So far 2016 is looking a lot like 2015
Novak Rules Tennis
- Novak Djokovic – I am running out of terms to describe Novak’s hold on tennis. I called him “Fortress Novak” heading into his record tying 27th Masters 1000 title. That phrase is inadequate as Novak is not just defensive or counter punching, he is willing to run an opponent ragged by dictating play. #1 in defending #1 in counterattacking #1 in dictating play …
- Rafael Nadal – Rafa survived some scares in Indian Wells and perhaps put a little of his disappointing 2016 Latin American swing on red clay behind him. He was competitive with Nole for 1 set. That right now may be enough to make him #2. Change since last ranking – Not ranked
- Milos Raonic – Milos won Brisbane by beating Roger Federer in the final. He reached the Australian Open semifinal round and led Andy Murray 2 sets to 1 before injuries contributed to a 5 set loss. He reached the Indian Wells final and was hampered by injuries. Trying to challenge Novak is hard enough, but Milos has to find a way to do so when he is not injured. Health is never assured in tennis (see Juan Martin del Potro). So as promising as Milos’ start to 2016 has been, I am hesitant to anoint him as a contender to the throne of tennis until he proves his durability.
- Andy Murray – His 5th Australian Open runner-up finish and solid Davis Cup play keep the world #2 in my top 5 for 2016 to this point, but he did not show much in California. Miami has been kinder to Andy in the past so he may move up quite a bit in my next power ranking. Change since last ranking – 2
- Stan Wawrinka – His titles in India and Dubai keep him somewhere near the top.
- Roger Federer – A runner-up finish at Brisbane and a semifinal finish at the Australian Open make Roger a top 10 player in 2016, but at 34 years of age even minor knee surgery requires a watch and wait approach. Change since last ranking – 2
- Dominic Thiem – His 2 titles in 2016 have him positioned as another possible threat to the top tier. Change since last ranking – Not ranked
- David Goffin – Given how well he played versus Novak at Cincy in 2015 and his solid showing at Indian Wells, could he be an unlikely spoiler in 2016? Change since last ranking – Not ranked
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – He played Novak tough for two sets this past week. By my earlier logic, maybe he should be ranked #2. Change since last ranking – Not ranked
- Kei Nishikori – Winning nearly as many titles in Memphis as Jerry Lawler keeps Kei this top 10 for now. Change since last ranking – 3
Biggest Change – Kei Nishikori dropped 3 spots
Entered the Poll – Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, David Goffin, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Dropped Out of the Poll – David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Gael Monfils, and Gilles Simon