Mapping out a post Grand Slam season tennis calendar

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images) /

The majority of the top players in the sport spend their time making sure their game is at a peak level for the next Grand Slam on the schedule. This means being more selective about where they play and how often they do.

Someone like Novak Djokovic only needs to play one tournament to get his game ready for the biggest events all year. However, someone like Casper Ruud likes to play a lot of tennis leading into the Grand Slams.

However, once the US Open, the final Grand Slam of the year, is finished, that does not mean the men’s and women’s circuits are completed. In fact, there are still a plethora of big-time tournaments to look forward to, including what some call the “5th Slam”, the year end Championships.

What does the tennis schedule look like after the Grand Slam season is over?

The catch with that is only 8 players make that event. The majority of the Top 100 must find other motivations to keep grinding. There are two more Masters 1000 events still remaining on both tours. In addition, there will be multiple 500-level tournaments as well in addition to the myriad of 250 events all over the globe.

That is a significant amount of ranking points to be had. The Asian swing just after Grand Slam play finishes up is one of the more important times of the year.

A player like Felix Auger-Aliassime, who has been struggling mightily in recent times, has a LOT of points to defend this fall. He solidified his Top 15 status this time last year as he made deep runs in multiple events. If he cannot recover his form, he could swiftly fall out of the Top 20.

These latter events on the tennis calendar do also bring a bit of surprise to them. Holger Rune announced himself to the world when he won the Paris Masters 1000 title last year. He defeated a smorgasbord of Top 10 players en route to the biggest trophy of his young career.

Former perennial Top 10 player Nikolay Davydenko won the Shanghai Masters in 2009 when he turned the fall/winter swing into the best few months of his illustrious career. Davydenko would go on to best Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer, and Juan Martin Del Potro to win the ATP Finals year-end crown later that year.

These are just a few examples of how players can flip their career fortunes around with a few more months of good tennis. The Grand Slams might be done and dusted, but rankings, titles, prize winnings, and legacies can all still be altered to the extreme as the weather turns cooler.

Davydenko, Rune, and Auger-Aliassime are cases of players taking advantage of the remaining time on offer at this stage of the season.

Who is going to step up and close 2023 on a high to bring momentum into 2024? Can Ben Shelton build on his run in New York? Perhaps Tommy Paul catapults himself into the Top 10. Sascha Zverev could reaffirm his elite status. We could see Elina Svitolina finish off a great return to tour.

Whoever it is on either tour, you can bet your bottom dollar that even though we are done with Grand Slam tennis, there is still going to be a lot of meaningful tennis to be played. Sit back and enjoy.

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