2024 vision: What the ATP season could bring

The 2023 calendar was packed with milestone memories, but what can this upcoming campaign serve up?

Coupe des Mousquetaires / Finale Roland-Garros 2023©Jean-Charles Caslot / FFT
 - Alex Sharp

Last season was an absolute cracker. Simply put, 2024 has a lot to live up to.

History is on the line, legacies are out to be bolstered, young guns want to keep firing. Here's a flavour of what to expect over the next 12 months on the men's side of the sport.

Generational battle at the top

There's a mutual respect across the net, world No.1 Novak Djokovic – the relentless history-maker, then world No.2 Carlos Alcaraz – the human highlight reel superstar.

Their rivalry is already a mesmerising, boundary-breaking blockbuster.

Djokovic continues to defy his age with all-conquering success, peaking when it matters for the most prestigious prizes. Can he really continue to do so turning 37-years-old this season? The men's record 24-time Grand Slam champion certainly thinks so.

Carlos Alcaraz & Novak Djokovic / Wimbledon 2023©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

On the other hand, the 20-year-old Spaniard is intent on pursuing glory with an unequivocal approach of all-out attack. Get ready for stacks of hotshots pinging around social media.

Back in August, Djokovic ripped his shirt in half having saved championship point to prevail 5-7, 7-6(7), 7-6(4) over Alcaraz in a Cincinnati lung-buster. One of the matches this century, no exaggeration at all. More of that please gentlemen.

World No.3 Daniil Medvedev has to be in the frame for the major prizes again. The 2021 US Open champion loves to prove people wrong and will want to disrupt the Djokovic-Alcaraz duopoly over the past six Grand Slams.

The return of Rafa!

Sidelined by a hip injury and then subsequent surgery for pretty much the whole of 2023, 'Big Three' gladiator Rafael Nadal is ready to roll in 2024.

The 14-time Roland-Garros champion is cautious over his return to action – which has already begun very well with an impressive win over Dominic Thiem at the Brisbane International – but the tennis world will be buoyant to see the Mallorca native's unmistakable passion, on-court routines and lassoed shots.

It could well be Nadal's farewell tour and the packed houses, the outpouring of emotion for a modern-day icon at every tournament he plays will make it a must-watch feature of the season.

What can the 37-year-old bring to the party? What is 100 percent assured is that the 22-time major winner will give it every last drop from the tank.

New names on the list

Away from the usual suspects, who could deliver a maiden Grand Slam?

Jannik Sinner is definitely in pole position, having captured Beijing, Vienna and Davis Cup silverware during his captivating season finale. 

The world No.4 has defeated his nearest rivals in recent months (including two slingshot epics over Djokovic) and must now believe he can transfer that to the Grand Slam gauntlet.

Ben Shelton has the firepower and versatility to keep building on his standout 2023, Stefanos Tsitsipas knows how to navigate a major fortnight, Holger Rune will be an intriguing prospect following a full pre-season under the guidance of Boris Becker and Severin Lüthi (Roger Federer's former coach).

Away from the Top 20 chasing pack, the ice-cool American Sebastian Korda, who toppled Medvedev at the Australian Open, will be a danger if he can remain injury free for a long stint.

Ben Shelton, US Open 2023, Simple Messieurs, 1/4 de Finale©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

Paris triple trip

Away from thrilling instalments of Roland-Garros and the Rolex Paris Masters, the ATP stars will be hoping to hit Paris three times in 2024.

At the end of July the Olympic tennis events will launch into life on the grounds of Roland-Garros with Alexander Zverev acting as defending champion as Tokyo 2020 gold medallist.

It will be fascinating to see who qualifies, especially for talent rich nations such as France, Italy and USA.

Each nation can qualify up to six men for their tennis squad, with up to four best-ranked singles players. Talk about an extra incentive in ATP action.

Court Philippe-Chatrier hosting Olympic battles will be one of the most iconic scenes of the season.

Alexander Zverev & Karen Khachanov & Pablo Carreno Busta / Jeux Olympiques Tokyo©Julien Crosnier / KMSP / FFT

Back into the frame

The Top 100 is one crowded list of elite athletes across age groups. Whether it is a loss of form or prolonged injuries, clawing the way back to the top is becoming increasingly difficult. 

2018-19 Roland-Garros finalist Dominic Thiem showed shoots of his best in 2023. It feels like the Austrian is one massive win away from sparking into his destructive, instinctive game.

The sledgehammer forehand of injury-maligned Matteo Berrettini has been absent from the latter stages of main events for a while. Hopefully the Italian can enjoy a fresh start in 2024.

Gaël Monfils has hauled himself back from the treatment table and a loss of confidence to chalk up some brilliant results at the back end of 2023. The absorbing world No.74, who gave us a night to remember with a five-set Roland-Garros rollercoaster versus Sebastian Baez, could be a real threat to the key contenders. Make sure you tune in for the Gaël show.

Youth over experience?

The Next Gen ATP Finals last month served up a field with an abundance of variety and talent. Djokovic's protégé Hamad Medjedovic stole away the title from France's soaring Arthur Fils.

Those two promise to have very strong seasons as well as a host of youngsters.

Great Britain's Jack Draper is a name which springs to mind when considering players who can do damage on the big stage. Italian Davis Cup winners Lorenzo Musetti and Matteo Arnaldi have the game to spring a shock or two, Jiri Lehecka has shown his major pedigree. The list is endless.

Every week, every turn, expect plenty of the unexpected on the ATP Tour in 2024.