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Way-too-early predictions for tennis’ 2024 majors

Way-too-early predictions for tennis' 2024 majors

NEW YORK — The tennis major season officially came to an end this weekend, with Coco Gauff and Novak Djokovic winning at the US Open.

It was the first of potentially many Grand Slam titles for the 19-year-old Gauff, who defeated new world No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, on Saturday and put an exclamation point on her red-hot hard-court summer. For Djokovic, it was his fourth US Open triumph and 24th major title — matching Margaret Court’s record for the most in history. He defeated 2021 US Open champion Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 on Sunday.

This year, four women — Gauff, Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek and Marketa Vondrousova — and two men — Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz — took home the sport’s most coveted trophies.

With four months before the next Grand Slam and several unknowns about the status of stars like Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka, it might seem early to start guessing who will emerge victorious in 2024. But we’re going to try all the same.

While there are some players (see: Djokovic) who very well could win multiple major titles next year, we are limiting each player to just one for the sake of keeping it interesting.

Australian Open

When: Jan. 15-28, 2024
Where: Melbourne
2023 champions: Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka

Men’s winner in 2024: Carlos Alcaraz

Despite the fact that Alcaraz is the brightest young star on the men’s side and already a two-time major champion at just 20 years old, in many ways this pick might be a little surprising. Alcaraz missed the 2023 tournament in Melbourne due to a hamstring injury, and his best result in his two previous appearances is the third round. But as the champion at the US Open in 2022 and Indian Wells earlier this year, he clearly is dangerous on the hard court — and his disappointing semifinal loss in New York last week will only motivate him even more. Expect a reenergized and refocused Alcaraz to arrive Down Under with something to prove.

Women’s winner in 2024: Coco Gauff

Did you see what Gauff was able to do on the surface this summer? In addition to her first major title in New York, she won the titles in Washington and Cincinnati and wrapped up her North American hard-court swing with a blistering 18-1 record. She has always had the talent and has been brimming with potential, but now she’s filled with self-belief, mental maturity and knows she can win on the sport’s biggest stages….

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