A person will be under one leader and then work hard to move to a new leader only to find that the new leader is even worse than the one before.
Federer and Nadal are the 2 big players of 2017. Will they be able to keep the magic flowing in 2018? Nadal is still very dangerous on Clay at the French. Federer could literally beat anybody if he is healthy and playing well and Federer is most likely still the favorite at Wimbledon.
I think if Dimitrov keeps his head straight then he can maintain his time in the top 10. And Dimitrov is incredibly dangerous. He played amazing at the World Tour Finals but I’ll be curious to see if he can maintain his form.
The Young Guns of Zverev and Thiem are definitely the big dangers to the elite players since both of them have a lot of energy and both of them hit the ball huge off the ground.
Also, If Jack Sock and Del Potro keep their bodies healthy then they are both incredibly dangerous to the rest of the field. Sock has a unique power game with his huge spin on the forehand and he has become more crafty and versatile, as well as being faster. Del Potro is also super dangerous with his big serve and big forehand, if his timing is there he can boss around the other players.
I will be very curious to see if Djokovic and Murray come back to form, since they are returning from injury. I think both of them had a rough 2017. Djokovic had very noticeable losses to Nick Kyrgios in Indian Wells and Mexico. Murray lost to Pospisil at Indian Wells. I think Murray can come back to the top 5 but I am not sure about Djokovic, I think Djokovic has lost some of his drive and lost a lot of confidence.
The biggest player to watch in 2018 will be Nick Kyrgios. Nick Kyrigos has the whole game, huge serve, big forehand, touch, volleys, sneaky backhand, no fear. He has the ability to beat all of the top players. He is prone to having meltdowns and to lose his focus and motivation. If Kyrgios is focused then I have no doubt that he can move right up towards the top 5.
Also, if Raonic is healthy, then Milos can return to the top 10. The combination of his massive serve with his forehand and his desire to go to the net makes him mega dangerous especially on the hard courts and grass courts. On the Clay courts, Raonic is a dud, he can’t keep up with any of the spaniards. If Raonic is healthy, look for him to do some damage at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open.
I hope that Gilles Muller can keep it up, he had a great upset over Nadal and I love Muller’s lefty attacking game. I hope that Diego Schwartzman will stay solid as rock and continue his climb up I think he can move close to the top 20. Also, I hope that Gasquet will stay healthy because he has the ability to get inside the top 15.
Andrey Rublev, Ryan Harrison, Denis Shapovalov, Jared Donalson, and Hyeon Chung are the young gun players to watch in 2018. Rublev had a big run at the US Open and his ball-striking is excellent. Ryan Harrison is more of a veteran but it seems that he has found his mental game again. Shapovalov is mega talented and lefty and it is no fluke that he was able to beat Nadal. Donaldson is super steady and had that clay court training in Buenos Aires, I think Donaldson will continue to grind his way up into the top 30. Chung hits the ball in a unique way but it is also no fluke that he won the next gen tournament; Chung was having a good run at the French Open last year but had a difficult run in with Nishikori.
Also, I think that Matthew Ebden is back in the game. Look for Ebden to move his way up and get into the top 50.
Overall, the men’s game has a lot of talent right now. I think 2018 is going to be a year of upsets with various players like Thiem or Shapovalov or Rublev beating well-known players at big events. It is good to see that the ATP is trying to help the young players since the “old guard” of Fed, Nadal, Murray, and Djoko are hitting 30+. I’ll be watching the year closely.
One last piece, the prize money has increased more at the Grand Slams. It is crazy. Sloane Stephens got 3.7 million at the US Open (good for her!) And at the Australian Open it looks like the winner is going to get 4 million !!! This is huge money. I’ll be curious if the numbers just keep going up, up to 4.5 million, and then 5 million, etc etc.
Let me know what you think.
-End of Post, DJ ROBO BISCUIT, stay fluffy!
These are women to watch in 2018.
Jaimee Fourlis (Ranking: 324) 18 year old Jaimee Fourlis will be a player to watch on the WTA tour. Fourlis has an athletic build and is a big striker of the ball. She has had good junior success and is ready to make her breakthrough on the pro stage. She has a wildcard into the Australian Open and will most likely be seen in the lead up tournaments as well.
Destanee Aiava (153) 17 year old Aiava of Australia is also set to gain ground in 2018. She won the Wildcard playoff in Australia so she is into the year’s first grand slam. Aiava has a good athletic build and hits the ball very strong off the ground; she has easy power. In 2017 she defeated Bethanie Mattek Sands.
3) Wozniacki. Expect more winning and more consistency from Wozniacki. By the end of 2017, Wozniacki was looking to be the most “solid” of the players with her movement, her returning, and her backhand looking the most consistent.
4) Bundle Group – Look for Svitolina, Ostapenko, and Garcia to continue their winning ways. Svitolina has the best “all around game” of the top 10 women. If Ostapenko is “hot” then she can beat any player by just hitting winner after winner. Look for Garcia to have more wins especially against players like Wozniacki and Halep. Garcia is striking her groundstrokes very cleanly and her swing volley as well as her aggressive play is strong!
5) Ashleigh Barty. World #17 Ashleigh Barty is extremely dangerous. She is a very talented and athletic player. If she is playing well I expect her to produce upsets and work her way close to the top 10.
6) NOT Kerber. I think players have figured out how to beat Kerber and she has lost some of her confidence.
7) Maria Sharapova. Expect Sharapova to continue her climb up the rankings. Sharapova has an extremely strong competitive spirit combined with some of the other players. You will see various players give up once they start losing, but Sharapova will continue to fight for the whole match. She has the heart of a champion.
8) Naomi Osaka of Japan. Osaka is a huge striker of the ball. Expect her to do more winning in 2018 and work her way up the rankings more.
9) Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil. She is very solid and clearly has more of a clay court style game. She is lefty and is very consistent. I expect her to continue her winning ways and to climb the rankings.
10) Sabalenka of Belarus. The 19 year old World #73 is like a young Sharapova. She is a grunter and a big striker of the ball off of both wings. I expect her to win more matches (as long as keeps her on straight)
Also, assuming they are healthy, If Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka come back for the full season then they have good chances of dominating the tour. They will face opposition from players like Pliskova or Venus or Sharapova. But when they are playing well, Serena and Azarenka are extremely hard for the other women to beat.
Let me know if you agree or disagree. Or just let me know what players you think are the ones to watch in 2018.
-End of Post, DJ ROBO BISCUIT
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-DJ ROBO BISCUIT