2010 is indeed going to be an interesting year, so I thought I would make a top8 list of players to watch for in the year to come.
1. Juan Martin Del Potro
I believe that this guy has a chance to take the #3 spot in the ATP worldtour rankings. That is if Rafa and Djokovic won't be able to step up their games. Del Potro already has a 3-0 result in match statistics against Djoko and after the US Open 2009 it seems as if Juan Martins confidence has been strengthened more than ever. I believe that the only guys right now that can beat Del Potro are Federer and Murray.
2. Juan Carlos Ferrero
I LOVE this guy. It is so nice to see him back in the top20 (Actually it is 21 right now) And I think he has even more to give. Something seems to have fired up his spirit and he made it to the QF of Wimbledon this year, Semis of Queens and R16 in US Open '09 where he lost to Del Potro. Watch out for Ferrero in 2010! I think that Ferrero can beat anyone when he plays his best and I wouldn't be surprised to see him upset top players to reach QFs and SFs next year.
3. Tommy Haas
Yet another player of the good old days that has come back and proven a real tough player to beat since he won his first ATP Worldtour title in a long time this summer in Halle where he beat Djokovic in the finals. He made it to R16 at Roland Gaross where he pushed Roger Federer to five sets and he proved to be a tough opponent in a close Wimbledon Semifinal where Federer eventually prevailed. Tommy Haas is back! Right now his singles ranking is 20. I believe Tommy Haas, just like Ferrero can do some major damage against the top players and reach the late stages of many tournaments.
4. Rafael Nadal
Nadal has had an incredibly difficult year after the French Open, we all know that. But he came back and he proved that he was back for good in the matches up to the Semifinal of the US Open 2009. If Rafa hadn't have suffered from strained muscle injury in the quarterfinal of this years US Open, who knows kind of a competition he could have given Del Potro in the semifinal? In 2010 he will be back to challenge Federer for the #1 ranking. I think that Rafa is going to keep his #2 spot in the ATP rankings throughout 2010.
5. Robin Soderling
I have to have a Swede on the list right? :p Robin Soderling has said that he plays his best tennis when he plays his most agressive tennis. In other words, when he is having a good day, hitting his crushing forehands there is usually not much you can do, Robin usually dictates most points if he can have his way, unless your name is Roger Federer with a 12-0 lead in match statistics. :) Robins problem has always been his bad habit to mentally break down and he has had difficulties in keeping his cool during matches. But I have seen changes in his game and in his attitude this year and look where it took him, he is currently ranked 11 in the single rankings and many players have actually said that Soderling is one of the toughest opponents to beat because of his huge serves, and aggressive strokes.I think that Soderling will finally be able to break in to the top10 in 2010.
6. Leyton Hewitt
Because he has been on tour so long, it feels as if Leyton Hewitt is an old ATP player with his best years behind him. But that is not the fact! He is actually the same age as Roger Federer and I am really happy to see him back on the scene. He is currently ranked 26 in the singles rankings, much thanks to winning the Houston title in USA this summer and he has moved 32 places in the rankings since 2008 which is great to see! In this years US Open he took one set from Roger which was nice to see. He is really fired up and has just the same great attitude that he always has and I think that he is always lots of fun to watch. Hewitt should be able to become a top20 player in 2010.
7. Andy Roddick
Semifinals of Australian Open, Finals of Wimbledon close to taking his first Wimbledon title, Andy Roddick has really stepped up his game this year and I think he is playing much better than in a long time. Everybody knows that Roddick has a great fighting spirit and always gives plays every point as if it was his last. In 2010, I believe that he could go to the finals of both the Australian Open and Wimbledon next year. His backhand looks better than ever not to mention that he finally seems to go in to the net on the RIGHT approach shots putting maximum pressure on his opponents. I think that Andy keeps his rankings in 2010, perhaps could go up one spot to retake the 5th place.
8. Roger Federer
The maestro. After loosing the Australian Open 2009 he had many of us doubting that he would ever be able to reach nor beat Sampras record of 14 Grand Slam titles. And he showed us didn't he? Reaching finals the finals of all four grand slams, winning two of them. What an incredible accomplishment. In 2010 Roger Federer will be relaxed, confident and on top of his game. If he plays his best and keeps his focus, he should easily be able to maintain his title as the World Number 1. I think that Roger Federer can beat anyone in 2010, but he needs to keep focused and not relax when he believes that he is on top during a match, just like he did against Tsonga in Montreal and with Del Potro in the second set of the US Open 2009
Do you guys believe that there is someone I have missed on this list? Please post
comments below or discuss it with me on Facebook or on Tennisopolis