While tennis players are resting after the hard year and preparing for the next one, we decided to think and try to predict who will get into the ATP Finals in 2017.
Will Novak Djokovic return his first ranking position? Djokovic dominated the first half of 2016 and spent of the time on courts for the last 10-15 years. He placed the stake on tennis and worked hard. Now he has money, he has a family and lots of titles. He gathered all the Grand Slams and is named one of the best players in tennis history.
But at the end of the year the Serb slipped to Andy Murray and ended up his cooperation with Boris Becker. “He didn’t spend as much time on the practice court in the last six months as he should have, and he knows that,” Becker said of Djokovic. Obviously, the Serb has fitness troubles. Good form is hard to gain. It would take weeks. At the same time, the Serb seemingly has some personal issues that distract him from tennis. To regain the dominance, Nole needs a clear goal. While Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have such goals (to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon respectively), Nole – doesn’t. However, he can target for winning of grand slams in one season. But this is too hard to accomplish. Novak and his team definitely realize it.
So what should we expect from Nole in 2017? It will be a difficult period for him, especially the first half. At the beginning of 2016 Nole won every title he aimed for. Now even a couple of them will be a success. Nevertheless, Novak is still one of the best on tour and is obliged to get to the year-ending event.
Andy Murray has just acquired the taste of the very top. We expect he’ll stay there at least for a season. Considering his current form he’ll easily take 2 or 3 grand slams and a couple of masters. Today he definitely distinguishes himself among other players both physically and mentally. So we guess the season 2017 will be played by Murray’s rules.
Milos Raonic has been inconsistent in 2016. We showed brilliant tennis in Australia. After that he displayed decent performance only at the Wimbledon. Then there were losses to Mikhail Youzhny, Ricardas Berankis and Ryan Harrison and again great performance in Paris and London. The Canadian has achieved some heights, but it’s not what he can ask for. We guess he will struggle for a grand slam or, at least, for the masters title. Not an easy task with such competitors as Murray and Djokovic. But nothing is impossible, right?
Kei Nishikori is still prone to injuries. It seems like the Japanese has reached the most he could. Even at this best he can only make it to the semis. As for the ATP finals, Kei is likely to get there, but this is the most he can.
Rafael Nadal is expected to be back. The Spaniard shows good play but with no real results. At the Olympics, in Monte Carlo and in Barcelona Nadal was amongst the best, but then there were failures we can’t expect. In the upcoming season we expect the Spaniard will have solid chances for the Roland Garros title.
Juan Martin Del Potro will be a threat in 2017. There’s no doubt that the Argentine will slide back into the tennis elite. The silver medal at the Olympics, Delray Beach title, Davis Cup all speak in favor of Del Potro’s big expectations. He will definitely aim to win the Grand Slam titles and Masters events. If anyone is able to give Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray a run for their money, it's the unpredictable Del Potro.
By every measure, Stan Wawrinka enjoyed one of his best seasons. But we guess that he’ll maintain his peak for a couple of seasons only and that’s it. Every year the Swiss captures one grand slam and a couple of tour-level titles. We expect in 2017 Stan will repeat his performance and will succeed again. And we wait for him at the ATP Finals as well.
Roger Federer has missed a larger portion of the season but managed to win his points and appear the Wimbledon semis. It will depend on his fitness. If the Swiss hasn’t retired completely, he’ll struggle on an equal basis with Wawrinka, Nishikori and Nadal. Let’s wait and see whether he can make the best of his career again.
We wish all of you Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Lots of Tennis in 2017!
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