2018 Predictions

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2018 Predictions

Post by sirfredperry on Sat 02 Dec 2017, 12:37 pm

This time last year, we assumed that Murray and Djoko would continue to do well and that it was asking a lot for Rafa and Rog to roar back. Not quite how it turned out, of course.
   Now we look forward to 2018. As H-Bill has said on another thread, predicting what might happen over the next 12 months is tricky to say the least. I'm going to stick my neck out and say that Djoko could come storming back, while Fed won't have anything like the year he had in 2017.
   With Rafa, it's difficult to know how fit he's going to be, although he always manages to get himself in working order for the clay court season. I ALWAYS pick him for RG and 2018 is no exception. Murray? Who knows? If his hip is much better, then you think he'll have a reasonable year. But his style of play is such that he needs to be near-100% fit to compete.
   I think some of the other return-ees - Stan, Nishi - will have benefited from the break and could do well. I can see Fed being top 5 again but could miss out on Slam titles. Wimbledon would be his best bet, IMHO.
    Zverev? Has to - and probably will - do better in the Slams in 2018. If he does then he's looking at top 4. Dimi started and finished 2017 very well. He just has to be more consistent. His season this year was marred by some really awful defeats to players he should have beaten easily.
   Thiem tends to do well early on then fade, but is likely to be a top 10er. Goffin was playing some great stuff at the end of 2017 and could well stay in the top 10. Kyrgios will excite, yet frustrate, again. Be interesting to see if Shapovalov can kick on. He's so young that he can afford a second-season-syndrome whereby a player has a dream debut year but then finds the going far tougher.
   Predicting how the women's season pans out is even harder. There was really no outstanding player this year. It could be that Serena will still be a force, child or no. Ostapenko's hitting in 2017 was remarkable. Like Shapovalov, it will be intriguing to see if she can keep it up. Sharapova will climb the rankings again and I expect Muguruza, Pliskova and Halep to be top 5. Konta had a very poor end to the year. Could be difficult for her to keep up her ranking.
   Probably missed out a host of players - male and female - who should have been discussed. But this is a start.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by No name Bertie on Mon 04 Dec 2017, 2:37 am

I was impressed with Goffin's end of season - defeating both Nadal and Federer and winning his matches in the Davis Cup.   I think he might be able to step up and make a challenge in the slams, but aged 26 he has a poor record in the slams - two quarter-finals only.

Others to look out for are Denis Shapovalov, Nick Kyrgios, and I suppose Grigor Dimitrov. Then there are the return of the injured such as Milos Raonic, Nishikori and Wawrinka.

I fear for Andy Murray.  I think he might be the first of the "big four" to retire from competitive singles.  His hip issue is not going away readily and he might be one of those requiring a hip replacement in future years.  I had hoped to see Andy Murray drop down to doubles, forming a partnership with his brother and winning slam after slam for a few years before retiring from competitive tennis.  I suppose the Australian Open will reveal all.

For me the biggest unknown is Djokovic.  I still find it hard to work what happened to cause him to so suddenly lose competiveness after being in such an overwhelmingly dominant position at the top of the sport.  I think there are probably three factors involved - physical, mental and personal relationships.

Federer will be turning 37 next year.  He is at an age where it is difficult to make predictions except that he is likely to skip the clay season again.

Nadal will as ever give it his maximum effort, and as long as he doesn't injure himself again seriously, should pick up another French Open title.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by sirfredperry on Mon 04 Dec 2017, 9:35 am

NNBertie. Ta for that. Forgot about Raonic. He seems unable to go thru a whole season in one piece. If he should stay, comparatively, injury free then he will be a threat.
   I think Djoko will be OK this season. He's "only" 30 and will bounce back.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by Guest82 on Mon 04 Dec 2017, 11:19 am

I think this is the final season on big four dominance at the slams. I am backing Djokovic to return to form and end the season as number one.

Think Fed will win one slam (W or AO if it is as quick as last year), Rafa one (RG) and Djoko two. I do worry for Murray that his level might not return to what it was, think he will be competitive and top ten but might lose the edge.

Raonic, Nishikori and Wawrinka will all make the top ten a competitve place if Dimitrov, Goffin, Thiem, Zverev and possibly Kyrgios and Shapovalov can all continue this years form and/or make improvements.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by Henman Bill on Mon 04 Dec 2017, 10:37 pm

Last year's prediction thread I almost didn't bother and I later looked back at my prediction and wished I hadn't.

I really don't want to make too many specific predictions this time around, especially things like who will win each slam.

However I am wondering if we should make Djokovic marginal favourite to have the best year, if fully fit and motivated. However I am not that confident, it seems almost like a pointless guess. If not fully fit or motivated he might not even approach the top five. On the other hand, he might get steadily back to his best but not in time to score big points in the first quarter of the season where he generally gets his biggest haul.

There is too much uncertainty going around.

Let's one of us try and remember to bump this thead in the run up to the Australian Open so more people can participate.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by slashermcguirk on Wed 13 Dec 2017, 4:54 pm

Interesting comments from Nadal in this article.. It is nadal's take on his rivalries with Federer and Djokovic saying that Djokovic is the toughest player he has come up against

https://www.express.co.uk/sport/tennis/888656/Roger-Federer-Rafael-Nadal-Novak-Djokovic-bombshell


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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by No name Bertie on Wed 13 Dec 2017, 10:54 pm

Not a bombshell - the express is not a quality newspaper.
head to head:
Nadal 24 vs Djokovic 26
Nadal 23 vs Federer 15

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by Henman Bill on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 1:22 am

Ignore the stupid headline and just look at what Rafa said. Here it is: The rest of the article is just silly media spin.

When asked if Federer was the toughest opponent he has ever faced, Nadal told SER: “Well, it’s complicated.

“What with titles and what he’s accomplished that says he’s the best in the history of our sport.

“Is he the best I’ve played against? Well, maybe, yes, I’ve also played the great Djokovic, we’ve run into other really good players.

“But it’d be unfair to say that Federer isn’t the best I’ve ever played against because the titles and his track record prove that to be the case.

“But at a technical level, when Djokovic has been at the top of his game, I have to say that I’ve been up against an invincible player.”

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by sirfredperry on Thu 21 Dec 2017, 3:56 pm

Worryingly, Andy Murray has delayed his departure for Australia, amid speculation that his hip is still playing up. It is still hoped he will play the Brisbane tournament.
   Stan the Man and Raonic have pulled out of an exhibition tourney they were due to play later this month. All goes to show that it's difficult to make too many predictions for 2018.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by No name Bertie on Thu 21 Dec 2017, 7:02 pm

When Murray played Federer you could tell his hip was still hindering his movement. Whether it actually gives him pain or whether it is just "awkward" to move with is unclear.

With regard to tall players such as Raonic (and Zverev, Medvedev ...) I have a theory that they are always going to be prone to injury because of the extra strain on their bodies when stooping and making rapid positional changes - basketball is maybe better suited for their size. In tennis it seems that 6'1" is about the ideal size.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by MrInvisible on Fri 22 Dec 2017, 11:15 am

Seems a few people are bit wary of making predictions, but the unpredictability is part of the fun of it. I'll go for year end top 10 as follows:

1. Djokovic
2. Zverev
3. Federer
4. Nadal
5. Dimitrov
6. Thiem
7. Cilic
8. Murray
9. Raonic
10. Goffin

I think Wawrinka will struggle on his return and will call it a day some point during the year. I may be way off with this but I'm expecting Djokovic to come back strongly, though fade a bit as the year goes on. Federer and Nadal could win a slam, but away from Roland Garros and Wimbledon I don't think either will be reaching a slam final in 2018.

My predictions for the slams, which may contradict the top 10 list possibly...

Australian Open: Most likely to win: Djokovic, other leading contenders: Goffin, Dimitrov, Cilic, Nadal
Roland Garros: I'm going for either Djokovic or Thiem to win, Nadal and Zverev to reach semis.
Wimbledon: I'm going for Murray (will be his last slam win), other leading contenders: Dimitrov, Cilic, Federer.
US Open: I'm going for Zverev, other leading contenders: Raonic, Kyrgios, Federer, Cilic, Nishikori.

I reckon Zverev will win the most Masters titles, closely followed by Djokovic, with others shared between Dimitrov, Cilic, Federer, Nadal and possibly Murray.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by No name Bertie on Fri 22 Dec 2017, 1:19 pm

I would like to have more information on everybody's injury status before making a prediction - especially on Djokovic.  

My own feeling is that Murray has a chronic issue that is going to hamper him from herein.  His parting with Lendl might be an indicator of this.   But I think Raonic, Nishikori, Stan Wawrinka, Djokovic have better chances of making full recoveries.  But Stan Wawrinka is getting older and Djokovic has to start from scratch in having sacked his entire coaching and medical staff after alleged issues associated with his personal life and the culture that had built up around him and his all conquering team.  So it is not clear to me that Djokovic will have the motivation to put in the same effort, intensity and regime into his training that made him into that perfect athletic and flexible and durable specimen that saw him ascend to the very top of the sport.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by Just John on Fri 29 Dec 2017, 1:23 pm

Djokovic is injured again, and still feeling effects of elbow injury

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by JuliusHMarx on Fri 29 Dec 2017, 4:14 pm

Rafa's knees have also yet to recover fully.
i suspect Murray, Djoko and Rafa are all going to have a hard time getting back to a consistently high level of fitness, and Federer will obviously limit his tournaments again.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Fri 29 Dec 2017, 9:04 pm

Djokovic is finished. Unless he risks surgery can’t see him regaining his place in the peeking order.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by laverfan on Sat 30 Dec 2017, 12:15 am

Djokovic's injury reminds me of the woes Del Potro has/had, while Murray's looks too eerily similar to Hewitt's.

I hope I am wrong on both counts.

Nadal will get comfortable after AO, methinks.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by No name Bertie on Sat 30 Dec 2017, 5:11 am

With the ATP (& WTA) tour growing exponentially in terms of global audience and income during the "big four" era of tennis, which brought stability and titanic on-going rivalry and drama to the sport, it will interesting to see what the business leaders do next to the game in a desperate attempt to maintain those revenues once all the main protagonists of the "big four" era exit or rather limp off with zimmer frame stage right.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by sirfredperry on Sat 30 Dec 2017, 1:40 pm

Djoko has pulled out of next week's tournament and won't be in great shape, it seems, for the AO. Murray, at least, is down to play next week - at Brisbane.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 31 Dec 2017, 11:53 am

sirfredperry wrote:Djoko has pulled out of next week's tournament and won't be in great shape, it seems, for the AO. Murray, at least, is down to play next week - at Brisbane.

And Murray did get through a single set match against Robert Bautista Agut in Dubai a couple of days ago in the World Tennis Championship which he lost 6-2. Personally, think it is a mighty long way back from here for Andy. Signs are that even he is acknowledging the precarious position he is in. Is he ready for the new season? Physically (aside from the hip) yes but mentally I am less certain. He is already talking of lessening his workload to ease the pressures on his body which tells me a lot.
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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by slashermcguirk on Sun 31 Dec 2017, 12:36 pm

as a big novak fan, very concerned now about this latest setback. I fear this could be the beginning of the end. If he hasn't recovered after 6 months, it is a very ominous sign. Elbow injuries in tennis are awful and probably too late to go for surgery now.

He had been so fortunate with injuries up until this point. I really thought it would end up being his knees or ankles that would finish him given how quick he moves around the court and the way he slides like no other player.

Elbow injuries are just so difficult to come back from, particularly when you have the sort of mileage on the clock that Djokovic has. I hope I am wrong but this sounds very bad.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 31 Dec 2017, 12:41 pm

slashermcguirk wrote:as a big novak fan, very concerned now about this latest setback. I fear this could be the beginning of the end. If he hasn't recovered after 6 months, it is a very ominous sign. Elbow injuries in tennis are awful and probably too late to go for surgery now.

He had been so fortunate with injuries up until this point. I really thought it would end up being his knees or ankles that would finish him given how quick he moves around the court and the way he slides like no other player.

Elbow injuries are just so difficult to come back from, particularly when you have the sort of mileage on the clock that Djokovic has. I hope I am wrong but this sounds very bad.

Yes that is a big concern that it has not cleared up after six months. Likewise with Murray's hip. It is evidently still troubling him after so long. It would not surprise me in the slightest if Novak and Andy have won their last majors and call time on their careers in 2018. Crying or Very sad
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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by No name Bertie on Sun 31 Dec 2017, 2:48 pm

From the seven minutes or so of footage on youtube of the Doha highlights of the one set played between Murray and Robert Bautista Agut, I couldn't tell if Murray was still being affected by the hip or just whether he was not match fit and being cautious.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 31 Dec 2017, 3:26 pm

No name Bertie wrote:From the seven minutes or so of footage on youtube of the Doha highlights of the one set played between Murray and Robert Bautista Agut, I couldn't tell if Murray was still being affected by the hip or just whether he was not match fit and being cautious.

Post-match he said he began to feel better as the match wore on but you can take from that what you will. Was that the hip that began to feel better? If so that is worrying as it is evidently still bothering him. Or perhaps he meant he was rusty at the start but began to feel more comfortable as the match went on. Since then he has said he will look to lessen the amount of tournaments he plays in so it would tell me that hip is still bothering him.

UPDATE: And now Andy has pulled out of the Brisbane International and would think the Australuan Open as well though that is yet to be confirmed.
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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by sirfredperry on Tue 02 Jan 2018, 8:25 am

CC: Yes, the Murray pull out form Brisbane suggests he'll have to miss the AO. Is this hip thing going to ever improve enough for him to compete properly? It's a big worry.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 02 Jan 2018, 9:19 am

sirfredperry wrote:CC: Yes, the Murray pull out form Brisbane suggests he'll have to miss the AO. Is this hip thing going to ever improve enough for him to compete properly? It's a big worry.

I have grave doubts sadly. I mean he has had six months rest and the problem persists. Surely, if it were going to clear up it would have done so by now.
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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by barrystar on Tue 02 Jan 2018, 10:24 am

I am as certain as can be that Andy Murray's years as a singles player challenging for slams and the top ranking are now over.  BBC says he is talking about second opinions and operations.  My surmise is that he knew a major operation would be an end to it, so he hoped that he could buy some more career time with a break, and that it has not worked.

Maybe he could play doubles with Jamie for a while - although his standard would have to be very high to replace the contented and successful partnership with Soares.

If, as I suspect, this is the end it's not difficult to celebrate a hugely successful career where Andy muscled his way to the top despite coinciding with three of the best ever players ever to pick up a racquet.


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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by No name Bertie on Tue 02 Jan 2018, 10:41 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:
sirfredperry wrote:CC: Yes, the Murray pull out form Brisbane suggests he'll have to miss the AO. Is this hip thing going to ever improve enough for him to compete properly? It's a big worry.

I have grave doubts sadly. I mean he has had six months rest and the problem persists. Surely, if it were going to clear up it would have done so by now.

Murray has had 6 months out of competitive tennis but not necessarily 6 months rest.  He definitely pushed himself too much prior to Wimbledon 2017 and during Wimbledon 2017 where he amazingly got to the quarter finals.  And then he pushed himself again trying to get ready for the US Open 2017, which he only withdrew from at the last moment after going through various practices.

If this is it for Murray, then thank goodness for his fantastic 2015 season with the Davis Cup victory and then his brilliant 2016 which saw him win another singles gold medal, another Wimbledon, the number one ranking and the end of year World Tour Final.

Murray was below par for the Australian Open 2017, got to the semi-final of the French Open 2017 and then it seemed that in the transition to grass he picked up the hip issue, or he aggravated a pre-existing condition, that he previously was able to work around.

Clearly Murray's priority now must be his long term health.  

It may be that for 2018 Murray and Djokovic are not going to play a major part in competing for majors.  Murray has now intimated that his hip issue may be more serious than he had hoped for and may require surgery.   Djokovic hasn't yet talked about the seriousness of his elbow injury except that it needed time for rest and self-repair.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by sirfredperry on Tue 02 Jan 2018, 12:51 pm

Murray's long, brutally honest statement today suggests that this could be a career-ending injury. He has tried all he can to deal with it without having surgery but now admits that he may have to go under the knife after all.
   It's all a great pity as he says he's desperate to be back on court and able to be competitive.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by MrInvisible on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 6:40 pm

Just wanted to bump this up to include discussion of this year's Masters Series titles, which hadn't been mentioned so far in this thread, with one down already and another one just under way.

Federer obviously just missed out with Indian Wells, though I do feel he has a strong chance of winning one of Miami, Cincinatti or Montreal (or is it Toronto?) in the summer. Elsewhere I'd be surprised if Thiem doesn't win at least one of the claycourt masters, with Alex Zverev or Nadal likely to win one too. Kyrgios to possibly pick up one of the hardcourt masters. Lots of question marks about Djokovic and Murray. Dimitrov hasn't really pushed on with greater consistency this year though is obviously capable of winning one this year - I'll go for one of the autumn indoor Masters titles. One of Raonic, Cilic and Del Potro you would expect to have v good chance of winning one of the Autumn Masters titles too.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by lags72 on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 11:01 pm

The MS have really strong fields these days - eg, 17 of the current top 20 compete at Miami - and just one title during the course of a season is a solid, noteworthy achievement.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by sirfredperry on Thu 22 Mar 2018, 7:06 am

Already my original thread is looking a little careworn, especially as I thought Fed would not win another slam. Dimi has, like last year, had some very patchy results as well as good performances.
   The Djoko revival aint happened yet, but the year is but young. Zverev is not doing that great but delpo can already look back on 2018 with satisfaction.
   The unpredictability of the women's game was reflected in the surprise finalists at IW. Remains to be seen if the returning Serena is going to be a force to reckon with.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by MrInvisible on Sun 14 Oct 2018, 9:02 pm

Just wanted to bump this up again - on my year end predictions I had a couple of howlers - Dimitrov and Goffin (!), plus I was way too optimistic about Murray but I'm quite chuffed my Djokovic prediction of year end no. 1 may possibly come to pass as I was going against the grain at the time.

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Re: 2018 Predictions

Post by sirfredperry on Mon 15 Oct 2018, 8:43 am

MrI. Fascinating to read the earlier posts again as we reach the end of the season. Full marks to Guest82 who came up with this:

 "Think Fed will win one slam (W or AO if it is as quick as last year), Rafa one (RG) and Djoko two."

I was one who predicted Djoko would have a good year, but assumed, wrongly, that his return to form would start earlier. Fraid I was disappointed in my hope Zverev would do better in the slams.
  Come early December we can have a bit of fun predicting what will happen in 2019. An early forecast: Murray will win more matches next year than in 2018!

Nov 26, 2018 - Am going to start a predictions-for-2019 topic, but thought I would edit this from a few weeks ago. Always interesting to see how the predictions worked out.

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