Power Ranking the Top 20 Men's Tennis Players After Wimbledon 2013
The 2013 Wimbledon Championships were an exciting two weeks, and we cannot wait to see what the rest of the season has to offer.
These unusual exits, along with unexpected performances by lesser-known players, means the state of men's tennis is continuing to change.
And though some players are ranked in the Top 20 in the world, they certainly have not been playing like it recently.
These power rankings are largely based on recent performances (the clay season and Wimbledon), but also consider all events from the 2013 season thus far.
Here are the true top 20 best male tennis players currently.
Honorable Mention: Fernando Verdasco and Bernard Tomic
ATP Rankings (respectively): 35 and 42
Why They're Here: These two guys displayed phenomenal efforts at Wimbledon, upsetting a major player here or there en route to the second week of the tournament. Bernard Tomic also played well at the Australian Open in January while Fernando Verdasco is now just starting to find his 2009 form once again.
Early Summer Outlook: I think these guys will keep their current form up until at least the Paris Masters. Unfortunately, I also believe only one of them will be making headlines and going considerably far in tournaments.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: They should look to get their rankings high enough to be seeded at the U.S. Open. Their early 2014 goals could be to get into the Top 20, though this is a small mountain for them to climb.
20. Tommy Robredo
ATP Ranking: 28
Why He's Here: After making a miraculous venture to the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, Tommy Robredo came to Wimbledon with a fresh mindset. At such an old age, he still plays great tennis and played well at SW19, losing in the third round to the eventual champion.
Early Summer Outlook: Robredo still has a good shot at making the quarterfinals or better of one of the ATP1000s. He has a very energetic game and still has the speed to chase down balls on fast courts.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: His ranking is so close to the seeding drop-off. If he can keep it where it is, then I don't see why he couldn't make the fourth round at the U.S. Open.
19. Jurgen Melzer
ATP Ranking: 33
Why He's Here: Breaking into the Top 10 for the first time in his lengthy career just a few years ago, Jurgen Melzer was looking to be in fine form. After a large drop in ranking and success, he came to the Sony Open in Miami with a new outlook. Since then, he has been playing very well and also had a tremendous grass season.
Early Summer Outlook: Melzer is an on-and-off player who has inconsistent results. He should focus on the U.S. Open, as his hard-hitting style works very well on the courts of Flushing Meadows.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: I honestly think Melzer has a chance to return to the Top 20, but that means he must play three or four decent tournaments in a row. Since a hard court is his best surface, it is more probable that he can achieve good results.
18. Ernests Gulbis
ATP Ranking: 36
Why He's Here: He has shown that he is not afraid to go up against the top players. He is fearless, very good and does not even need a high ranking to enjoy success (though it would help).
Early Summer Outlook: His future looks bright, as he is finally beginning to focus more on his career and train with higher intensity. Look for him to do damage at the ATP1000s.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: I can see Gulbis reaching the Top 20 just so long as he has decent first- or second-round matches without the presence of giants. Draws have not been kind to him in his career, though he remains dangerous.
17. Mikhail Youzhny
ATP Ranking: 32
Why He's Here: Here is another guy who is playing the best tennis of his career at an old age. Mikhail Youzhny had a unique clay season—though he didn't beat all of the top players, he challenged them significantly. He carried that newfound momentum all throughout the brief grass season.
Early Summer Outlook: Youzhny can go into the summer tournaments knowing he has already exceeded many people's expectations. His style of play delights crowds, and he knows he can use that factor to his advantage.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: He has done well at the U.S. Open a couple of times, knocking off big players when spectators least expected it. Maybe he can make another great run there and concentrate on taking on the tough guys in either Montreal or Cincinnati for his preparation.
16. Kevin Anderson
ATP Ranking: 22
Why He's Here: He has been sublime for the past two years and is getting slightly better in each successive tournament. His results haven't been huge, but they have been highly consistent, and that is how he got his ranking so high.
Early Summer Outlook: Kevin Anderson's power game, which includes a high-bouncing and fast serve as well as big groundstrokes, will be successful for the remainder of the year. If he stays healthy, he can break into the world's Top 15.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: The best thing for the South African to do is to concentrate on Cincinnati and Montreal, two tournaments where he is familiar with the court and atmosphere.
The main reason he hasn't been going past the fourth round in Slams is that he keeps facing Tomas Berdych, his nemesis, along the way, so he should hope for another opponent.
15. Andreas Seppi
ATP Ranking: 23
Why He's Here: Andreas Seppi (along with Fabio Fognini) has been keeping men's Italian tennis alive recently. He has been maintaining his ranking and also has decent showings at tournaments, even when playing passively.
Early Summer Outlook: The Italian player's goals may be unclear, but a good few months of tennis are surely ahead of him. He is very consistent and strong, but should focus on being more aggressive in tight, important matches.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: I say his ranking will not change too much, and he will continue to reach the third or fourth round of nearly every tournament he enters. So, his best-case scenario is to keep being himself.
14. Gilles Simon
ATP Ranking: 18
Why He's Here: Gilles Simon played a phenomenal first half of the year, with his first big collapse occurring in the first round at Wimbledon. There, he was dismantled by Feliciano Lopez in straight sets.
Early Summer Outlook: Simon loves playing on hard courts, and I see him upsetting a ton of players this summer. I think he can make the semifinal of Montreal, Cincinnati or Paris if he gets the crowd behind him (which does not usually happen).
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: Simon could seriously get back into the Top 10. He's playing just as well as he was half a decade ago and knows how to fight on the big stages. I think he can re-emerge as an elite player by the time Wimbledon rolls around again.
13. Nicolas Almagro
ATP Ranking: 16
Why He's Here: He's here because even when facing two unusual upsets in the past two Slams, he has still been one of the biggest forces in the game. His "somewhat" early exits do not denote that he has gotten worse—he was simply outplayed or overwhelmed by two magical men (Tommy Robredo and Jerzy Janowicz).
Early Summer Outlook: Nicolas Almagro has a few opportunities to do big things, especially since the top of the men's game is becoming more uncertain. He needs to erase his constant angry thoughts and adapt a new mindset for the hard courts.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: It may be a long shot for him to qualify for the World Tour Finals, but he can reach the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, and that is pretty impressive in its own right. He has only shown glimpses—not the full package—of his brilliance on court, and perhaps, is not yet ready to make that next move forward on the tour.
12. Stanislas Wawrinka
ATP Ranking: 10
Why He's Here: Stanislas Wawrinka, much like Gilles Simon, enjoyed one of the best seasons on tour up until the start of Wimbledon, wherein he lost to Lleyton Hewitt. He is one of the best all-court players out there and only experienced one lapse all season.
Early Summer Outlook: His summer will be very strong, and he will cause problems for the top players as he always does. He has virtually no weaknesses in his game—he just needs to work more on his mental game.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: If this man does not qualify for the World Tour Finals, it would be an absolute crime. He is surely among the best eight players the world has seen this year.
He just needs to duel it out with Richard Gasquet (much like his two-set recovery to beat the Frenchman at the French Open) for the ninth spot and hope for another player to have a poor U.S. Open.
11. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
ATP Ranking: 8
Why He's Here: Tsonga had a similar season to Stanislas Wawrinka, though he went one round further in each of the three Slams of the year (one of those included a semifinal showing in Paris). This puts him a spot above the Swiss player in the power rankings, even when his clay season as a whole was much worse.
Early Summer Outlook: If the injury that took him out of Wimbledon subsides, which we all suspect it might, then his summer looks very bright. He always does very well in the summer's ATP1000 events (with a small exception in Shanghai).
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: He has a decent shot to make the semifinals of the U.S. Open. He needs to keep his mentality in tact and continue to play with the same fearless mindset that got him to this top position in the first place.
10. Richard Gasquet
ATP Ranking: 9
Why He's Here: Though Tsonga and Wawrinka had overall better years than Richard Gasquet, he made sure not to drop out in the first week of Wimbledon.
Early Summer Outlook: The Frenchman has been fairly consistent and usually tends to reach the second week of the U.S. Open. He should be proud that he is back in the forefront of the game and recognize that this success may not last forever.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: He can obviously compete in the World Tour Finals, but the U.S. Open and Paris Masters are likely more important to him. So, if he avoids early exits in the upcoming tournaments, he has a good chance to move up one more spot to the elusive eighth.
9. Jerzy Janowicz
ATP Ranking: 17
Why He's Here: Wimbledon wasn't just the only great tournament Jerzy Janowicz played this year. The monster athlete proved to the world that he is on the rise and is not afraid of anybody.
Early Summer Outlook: Janowicz really only has points in Paris to defend, so he can get his ranking even higher by that point. He is playing very well and will hope to continue hitting 40-plus winners a match.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: Janowicz should have a very strong summer. While he may be focusing on going far in the Paris tournament again, he, perhaps, stands an even greater chance in the other championships. I think he will have a good run at the U.S. Open and an even better one at Shanghai.
8. Tommy Haas
ATP Ranking: 11
Why He's Here: Tommy Haas has not let injury, age or critics let him down, and he is now pressing to be in the Top 10. He has played a similar style of tennis in each tournament this year, but is not having many troubles, even when he encounters bad days.
Early Summer Outlook: He should feel extremely confident going into the U.S. Open, knowing his only true tests are big servers—and Novak Djokovic. His game may translate a little bit better to the faster courts, even though he is adept on all surfaces.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: Maybe Haas has a chance to play in the World Tour Finals, but that is very far away when considering the fact that he still has many matches to play. He can get his ranking up in Montreal or Cincinnati and make the fourth round at the Open. This would probably get him up to No. 7 or 8 in the world.
7. Tomas Berdych
ATP Ranking: 6
Why He's Here: Although Tomas Berdych has a few hiccups here and there during his occasional remarkable runs, he has been one of the main men to beat in important tournaments. So far, the only notable "crack" in his 2013 campaign was the first-round loss to Gael Monfils in Paris. Still, he had the third-best clay-court season going into Roland Garros.
Early Summer Outlook: Wimbledon should have reassured him that he is good enough to beat anybody routinely, except the top five players. Being a quarterfinalist many times over is not a bad thing, but he is probably kicking himself by now that he hasn't been able to break through to the next (and final) barrier.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: Berdych has semifinal points to defend from the U.S. Open, and I do not think he will have anything close to a similar result in that tournament. However, I think he can win an ATP1000 trophy in the coming months.
6. Juan Martin Del Potro
ATP Ranking: 7
Why He's Here: Though he looked far from impressive going into Wimbledon, he shocked everybody with his insanely inspired performance. He was one set away from the final at the All England Club, but understandably, ran out of gas against Novak Djokovic.
Early Summer Outlook: Delpo has now played exceptionally well at Indian Wells and Wimbledon. His aggressive ball-striking, along with his unique instincts, allowed him to rise back up to the top of the men's game.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: Watch out for the Argentine this summer. He may just add an ATP1000 title to his name and make the semis at Flushing Meadows.
5. Roger Federer
ATP Ranking: 5
Why He's Here: Having only won one title all season and losing in the second round of Wimbledon, Roger Federer seems to be in a slump. I do not doubt that he will come back strong, but right now, he is not playing like the second- or third-best player in the world.
Early Summer Outlook: He should be happy to be participating in summer events, as he usually does quite well in them. Rog truly has nothing to lose at this point, except his reputation, but he knows nobody can break him down verbally.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: It is unlikely that Federer's ranking will dip below eight, and it will be interesting to see if he can defend his points in Cincinnati and the World Tour Finals. He has less points than usual to back up at the U.S. Open and the Paris Masters (where he did not play last year).
4. David Ferrer
ATP Ranking: 3
Why He's Here: Even with all of Rafael Nadal's tournament wins this year, David Ferrer was coming close to taking his spot in the power rankings. Unfortunately, he was injured all of Wimbledon and lost in straight sets to Juan Martin del Potro. Usually, he puts up a greater fight than that (and wins), so let's leave him in the fourth spot.
Early Summer Outlook: Surely this man is at the peak of his career. He takes nothing for granted and has a tremendous work ethic. If there is one man that is really looking forward to the end of the year, it is Ferrer.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: He reached the semis at the U.S. Open and won his first ATP1000 title ever last year in Paris, so I expect his ranking to drop slightly. However, the sky is the limit for him as he attempts to win more titles against the world's best.
3. Rafael Nadal
ATP Ranking: 4
Why He's Here: Rafa Nadal's first-round loss at Wimbledon was unusual, particularly because it was just his third loss all year, and it did not occur in a final. Still, he was the best player in the world for the months he was playing (which started just after the Australian Open) up until June.
Early Summer Outlook: With a fresh summer ahead of him, Rafa is likely grateful that he is even able to play at a high level without injuries (or so we hope). Even with a few early exits here and there, he will still probably be happy to be back in the heart of it all.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: With absolutely no points to defend, Rafa has a tremendous chance to become the world's No. 1 player.
It would be a disgrace that, if he is fortunate enough to not face any injuries, he does not accomplish the feat.
2. Andy Murray
ATP Ranking: 2
Why He's Here: Andy Murray had a historic run to the title at Wimbledon, only facing true danger in the quarterfinals. It seems as though Murray is unable to beat Djokovic at the Australian Open (the Serb's most dominant major), while Djokovic struggles to beat his rival at the other Slams.
Early Summer Outlook: Murray probably plays his best tennis in the summertime and has a lot on his plate. But he will be optimistic about the whole season and will look to defend his first major title ever in New York.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: The best thing for Murray to do is to win the U.S. Open again and to take home the title in Shanghai. This sounds easy enough, right? The Muzzard has more expectations placed on his shoulders than ever now, but perhaps, he knows he has reached the next level of his game and is ready to win even more.
1. Novak Djokovic
ATP Ranking: 1
Why He's Here: Novak Djokovic has played a couple of poor matches this year, though none of them came in Slams. Other than that, he has been rock-solid and continues to be the man to beat when it matters.
Early Summer Outlook: Djokovic had a few runner-up trophies from last year's summer events, and while this is amazing for nearly every tennis player, he is probably seeking revenge for the losses. He will have a tough time fighting off Rafa Nadal for the top spot in the rankings, but his successes will still be there for him in the next few months.
Best-Case Scenario for the End of the Year: The best thing for him to do is to win at least two titles, even if one of those is not the U.S. Open itself. He has been falling one or two matches short in many tournaments, and that is giving off the perception that he is playing tentatively in the bigger matches.
He may have lost two tough matches at the French Open and Wimbledon, but Djokovic is still the biggest threat on the ATP tour.