Who is most likely a future top player?

Djokovic was last year’s big rocket. People saw him play through 2005 and 2006 and saw his talent and concluded he would go up there some day. Djokovic went up really fast. Nadal and Federer were slower, but they’ve really written some decent tennis history with their achievements so far. The rise of Murray is probably not as impressive, but at least he seems to have gotten to the point where he will establish himself as a top 10 player. He’s a 87-model so he’s definetely got more time to hunt for GS titles. Roddick is also a fast climber who was supposed to take over after Sampras and Agassi. The little time he got on top was probably more than good enough seeing how dominant the two (three) top players are now. The other top 10 players have all risen slowly towards the top.

So who is the next rising star? Del Potro is an obvious pick for this season, but he must be prove that he can play good in bigger events. US Open was good, but can he do it in the other three as well? At his age (20) it’s not bad going towards a top 10 spot. Fed didn’t reach it that early either.

I’m gonna jump right over Gasquet and head to Tsonga. He has the potential, there’s no doubt there, but he seems to be too big for this sport. Injuries seem to haunt the big guys on the tour, and you’ll never be able to reach the very top if you can’t play tournaments. What could have been a great season for him, turned out as a miserable one with only a few good results after AO final. This week he beat Djokovic in 2 sets and once again showed that it wasn’t a 2 week wonder back in January.

Gilles Simon has had a sweet summer season, but he’s not exactly the youngest talent. He has beaten Federer, and played some great top 10-quality tennis the last few months. I don’t see him in a GS final, but with a little more consistency he can definitely head for a top 10 spot next season.

Marin Cilic is an obvious pick. Talented and tall. Tall = big serve = fast ranking climber. Many big servers have had less problems climbing up the rankings as they are able to challenge some higher ranked players with their big weapon. Always count on big servers and good movers like Cilic. He just turned 20 and reminds me a little bit of Ancic, Roddick, Safin and the way they climbed the rankings.

Does Querrey have what it takes? I don’t think he has enough, unfortunately. He’s a big guy, but not as big as Karlovic, although his strokes are similar. He took a set off Nadal on clay, in Madrid. Potential is there, but he needs to get a breaktrough match or tournament. Still young, but clock is ticking!

Gulbis is a question mark. He has done what many top players have done. Performing well in bigger tournaments, and less consistent in the smaller ones. Roddick was similar in 01-02 when he would beat Sampras in a masters, but lose to a 100+ ranked player next. Talentwise he’s up there with Djokovic, but he also needs a breakthrough.

Other guys worth mentioning (and watching):
Steve Darcis
Kei Nishikori (can he win in Tokyo?) Probably the biggest potential in top 100! age 18!


2 Responses to “Who is most likely a future top player?”

  1. Stevev Says:

    Nice post. A year on and looking at things, you would agree with people like Del Potro and Tsonga.

    Querrey adn Simon have done ok, Gulbis not so.

    Darcis has looked strong at times, not heard much from Nishikori. Belucci may be one to watch, as is Leonardo Mayer of Argentina.


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