors, winning all but Wimbledon, and ended the year with yet another trophy at the ATP Finals. He earned seven titles overall and reclaimed the world No. 1 ranking. With his victory at the US Open in September, he tied Margaret Court for the all-time record of 24 for the most major singles titles in history.
After losing to Carlos Alcaraz at the All England Club, and leaving some to wonder if his grip atop the sport was slipping, Djokovic quelled all of the doubters and didn’t lose again for five months. And he continued to break more records, securing the year-end No. 1 for the eighth season, earning his seventh Paris Masters title earlier this month for his 40th 1000-level crown, and breaking a tie with Roger Federer for the most ATP Finals titles, with seven.
Djokovic didn’t just make his case for the Player of the Year in 2023, he made it for the best player period.
Women’s player of the year: Iga Swiatek
Leading into the WTA Finals, Aryna Sabalenka might have held the edge for this category but then, well, Iga did Iga things. In Cancun, against the best players in the world, Swiatek was unstoppable: She never dropped a set, and she lost only a combined 20 games in all five of her matches.
She recorded bagel sets over the reigning champions of the US Open (Coco Gauff) and Wimbledon (Marketa Vondrousova) and against Jessica Pegula in the final. With the title — her first at the year-end event — she took back the world No. 1 ranking after an eight-week hiatus.
And that might be what’s most impressive of all. In the eyes of many, Swiatek had a “down” year after winning two majors in 2022, and Sabalenka undoubtedly had the best year of her career. And…