Our vision of the 2015 men’s season
With the start of a new tennis season less than a month away, we decided to make a short review of the past season and to take a short glance at the coming one. The 2014 season was full of amazing breakthroughs. But broadly speaking, Novak Djokovic strongly holds his No.1 position and will start the year on top of the heap. And there is no doubt that Djokovic deserves it.
The rest is silence and complete mess. There appeared a handful of capable players who can make a dent in men’s top draw. They are Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic and Stan Wawrinka. We also can’t shrug off David Goffin who is currently showing very decent tennis and Juan Martin Del Potro who will recover in time to start a new season in his best form. Grigor Dimitrov has to build up his rise too. Take into account that fact that no “old fellows” plan to tie it up with tennis or to slow down. So the struggle in 2015 will definitely be tough!
What to expect from the 2015 tennis season?
To date, Novak Djokovic is the leader not only of the Big 4, but of the whole pantheon of men’s tennis elite. And it’s very unlikely that someone will be able to dethrone him in the new season. A healthy Rafael Nadal was the only one capable of doing this, but the Spaniard’s performance in the year 2014 has left many questions with no answers. And it’s very difficult to predict how far he will go now. How many crown and titles will he leave on the table due to his injuries next season? It seems like he had enough time to recover, but it’s a mere guessing game. All the rest can only offer some struggle on some portion of the season, in the short-run so to say. Another good question is whether Djokovic will strive to dominate throughout the whole men’s tour or will his family issues take toll. The Serb was heard to say that tennis might soon fall by the wayside. But to be honest, we don’t give it much thought. No matter what they say, all top players are addicted to tennis. They can’t live without success and without constant victories. And once they get too little of it, they start working like galley slaves to prove it to themselves and to us they still stand high and are worth of our respect and attention. So we bet that the Serb will take at least one Grand Slam title and will do his best to defend his first rankings in the year 2015.
We still can’t get it why Mr.Federer's hasn’t given up his tennis career now, after he has guided Switzerland to the historic first Davis Cup title. It was his triumph and it would’ve been a very logical step. Now he has to show at least the same performance in 2015 which is a very remote possibility. Why so? Well, the past season was almost ideal for the Swiss No.1. Nadal, his main pain in the ass, has missed barely the whole season thus providing the Swiss with countless opportunities. The upcoming season doesn’t evidently promise such generous gifts to Federer. The situation looks quite the opposite: the mentioned above Dimitrov, Cilic and Nishikori who will make further progress will be joined by Del Potro returning on tour on competitive level. We don’t take Milos Raonic into account as, in our opinion, he has already shown his best. So you see that the tennis life of Federer getting in his mid-thirties is going to be tough.
Last year when we wrote the same article we forestalled the swan song of Roger Federer. Unfortunately in this one the most we can do is to anticipate very average season for Roger. He has chances to take some 500 level events, a Masters tournament and to progress to the GS quarterfinals. The only exception is the Wimbledon Championship. Frankly speaking, we guess that this is the magnet that Federer keep his focus on. He hopes to capture this historic tournament one more time. Well, hope is the last thing to die.
The latest performance of Rafael Nadal has left many questions open. Less appearances on court and more time recovering from all kinds of injuries. In fact, this year he only played Qatar Open, Australian Open, Miami, Madrid and Roland Garros on competitive level. All in all, only 5 tournaments, which is not enough for the top player. Will Nadal get his dominance back in 2015? We doubt it. Will the next season be better than this one? Certainly, yes! Why? Because it’s hardly possible to imagine something worse than this season for the great Spaniard. We expect that he will save all his efforts to do his best on the European clay and to take 10th in a row Roland Garros. It’s much more important for the Spaniard than a couple of Masters 1000 and even Australian Open. But let’s wait and see. Rafa is known for his growing desire for victories. He also can’t do things by halves. As they say, appetite comes with eating.
Andy Murray was expected to achieve a lot this year. But he failed. Maybe the next year will be more successful for the Scot? But one can never be sure when talking about Andy’s chances. He is a smart player, with a good serve and good shots. His main problems are in his head. He lacks confidence and has to set it right somehow. Now, when his motivation is huge, he is obliged to perform at his best on tour and to get back to the Big 4. Our dotennis team is not sure that Amelie Mauresmo is the best coach for Andy. We will never understand this appointment. But we hope that this season we’ll see Andy with big trophies above his head.
Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov in 2015 ATP World Tour season
We spot these guys as a possible threat to the Big 4. All the three are thirsty for big victories and has lately shown very impressive tennis. All of them have already obtained loud wins, including these over the Big 4. All of them are young and sturdy. They shall train hard to make another step forward. Cilic, when fit and at peak of his form, can outplay anyone on tour. Shall he be fresh and well-prepared, he may win another GS triumph.
Kei Nishikori has been extremely consistent throughout the year. But only lucky draw may enable him to win a Grand Slam title. Moreover, his body has let him down for several times. The Japanese is so fragile and suffers constant injuries: back ones, wrist and knees traumas. Will he manage to leave all them behind? Who knows… But it’s needless to say, that the Japan native has already improved his physical form. But still. Any two-week tournament will be a great challenge for him.
Grigor Dimitrov should be entering his prime. First of all, he must work on his play on return. Secondly, he must spend hours talking to a psychologist as he has lost too many close matches and it must be fixed. But he is definitely capable of making a streak! We guess that this season will be successful for the Bulgarian. Both his physical form and tennis technique enable him to fulfill his potential.
Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin Del Potro in 2015 ATP World Tour season
The both have the talent to compete with the top four in the tennis world. The both have won GS titles and showed they can prevail over anyone inside the Big 4. At the end of the day, the both appeared at the London Finals. What we are driving at is that they have already achieved a lot and will hardly feel any pressure. But each of them has his personal problems. Stan has defied all expectations this year but he is a man of family and will hardly devote all his time to tennis career. It means that together with his coach Magnus Norman they will mostly prepare for the Grand Slams leaving all other tournaments on circuit aside. Juan Martin Del Potro may need some time to tune in which means that in the first portion of the season he won’t be very hazardous. But despite all these, both the Swiss and the Argentinean can make a dent in men’s tour.
We also can’t but mention Ernests Gulbis who has enjoyed his career-best year in 2014. The Latvian should do the last desperate throw of the dice to try and come in full force. But he wasted too much time at the beginning of his career! He reminds us of a Bogatur, a character of Russian folklore fairytales: a brave boy with a huge stick. His main weak side is that he’s not smart enough. He knows how to rattle his stick but it’s not what he needs most sometimes. Like Ernie who employs extremely aggressive playing style often leading him to a high unforced errors count. But despite a strong serve and return and high-speed shots from the baseline, the Latvian needs to become smarter and apply some intellectual approach when making decisions on court. But it seems like he’s too stubborn and conservative to listen to someone else’s advice.
The big server from Canada Milos Raonic will hardly be able to offer struggle to his top opponents with better technical solutions. His old-school tennis style has outlived its usefulness. But at the same time Raonic is a very hard-working player and can practice till he is blue in the face which will pay him off.
At a certain point we were pleasantly surprised by the performance of Gilles Simon. Maybe the French will show something interesting next season too.
Dominic Thiem, Borna Coric, Nick Kyrgios – who knows how far all these young guns can go in 2015? They already tasted sweet victories this year. They are well equipped, knows how to play and to win. The only component they lack is experience and some tennis mentality. But this will come with time. Everything comes to whom who waits.
What we know for sure is that 2015 ATP season will be very remarkable and unpredictable. It will make logical continuation of the season 2014 when the “old dogs” were strong and fit, but incapable of dominating, while “young guns” were not good enough to get on peak. We think this tendency will also be true in the next season!
Now let’s recollect the most unpredictable match 2014
Relevant news:Citi Open semifinals previews: Anderson v Sock, Zverev v Nishikori
Wimbledon final preview and prediction: Marin Cilic v Roger Federer
Wimbledon R4 Preview and Prediction: Milos Raonic v Alexander Zverev
Eastbourne final preview and prediction: Novak Djokovic v Gael Monfils
French Open SF preview and prediction: Rafael Nadal v Dominic Thiem
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