Rafael Nadal’s extraordinary 2019…
🇦🇺 Australian Open: F
🇫🇷 French Open: 🏆
🇬🇧 Wimbledon: SF
🇺🇸 US Open: 🏆
🇪🇸 Davis Cup: 🏆
🌎 World No.1: 🍾 pic.twitter.com/Re2Ljn3XhZ
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) November 24, 2019
- Rafael Nadal ended 2019 with wins. He picked up two wins at the World Tour Final despite not making it out of the Round Robin. He then picked up singles and doubles wins as Spain claimed the new version of Davis Cup.
- Novak Djokovic won two tournaments after the US Open ended including The Bercy in Paris. Rarely does someone go 22-2 in majors claiming and Australian Open and Wimbledon title and not finish #1. Nadal’s second US Open title in three years made that possible. There is a clear #1 & #2 in the world heading into 2020.
- Daniil Medvedev reached six-consecutive tournament finals claiming two Masters 1000 shields along the way. He also stagged a memorable comeback from two sets down at the US Open that fell short. Finishing off Nadal may be the next hurdle for the talented Medvedev as he again let Rafa off of the hook late in a match at the World Tour Finals.
- Stefanos Tsitsipas had a great start and finish to his 2019 campaign allowing him to finish 4th in my non-binding Power Ranking. Tsitsipas reached an Australian Open semifinal and won the World Tour Finals. His first half to 2019 went well, but the World Tour Final triumph that included wins over Thiem, Federer, Medvedev, and Zverev sends him into 2020 with a lot of momentum.
- Dominic Thiem reached his second consecutive French Open final and took a set versus Rafa in that championship match. He defeated Zverev, Djokovic, and Federer at the World Tour Finals before losing a close match to Tsitsipas. The possibilities of working with Thomas Muster and greater success of off clay in 2020 are tantalizing. His 2019 Indian Wells title and World Tour Finals runner-up finish suggest big things for 2020 on most surfaces.
- Roger Federer is ranked #3 in the world, but his US Open loss, as well as his loss at the World Tour Finals, suggests to me that Federer needs ideal circumstances to beat the very best players in succession on surfaces other than grass. He is 38 so this is not shocking. Winning Basel, Dubai, and Halle along with Miami show that Federer is still a frequent champion on tour and he came within one point of a 9th Wimbledon title.
- Alexander Zverev showed flashes in the Fall of what could make him a big player in the coming years.
- Grigor Dimitrov‘s US Open semifinal run put him in the 8th slot as he does have the game to make deep runs in big events.
- Roberto Bautista Agut helped Spain win the new Davis Cup and he battled his way to a Wimbledon semifinal.
- Denis Shapovalov finished in the ATP’s top 15 and had a ball helping to push Canada to its first Davis Cup final.
The Pros will see you in 2020, but Tennis Abides will have more content between now and December 31, 2019.