Where Do they Go From Here? A Look at the ATP Top 8

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  • Rafael NADAL – The good news for Rafa is that he has a huge points lead and already has bagged one title in 2014.  The concerning side of things is that Rafa has never followed up one of his dominating years with a year of similar quality.  2009 failed to replicate 2008, and 2011 did not live up to 2010.  Will 2014 continue that pattern?  Prognosis – Guardedly Positive for 2014 

Djokovic should advance

  • Novak DJOKOVIC – The good news is that Nole losing to Wawrinka looks a lot different now that the tournament is in the books.  He was the only player to threaten Stan.  The Becker experiment is not off to the start I imagined it might be, but he seems relaxed working with Boris.  Nole has points to gain at Indian Wells and Miami.  Roland Garros is still out there as a real possibility for the first half of 2014. Prognosis – Guardedly Positive for 2014
  • Stanislas WAWRINKA – After his demolition of Andy Murray at the 2013 US Open and near miss in the semifinal round, I did think there is a plausible path for Stan to actually win a Grand Slam title. It is impressive how quickly Stan turned that potential into a trophy.  He has a smattering of points to defend in 2014 (including his US Open run), but there is a lot of room for Wawrinka to pick up points as well.  Prognosis – Positive for 2014 (He could take the rest of the year off and already have had a successful year)
  • Juan Martin DEL POTRO – How Delpo is #4 is hard to imagine. He did win a 250 level event, but then lost early in Melbourne.  A lot of people pegged JMDP for a big 2014.  I think this is possible, but health and confidence have to both be in place for this to happen.  Prognosis – Wait and See (I love Delpo, but How Many Times Can We Say He is Close to 2009 Form?) 
    Ferrer's run likely ends
  • David FERRER – The world #5 has a fair number of points to defend in 2014’s Latin American and European clay court swings.  Berych’s win over Ferrer along with David’s 0-3 mark at the 2013 WTF tell me that his lack of weapons may be catching up to him.  To borrow from Seinfeld Prognosis – Mildly Negative
  • Andy MURRAY – The reigning Wimbledon Champion missed the fall swing of 2013 with back problems that required surgery.  If Murray returns to 2012 and 2013 form, he should have a great year.  Getting to that form may take longer than previously expected.  Prognosis – Wait and See – A back problem is no joke, but there is a lot of upside and few points to defend outside of the Grass Season and Miami
  • Tomas BERDYCH – Berdych at #7 in the world seems to be ranked at the right spot.  He has the game and weapons to be in the top 10, but outside of May-July 2010 he’s never looked like a threat to the top tier of the game.  He played well to reach the Australian Open semifinal round, but Wawrinka noted that the Big Czech did not handle the close moments overly well.  Prognosis – Status Quo
  • Roger FEDERER – The Fed played well enough in Brisbane, and then put together 5 very promising matches in Melbourne.  He beat #10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and #6 Andy Murray convincingly.  Life with Stefan Edberg seems to be treating Federer well.  Still, Nadal remains a roadblock to Roger.  Federer needs JMDP, Wawrinka, Murray and Nole to eliminate Rafa for #18 to be more probable.  Still, Federer is playing much better than he did in 2013.  Prognosis – Mildly Positive

2 Comments Add yours

  1. jane says:

    good summation dan; and i get the seinfeld reference, of course! 🙂

    1. Dan Martin says:

      I’m glad you liked the Seinfeld reference. I am not trying to be Grant Land or Bill Simmons, but a few pop culture references if they fit the flow are worthwhile

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