Stock Up, Stock Down for Tennis' Top Stars
The past few years of tennis have been quite remarkable, but this season could be shaping up to be more memorable and special than the others.
The power in the men's field is constantly changing, and many new faces are eager to break out.
Many thrilling matches have taken place and yet, the year is only halfway complete.
The summer swing is about to get underway, and looking at athletes' futures from a business or market standpoint could help with their assessments.
This slideshow details whether a player's stock is up (buy), down (sell) or a hold.
Though Djokovic has not won "so many" titles in the past two years, he has almost always been at the finish line.
His dominant 2011 season may never be duplicated, but being the No. 1 player in the world by a long shot is still the best position to be in just two years later.
It cannot be easy to remain on the throne with so many young talents challenging the toughest players, and the top guys all passing the thunder off to each other every few months.
The Serbian man has performed the best and most consistently in the three majors of the year, and so it would be safe to trust him to finish off the season strongly.
Though David Ferrer may never be the best player in the world, he will never be far away.
Each successive year he raises the bar slightly higher for himself and does one round better in a particular Slam that may have been challenging for him in the past.
The Spaniard who used to be viewed as a one-surface wonder (that surface being red clay) is rewriting the script and doing just as well in any tournament—no matter the time of year or surface.
His Wimbledon run to the quarterfinals this year looked incredibly unsteady, as he had slight injuries to deal with. Nevertheless, he still performed as best he could and can keep the magic going at the U.S. Open.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's year has not told us too much when we consider his overall results.
At the Australian Open he was visibly a better player than ever. Perhaps his recent hiring of a new coach, Roger Rasheed, has helped him improve mentally and physically.
Then he went on to have a subpar clay season leading up to the French Open. It seemed that perhaps this year at Roland Garros would not be as good as his previous runs.
It just so happened that that idea was way wrong, as he reached the semifinals there for his first time ever.
After being outplayed by David Ferrer at that stage, he went on to play a grass tune-up event and then Wimbledon itself.
Citing an injury in his second-round match against Latvian Ernests Gulbis, he pulled out of the tournament.
So, in essence, his clay season (excluding the one major in it) was not great and his future may be slightly uncertain because of his SW19 retirement, but he does look better when he is on.
Rafa Nadal had a similar situation to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga this year.
However, he was winning tournaments left and right and never had a dip in play until playing in Wimbledon.
Nadal has played several clay events, wherein he won all but two of them, a hard court tournament (which he won in style) and one grass match. Fortunately for him, he won't have to set foot on the grass again for another year.
The winningest player of the 2013 year to date has zero points to defend until next year's clay court season.
Because of this concept, I truly believe he will overtake Novak Djokovic as the world's No. 1 player in the rankings, but their rankings will still be very close in terms of points by the end of the year.
The incredibly talented Frenchman has been trying to break out in a big way his entire career.
Sadly it seems that his ranking will never go higher than seventh or eighth in the world.
Now, he has not been a bad contender for tournaments this year, but he lost one match shy of the round he was projected to reach in nearly every event, with the Sony Open being a clear exception.
Gasquet has remained consistent for the past three or four years but is showing signs of mediocrity in the matches that truly matter and count for the top-10 players.
Just because he looks like he has hit a permanent roadblock in the potential road to greatness, his stock is down a little bit.
His major results got progressively worse and he was only in good form in two other tournaments.
The Swiss superstar is usually seen in the later rounds of events because he is so accustomed to winning and digging out tough wins over the years.
But his stock is a temporary hold and not a sell because he changed his schedule around and added tournaments to his calendar plans.
He also changed racquets to one with a slightly larger head size. Perhaps this frame can work for him once he starts to get used to it.
Federer has already reached the quarterfinals of Hamburg with the new stick, but it is tough to say how much farther he will go from here.
Andy Murray is in fine form this year on the non-clay courts.
He participated in two hard-court finals (winning one) and won both of the grass events he played in, including Wimbledon.
His serve is working better than ever and he is defending well off of his second serve.
Ivan Lendl has surely helped him to develop a more punishing forehand, and his backhand has always been rock-solid but everything is starting to click into the right places for him now.
It depends on the ATP1000 tournaments leading up to the Slam, but he very well may be labeled as the favorite for the U.S. Open.
It definitely depends on how you look at it, but Tomas Berdych's results this year have been both decent and predictable.
Sure, he has solid runs here and there but also faces the occasional upset on a big stage.
The reason why his stock is partially down is because he has continued to fall short time and time again since playing a terrific U.S. Open last summer.
His mental game keeps collapsing on him and his physical game is not bailing him out of as much trouble when facing the top competitors.
But he could make up for his typical results this year by cruising through the summer swing. After all, the year is only halfway completed, and you might want to hold your stock on Berdych.
Stock: Down / Hold
Juan Martin Del Potro
Yes, Juan Martin del Potro played one of the best—if not the best—Wimbledon of his entire career.
He may make the final in the future, but that run to the semifinals was something else, and he was looking dominant on the tour once again.
However, that and his Indian Wells performance are not enough evidence to conclude that he will do well for the next six months.
His fitness was understandably starting to break down in his match against Novak Djokovic and that could affect his summer swing on the ATP tour.
These remarkable runs should not be as infrequent as they have been for the big-hitting Argentinean.
Hold on because he might just surprise us all again very shortly.
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