The tennis season is gearing up for its busy summer schedule, and the world’s top players have been honing their skills on the European clay in preparation for the French Open at the end of May and Wimbledon beginning on July 3. While there are some promising young British players on the rise, there is still much work to be done to improve the nation’s tennis strength in depth. Cameron Norrie has had an impressive start to the season, but needs to overcome a current dip, while Emma Raducanu has been showing strong form since her US Open win in 2021, despite concerns over injuries that ended her 2022 campaign prematurely. Meanwhile, Andy Murray has had some heroic moments at tournaments, but remains inconsistent. Jack Draper has also shown great potential, but ongoing injuries have hampered his progress.
The rest of the British tennis scene is lacklustre, with Raducanu being the only British woman in the top 100. Harriet Dart has been unable to build on her progress in 2022, and Jodie Burrage is close to breaking into the top 100 for the first time. At a junior level, there are some encouraging signs, but developing strength in depth poses the biggest challenge.
In terms of the overall tennis picture, Novak Djokovic is back on top of the rankings and remains the man to beat despite a disrupted schedule and possible elbow problem. Rafael Nadal is battling to be fit for a 15th French Open singles title due to a hip injury suffered at the Australian Open, while young pretender Carlos Alcaraz has also struggled with fitness this season. Iga Swiatek remains on top of the women’s game, but faces tough competition from Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina, who have set the standard this season. Both Roland Garros and Wimbledon present big opportunities for the young top 10 players.
Murray is likely to play at the French Open this year despite skipping clay since his hip problems began in 2017. Peaking for Wimbledon is his main goal, and he hopes to improve his ranking and potentially gain a seeding for the tournament.