Where Things Stand as Tennis Shifts to the Beaten Earth
- Novak Djokovic – His performance at the Australian Open was outstanding. That is enough to win the first phase of 2019 regardless of what has transpired since.
- Roger Federer – Winning Miami and Dubai as well as posting a runner-up finish at Indian Wells positions Federer in as a solid second place. Federer doing his best Uncle Drew impression during the Sunshine Double
- Stefanos Tsitsipas – He may have slightly overplayed in the early phases of the year, but he has played well across multiple events.
- Dominic Thiem – The 2018 Roland Garros runner-up won Indian Wells on a slow hard court. He should feel good about his chances in Paris.
- Rafael Nadal – Rafa’s runner-up finish in Melbourne, semifinal finish at Indian Wells, and even his dust-up with Kyrgios in Acapulco do not dampen his chances at a twelfth Roland Garros title. His physical condition is a minor concern at the moment, but that concern will either grow or shrink during the leading events prior to Roland Garros.
- Felix Auger-Aliassime – The young Canadian keeps making believers of his fellow pros.
- Denis Shapovalav – His Miami run was full of promise.
- Roberto Bautista Agut – He knocked of Djokovic again (Qatar and Miami) in 2019 and heads into the clay season with momentum. His Qatar title and Australian Open quarterfinal may be moving into the rearview mirror, but he grabbed that title and left Miami with a 6-7, 6-7 quarterfinal loss to Isner. That should not dampen his outlook for the clay season.
- Gael Monfils – His Rotterdam title run was impressive.
- John Isner – The big man’s serve could make him a factor on grass or hardcourts as well as a possible spoiler on clay. His runner-up finish in Miami is clouded by a possible stress fracture.
— 𝐹𝓁𝑜𝓌𝓁𝑒𝓈𝓈 (@denisshapobw) March 31, 2019