We are slowly mowing to the second quarter of the season. Indian Wells tournament did not bring the results most of the fans expected. Andreescu and Thiem surprised all including themselves. The obvious narrative about how the next generation (or NextGen) cannot win a big tournament is torn into the pieces. It is not impossible that we will finally see a new name between men Grand Slam winners.
Anybody can win anytime
There is one more thing we noticed when going through the results of the 2019 season.
19 ATP tournaments (out of the total 67) and 13 WTA tournaments (out of the total 59) were already played. That makes roughly 28% and 22% of the season, basically quarter of the season is gone. What is really surprising that there is no player who won more than one tournament this season. There are exactly 19 different ATP and 13 different WTA players who won singles this season. And that is quite unusual.
At this stage of the season in 2018, we had already three men (Federer, Del Potro, Bautista) and two ladies (Kvitova, Svitolina) with two tournament wins. In 2017 four men (Federer, Dimitrov, Sock, Tsonga) and one lady (Pliskova Karolina) had two tournament wins before Miami Open started.
So not just the results of BNP Paribas Open are surprising. The other surprise lies in widening the pool of players able to win ATP and WTA tournaments. We are experiencing this situation on the WTA tour for a long time. The pool of favorites is pretty wide for a few seasons and to pick an actual winner of any WTA tournament is extremely hard. Almost anyone out of WTA TOP 50 can win anytime.
However, men tennis was different. There was a big four and maybe 10 other players having a chance to win something. The pool of favorites was pretty narrow. But this season we have 19 different tournament winners and nobody is able to repeat the tournament win.
What did change comparing to last season?
We have three possible explanations.
It is a pure coincidence. Federer was not really far away from winning on Sunday which would make him a player with two tournament wins this season.
NextGen is on the attack. De Minaur, Kyrgios, Monfils, Tsitsipas, Medvedev and Thiem are finally taking over the tennis world. The years’ long wish came finally true and we will see also new Grand Slam winner this season.
The dominance of older guys is over. Murray, Federer, Nadal and also Djokovic, the big four of the past are getting older. They need more rest, they are more injury prone and they handle fatigue harder. Their scheduling is pickier and they do not play as many tournaments as before.
What is your opinion?