Former World No. 1 and 7-time Grand Slam champion Justine Henin recently spoke about the upcoming 2022 season on the ATP Tour predicting who will go big in the next season with the veterans and youngsters both having their respective moments of success this season across the competitions.
While Novak Djokovic continued his dominance at the Grand Slams, he was eventually defeated in the finals of the 2021 US Open by World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev to deny him the chance to clinch the Calendar Slam. The Serbian was also defeated in the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics this year by now the World No. 3 Alexander Zverev ending Novak’s quest for the Olympics gold medal.
While Novak still managed to beat the Russian in the finals of the 2021 Paris Masters to avenge his defeat in New York, Zverev got the better of Novak once again during their meeting in the semi-finals of the 2021 ATP Finals where Zverev became the eventual champion. Looking at these results, Henin had some bold predictions for the next season.
“Daniil Medvedev is taking off. Zverev, it will be the year for him. I think he’s ready to go for a Grand Slam in 2022, obviously, we’ll still have to see how he does over the five-set question, but you get the feeling that at some point, it’s going to work out for him. He has taken on a new dimension.
“Medvedev and Zverev have established themselves as the most dangerous rivals. There will be the return of Rafael Nadal. Obviously, Dominic Thiem will be back. We’re happy to see these players back. Tsitsipas is going to have to manage his schedule quite differently. I think he’s a step down compared to the others in terms of competition,” said Henin.
“Novak Djokovic is hard to predict” says Justine Henin
Novak started the season on 17 Slams and now ends with 20 Slams to his name joining Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the 20-Grand Slam club in one of the best individual seasons of all-time in the history of the sport. Speaking of the quest for the 21st Slam, Henin, who remains the last woman to defend her French Open title twice had some interesting comments.
“And Novak Djokovic? What about his desire? We always have the feeling that Novak Djokovic’s appetite keeps growing. Will it continue like this? It is very difficult to say. He will still want to win. He certainly needs to recharge his batteries now. It’s been a tough season. He knows who is going to get opportunities, so maybe he won’t be as dominant as he used to be.
“At least, that’s what we can assume. But Novak Djokovic, he’s full of surprises, sometimes hard to figure out, sometimes hard to predict. And so, it’s going to be a really exciting 2022 season,” said the former Olympics gold medallist in her interview with Eurosport.