The Masters washes his face. The years pass and the London stage, with the O2 Arena as a temple, will be closed definitively on November 14 when the lights of the Pala Alpitour in Turin (Italy), the new headquarters of the masters tournament, are turned on. The facelift will also reach the court, as the absence due to injury of two of the men who have managed to sneak the most in the last two decades among the eight most regular tennis players of the season significantly rejuvenate the squad.
We are talking, of course, about Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer, both incapacitated for the appointment due to physical problems at 35 and 40 years old respectively. Without them, there will only be one player over thirty. The world number one, Novak Djokovic, who has 34. The troop of relievers that accompanies the Serbian could be differentiated in two generations.
On one side are the Russian Medvedev (25 years old), who precisely defeated him on Sunday in the US Open final, premiering his Grand Slams account; the Greek Tsitsipas (23), finalist at Roland Garros, and the German Zverev (24), runner-up at Flushing Meadows. All already established among the ten best rackets in the world.
One step behind, trying to sit at the same table, another Russian, Andrey Rublev, Italian Matteo Berrettini, Norwegian Casper Ruud and Pole Hubert Hurkacz. The first, 23 years old, accumulates eight titles in the last four seasons, but has not yet made his debut in the Masters 1,000 and his ceiling in Slams is the quarterfinals (Australia, US Open and Roland Garros). Berrettini, 25, reached the final at Wimbledon and Madrid this year. He has four wins in 250 and one in 500.
For his part, Ruud has had a sweet year on clay. Four titles, in Kitzbuhel, Bastad, Gstaad and Geneva, which have helped him climb to 10th place in the ranking. His pending subject is the big ones: he has not passed eighth in any. The only one who has crossed the border of the Masters 1,000 is Hurkacz, champion in Miami. It was also in Delray Beach, this year, and in 2019 in Winston-Salem. All of them have the potential to challenge Djokovic and Medvedev, the two great headliners in a renewed and very open Masters.