Here's our regular segment, This Week in Tennis, covering week 37 and looking at Davis Cup predictions and upcoming WTA action.
This Week in Tennis #37 – Davis Cup Predictions
The charismatic Carlos Alcaraz becomes the youngest ATP world number 1, the unstoppable Iga Swiatek continues her speculator season, and a special Serena Williams goodbye. This year's US Open will surely be remembered for years to come.
Carlos Alcaraz's superhuman feat
Carlos Alcaraz's incredible fortnight continued in the final as he defeated Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 to win his first major title at 19. Having played over 20 hours on court before reaching the final, including three back-to-back five-set matches, some wondered if the young Spaniard could continue his impressive run. Alcaraz only needed a single break to take the first set 6-4. Ruud, however, came back in the second set as the 19-year-old began to misfire.
The third set seemed pivotal for both players. Alcaraz gifted Ruud a few set points, but the Norwegian couldn't capitalize.
Alcaraz used his exceptional anticipation and net skills to volley his way to a third-set tie-break. Going from strength to strength, Alcaraz piled the pressure on Ruud, taking the tie-break before winning the fourth set 6-3 to lift his first major trophy.
Swiatek stays strong
Iga Swiatek saved her best performance of the US Open tournament for the final as she defeated Ons Jabeur 6-2, 7-6 to win the third major of her career and continue to cement herself as world number 1. Both players played spectacular tennis early in the first set before Swiatek broke Jabeur to take a commanding lead. After winning the first set 6-2, Swiatek hit some unexpected errors on her forehand side. Jabeur unleashed some of her incredible on-the-run shots to put the pressure back on the Pole.
Jabeur took a 5-4 lead as the second set reached the tie-break. Just as it looked like the match may go into a third set, Swiatek hit a down-the-line forehand winner, which fractionally clipped the line. An error off the Jabeur racquet on the following point setup a championship point for Swiatek, which she took to win her first US Open trophy.
Now that the last major of the year has ended, let's look ahead to who's playing this week on the tour.
Davis Cup Predictions (ATP)
This week, 16 of the world's best tennis teams will battle it out in the final group stage to reach the quarterfinals of this year's Davis Cup. Once all nations have played each other in their group, the top two teams from each group will go through to the final.
The final group stage groups are:
Group A – Argentina, Italy, Sweden, Croatia
Group B – Spain, Serbia, South Korea, Canada
Group C – Australia, Germany, France, Belgium
Group D – USA, Netherlands, Great Britain, Kazakhstan
Group A – Italy and Croatia to progress
Group B – Spain, Canada to progress
Group C – Australia and France to progress
Group D – USA and Great Britain to progress
Slovenia Open (WTA 250)
Emma Raducanu leads a strong lineup in Portoroz, Slovenia. The likes of Beatriz Haddad Maia, the Wimbledon champion, Elena Rybakina, Alize Cornet, and Ajla Tomljanovic are also competing.
Prediction – Cornet to win
Maharashtra Open (WTA 250)
Alison Riske-Amritraj is the top seed and faces competition from Magda Linette, Rebecca Peterson, Wang Qiang, Tatjana Maria, and Linda Fruhvirtova.
Prediction – Wang Qiang