Our Long International Nightmare is Over: Tennis Abides is Back
Sorry this is a bit later than usual. Putting the finishing touches on my dissertation put my tennis writing on the back burner. Still, the 3rd Masters 1000 event of 2016 along with a 500 level event in Spain deserve some attention prior to the start of the Madrid Masters.
- Novak Djokovic – Novak Djokovic is still way out in front in this power ranking. He has dominated 2016. The Monte Carlo loss means Novak has had some needed downtime after his Indian Wells-Miami double. Still, as he chases his last piece to the career slam puzzle (as well as his Nole Slam) any losses on clay heading into Paris will garner some attention.
- Rafael Nadal – Rafa won Monte Carlo and Barcelona to throw his hat into the ring as a major player at Roland Garros (as though 9 prior titles wouldn’t have already done that). Rafa has spoken of a loss of confidence, but wins will help in that regard. I think he is more vulnerable on clay than what we saw for much of 2005-2014, but he appears to be in better form than 2015. Change since last ranking +3
- Dominic Thiem – He has played well enough on clay since Wimbledon 2015 to receive a lot of attention in Paris. Change since last ranking +4
- Andy Murray – Andy let Rafa off of the hook in the second set of their Monte Carlo semifinal and wilted in the 3rd set. Is Andy really #4 at the moment? Probably not but I can’t justify Gael Monfils or Kei Nishikori being quite that high either. Change since last ranking +5
- Kei Nishikori – Andy Murray cannot be said to forever be the bridesmaid as he has 2 slams, an olympic gold, and a Davis Cup title. I guess Kei, outside of Memphis, is that player. He fought well in Barcelona, but until he wins the big one. Change since last ranking – 1
- Milos Raonic – Milos’ play in the first portion of 2016 was quite solid. He has had good clay court results in the past, but the surface change is not likely to his advantage. His loss to Murray in Monte Carlo was a grade A butt kicking. Change since last ranking – 4
- David Goffin – His play in Miami keeps him on the list. I think his draw in Paris will be one to watch as he could be a nightmare for some to see. Change since last ranking – 4
Roger Federer – Roger did not play poorly in Monte Carlo, but missing Dubai, Indian Wells, and Miami mean he has only played in 3 2016 events and has had minor knee surgery. Not exactly what an attacking 34-year-old wants when heading into a lot of events on a slower surface. Change since last ranking -2
- Nick Kyrgios – This surface is not ideal for Kyrgios, but his talent makes him impossible to ignore. Change since last ranking – 1
- Gael Monfils – His play in Miami and Monte Carlo likely justify a higher ranking in my poll. His history of curious results make me hesitant to place him higher. Change since last ranking – not ranked
Biggest Mover – Andy Murray Plus 4
Entered the Poll – Gael Monfils
Dropped out of the Poll – Stan Wawrinka