For the first time in 17 years, tennis has two new champions.
In 2004, Gaston Gaudio and Anastasia Myskina both won their maiden Grand Slams at the French Open.
Neither player went on to win another major title, while their victories came at the start of a golden age for Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who between them have taken 58 of the past 69 men’s Grand Slams since Roland Garros in 2004.
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Couple that with Serena Williams’ dominance and you largely have the answer as to why it has been 17 years for tennis to welcome two new singles champions at the same tournament.
There have been close calls over the years, but it was Daniil Medvedev and Emma Raducanu who ended that wait in spectacular fashion on the weekend with their victories at the US Open.
Medvedev had been knocking on the door, while Raducanu simply smashed it down, and now the sport finds itself on the brink of a new era.
There have been some false dawns, particularly with the US Open presenting itself as the most likely slam for a new winner since 2010, but an injury-hit old guard – Williams, Federer and Nadal all skipped the US Open – means it could finally be time to accept the younger generation finally have the edge.
Maiden winners: Grand Slams since 2010
  • Australian Open – 5 (Victoria Azarenka, Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki, Sofia Kenin, Stan Wawrinka)
  • French Open – 8 (Francesca Schiavone, Li Na, Garbine Muguruza, Jelena Ostapenko, Simona Halep, Ashleigh Barty, Iga Swiatek, Barbora Krejcikova)
  • Wimbledon – 2 (Petra Kvitova, Marion Bartoli)
  • US Open – 10 (Samantha Stosur, Flavia Pennetta, Sloane Stephens, Naomi Osaka, Bianca Andreescu, Emma Raducanu, Andy Murray, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev)
That has, in fairness, been the case in the women’s game for some time. Williams has not won a slam since 2017, with 11 new champions emerging since, but on the men’s circuit it has taken a monumental effort to shift the ‘Big Three’ aside.

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That is probably only temporary in Djokovic’s case, and it will likely be down to the Serbian alone to keep flying the flag for the older players assuming Federer, Nadal and Williams call time on their careers before him.
Djokovic showed clear signs of fatigue on Sunday night, and this dip from his usual lofty standards was the product of a relentless campaign where the pressure of completing a calendar Grand Slam only grew and grew and ultimately proved too much.
The next few months will therefore be about recharging and going again at the Australian Open. The ATP Tour Finals have often been a case of who’s still fit at the end of a tiring year, and so the next slam in Melbourne will arguably be the greatest indicator of whether tennis is about to enter a new chapter.

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Few doubt Djokovic will win another slam, but – as Mats Wilander has asked – Medvedev’s ability to get one over the world No 1 could bring with it a shift in mentality for others near the top as well.
This has certainly been the case in women’s tennis, with Williams’ stranglehold loosening as a new generation found a way to combat her supremacy, and this exciting unpredictability heading into each slam could soon be replicated on the men’s side as well.
Djokovic will hope that isn’t the case, but thanks to Medvedev and Raducanu we can certainly entertain the prospect of more memorable slams in 2022.
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