We discuss our predictions for 2013 in this week’s Changeover Chat, a quick back-and-forth exchange between the writing staff at The Changeover. Don’t hold us to them!
Amy: What are your predictions for 2013?
Juan José: Here’s one to get us started: on the men’s side, all Grand Slams will be won by two people: Djokovic and Nadal. And this will happen in only two combinations: 1) Djokovic winning the Australian Open and US Open and Nadal winning the others. 2) Djokovic winning all four.
Amy: I have confidence that Andy Murray will win a Slam next year. And someone non-Big Four will manage to break through. The status quo cannot last. It’s not a matter of if, but when. 2013’s not a bad bet. With Nadal possibly not in top form, and Federer not an overwhelming favorite everywhere, it’s never been a better time. Look at Andy Murray. It worked in his favor last year.
Juan José: I don’t see Andy Murray winning another Slam next year. Sorry, Andy. But he might nab another at some point later on.
Lindsay: I think that four different men will win Majors next year. But it won’t all be the Big Four. I think Del Potro gets another Slam. And if I were to guess as to which member of the Big Four wouldn’t get a Slam, I’d have to go with Murray. He’ll win another Slam, I just don’t think it will be this year. I think that’s too easy for him. There has to be more British angst on the horizon.
Amy: Poor Andy. I think he’ll manage one of the hard court Slams. I’m going to go out on a limb and say someone other than Nadal will win Roland Garros.
Juan José: Wow! Bold predictions!
Amy: Go big or go home. What do you guys think? Will Nadal win the French Open?
Juan José: If Nadal is not terribly hampered, he’ll win. Rephrased: if Nadal shows up at the final, he’ll win. Unless my second scenario happens.
Amy: Soderling comes back and wins all the Slams?
Juan José: PFFFFFT.
Amy: Because that’s totally going to happen, just you wait.
Juan José: Sadly, I don’t see the General Sod even making it back on tour next year. Sad prediction.
Lindsay: I am having such a hard time with Nadal predictions. I think he’ll win Roland Garros, but I don’t think he’ll be much of a factor at any of the other Slams.
Amy: Interesting. I feel like so many people are penciling in Nadal to win in France. Yes, he’s by far the best clay courter in tennis history, but he’s also been absent for a really long time. It seems like we’re expecting him to need only a few months to get back to decent form. I’m not convinced that will be the case.
Juan José: That’s a natural worry, but if there is someone who has been through lengthy absences before, that’s Nadal. I think he’ll be fine.
Amy: It’s a tougher challenge with someone like Djokovic out there, who has beaten him on clay a few times.
Juan José: Yeah, but Nadal went 3-0 against Djokovic last year on clay. Djokovic took only one set in the process. Also, today I remembered that Nadal won Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Rome last year without losing a set. How insane is that? The only set he lost in the red clay season was the third set of the French Open Final!
Amy: It was amazing, but Djokovic can beat him on clay even when he’s healthy. It’s happened before. I guess I’m just cautious about considering Nadal the favorite, even despite his clay court prowess. Seven months is a heck of a long time to miss.
Juan José: I know 2011 happened, but I also saw 2012 happen. However, if Nadal is hampered in a hypothetical Roland Garros final against Djokovic, and Djokovic summons his 2011 prowess, the unthinkable might happen.
Lindsay: My bold prediction: I think Djokovic struggles a bit in 2013.
Juan José: That was 2012, Lindsay! I see 2013 as The Year Of The Djoko.
Lindsay: He didn’t struggle, he ended the year ranked No. 1.
Amy: In a year where various players played amazingly well, Djokovic proved he was better than the rest. I just can’t say he struggled in 2012. I expect Djokovic to have a similar year to this one in 2013. I see him winning at least one Slam, but not living up to that crazy 2011, because that’s basically impossible.
Juan José: Yes, “struggled” is too strong a word. It’s like a one percenter complaining because he “only” made 3.5 billion in 2012 compared to his historic 4.9 billion in 2011. However, what if Djokovic doesn’t survive one of the five match points he faced in the Shanghai final? I don’t think he wins the World Tour Finals after yet another loss to a Big Four opponent (at that time, he had lost five straight matches to Big four members), and without the Shanghai and World Tour Finals titles, Djokovic ends the year at No. 2, having lost at least six straight times to his main rivals. Anyway, Djokovic’s 2012 ended on a really high note, but that kind of ending was far from a certainty when Djokovic started his Asian swing, and seemed quite improbable during those five match points in Shanghai. But, that’s a story for another day.
Lindsay: What do you guys think the top 5 of the ATP will look like at the end of next year?
Amy: My year-end top 5: 1. Djokovic, 2. Murray, 3. Del Potro, 4. Federer, 5. Berdych.
Juan José: Nadal out of the top 5! Bold!
Amy: Yeah. I just think he might significantly pare down his schedule. I doubt he’ll drop out of the top 10.
Lindsay: My year-end top 5: 1. Federer, 2. Murray, 3. Djokovic, 4. Nadal, 5. Del Potro.
Juan José: That’s really bold, Lindsay. Here’s mine: 1. Djokovic, 2. Nadal, 3. Federer, 4. Murray, 5. Janowicz.
Amy: How about the year-end top 5 for the WTA?
Juan José: 1. Serena, 2. Azarenka, 3. Radwanska, 4. Kerber, 5. Kvitova.
Amy: I’m going to go out on a limb here. 1. Azarenka, 2. Serena, 3. Sharapova, 4. Radwanska, 5. Kerber.
Lindsay: 1. Serena, 2. Kerber, 3. Azarenka, 4. Sharapova; 5. Li.
Juan José: The Li appearance is intriguing – the Carlos Rodríguez effect?
Lindsay: Yup, I think that’s going to pay off. And she has a lot of chunks of the season where she can pick up points. But the WTA is going to be so, so tough next year. And a lot rides on the health of Serena.
Amy: Yeah, my thoughts exactly, Lindsay. That’s why I put Serena at No. 2. I wonder whether she’ll be able to play another complete year, what her health will be like, and also which tournaments she’ll decide to play. Even if she wins a Slam (or two), if she doesn’t play a full year, I could see her falling short of the year-end No. 1 ranking, as she did this year.
Juan José: I’m betting on Serena being healthy next year – she’s had enough bad luck already. Plus, being over 30 makes her see the finish line much more clearly. The positive desperation of a proud champion who fully understands her time is almost up will set in, and she’ll run over everybody. I predict she’ll end 2013 with a higher Grand Slam total than Federer: 18-17.
Lindsay: That’s my bet too, JJ. Plus she can pick up so many points at the beginning of the year that she can be so far ahead at No. 1 by summer that the rest of the year will hardly matter.
Juan José: Yep – and I’m sure she’ll manage to win more than one round at the French Open.
Amy: That’s true, but she has a ridiculous number of points to defend, too, from summer-on.
Juan José: She didn’t play that much – if she doesn’t defend some stuff, she can play tournaments she skipped last year. Particularly after the US Open – she didn’t play anything!
Amy: As if she’d go to Linz or Asia to chase a ranking. This is Serena we’re talking about!
Juan José: Hey, Venus went to that parking lot in Liechtenstein – Serena will go places.
Amy: I’ll believe it when I see it.
Juan José: However, if she does well before that stretch, no, she’ll stay home.
Amy: Predictions for Slam-winners on the WTA side?
Juan José: Three for Serena, one for Kerber?
Lindsay: Kerber will get a Slam. And one for Azarenka and probably two for Serena.
Amy: I think Azarenka will win at least one, if not two Slams. And one for Serena at minimum. I could see someone else winning one. Maybe Kerber, Kvitova, or someone not quite on our radar yet.
Lindsay: I think Kvitova, Li, and Radwanska all make a final.
Amy: We’re disregarding Sharapova the clay GOAT a bit.
Lindsay: I think Masha gets halted in the semis of every Slam.
Juan José: Sharapova will defend her French Open crown! Which will make her career about 25% more impressive, as well as funnier. How hilarious would it be if the one Slam Sharapova manages to win more than once is the French Open?
Amy: Sharapova could certainly repeat at Roland Garros. Overlooked in the fact that Serena lost in the first round this year is that her record in Paris is really not even close to what it is at the other Slams. Serena’s career win-loss records: Australian Open: 54-7, Roland Garros: 39-10, Wimbledon: 67-8, and US Open: 65-9. So I would be surprised if she won Roland Garros next year. And Sharapova really plays well enough on clay to be the best bet there.
Juan José: I agree with that prediction, Amy – I never saw Serena winning the French Open.
Lindsay: How about our predictions for Venus?
Juan José: I don’t see anything in my crystal ball regarding Venus. Which is sad. It just says “404 – File not found.”
Lindsay: I think Venus makes it to a Slam semi this year. And I think she gets close to – if not into – the top 10. But that’s her ceiling.
Amy: I predict she produces some hilarious moments with John Isner at Hopman Cup.
Lindsay: What about other WTA former No. 1s, such as Ivanovic, Wozniacki, and Jankovic?
Amy: More of the same. I don’t see any one of those recapturing their mojo. But I also don’t see Wozniacki struggling quite like the other two. She’ll be far more consistent than they are.
Juan José: The only predictions I see for Wozniacki are for the end of Wozzilroy, but not the end of WozzilCrazyDad.
Amy: I believe in Wozzilroy.
Lindsay: I think Jankovic’s going to retire.
Juan José: That sounds plausible, Lindsay.
Amy: Agreed, I could see that happening in the next couple years.
Lindsay: I see Ivanovic regressing out of the top 20 and Wozniacki hanging around the outskirts of the top 10, a la Bartoli. I also predict I will pitch a reality show to Tennis Channel about the Bartolis and Wozniackis exposing the ins and outs of father/daughter tennis relationships and I will become a millionaire.
Juan José: I see Errani dropping out of the top 10, if not the top 15. And I see Stosur losing a few more finals.
Lindsay: Who do we see as the Errani of 2012 or the Kvitova of 2011? Who is going to finally put it all together?
Amy: Maybe Shvedova.
Juan José: Kirilenko! Not really. Goerges! How about Safarova taking the Fed Cup thing into 2013? She bailed out Kvitova in that final. That was huge.
Amy: Yeah, but it was over Jankovic.
Juan José: Right. NEVERMIND.
Lindsay: I keep thinking that Kanepi could be a threat if she can stay healthy.
Juan José: Yeah, I was looking at Kanepi. She’s intriguing.
Amy: I always get hopeful over Kanepi. Never again.
Lindsay: I think this will be the year that Cibulkova finally breaks into the top 10.
Juan José: How about Laura Robson winning a title and making it to the top 15?
Amy: Sure, I could see Robson having a great breakout year, even more so than last. She seems to have all the right tools.
Juan José: Big game, and she improved her movement. Plus, I think she has big match chops. We gonna see. Let me take you back to the ATP for some more predictions: Del Potro won’t win a Masters 1000 in 2013. But he will make a Slam final (and lose it).
Amy: I’m not sure what to expect from Del Potro next year, but I do know there will be a lot more Davis Cup drama centered around him. With Martin Jaite constantly at odds with the best player from Argentina, I have to wonder whether he’ll be able to hold onto his job as Davis Cup captain for much longer. At this point, it seems prudent to replace him with someone who gets along better with Del Potro.
Juan José: Which leads to another prediction: Argentina won’t win the Davis Cup. And here’s a sad prediction for you, Lindsay: Benneteau won’t win a title. Won’t even make a final.
Lindsay: Benny will win a title. And then he’ll hurt himself during the trophy ceremony.
Amy: He’ll hold up the trophy and drop it on his face. Actually, I think Benneteau will finally get his title. I really do for some reason. Possibly delusion is the reason.
Juan José: Other sad predictions: 2013 will be the last season for Nalbandián and Davydenko.
Amy: And Hewitt.
Juan José: But not Tommy Haas.
Lindsay: Tsonga and Rasheed will have a huge public fight, probably at the French Open.
Amy: A general prediction: the discussions of doping in tennis will continue. Because the controversial Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes had tennis clients, I wonder if there will be some new tennis-related information when the Operacion Puerto trial gets underway in January. But I don’t expect the status quo to change very much with testing.
Lindsay: How about some predictions on the Americans we haven’t touched on yet – Isner, Harrison, Querrey, McHale, Stephens, et al?
Amy: I think Querrey could spend much of 2013 ranked ahead of Isner.
Lindsay: Querrey will join the top 10. I am very curious about Isner and this new coaching relationship.
Amy: I predict some more Isner-related heartbreak next year. As Rafa once said, he can be in the top 14. (Which, by the way, was the funniest Rafa quote ever.) I think that’s an accurate picture of where I see Isner. Top 14.
Lindsay: I hope McHale is healthy. If she is, I think that she and Stephens will be in the top 20. With Lepchenko and Venus right there, that’s not a bad Fed Cup team.
Juan José: In terms of tournaments, I asked my crystal ball about what stupid gimmick Madrid will throw at us (and the players), and it just said, “The horror. The horror.”
Amy: I predict the ATP players will find something to complain about in Madrid, even without the blue clay. And it will be something completely trivial.
Juan José: Well, it has historically had a very bad surface, even when it wasn’t blue. Worst clay court of the season. Tiriac might show up to the trophy ceremony wearing a leopard-print speedo. Another prediction: We will have a Tuesday men’s final at the US Open, which will be all sorts of fail.
Amy: That’s not even a prediction; that’s inevitable. Definitely going to happen. Any final thoughts?
Juan José: I predict Jerzy Janowicz will make the top 10 and win three titles. He’ll beat another member of the Big Four, too.
Lindsay: I hope you’re right, though I see him fizzling back out. It was a shame his run came at the end of the year, giving him no time to build on the momentum. I think Ryan Harrison will win a title.
Amy: I’m going to rehash my awful 2012 prediction and say Bernard Tomic will win a title.
Juan José: Bernie Time!
Amy: Yes, that’s my story and I’m going to stick with it.
Juan José: I predict there will be at least two Bernie scandals in 2013. Also, I predict Adidas will put Verdasco in something worse than his “legendary” 2012 Australian Open outfit.
Amy: I’m not sure that’s possible, but if anyone can conjure up something worse than that, it’s Adidas.
This is where we can add our own baseless predictions, right?
ATP top 5: 1) Djokovic 2) Murray 3) Federer 4) Del Potro 5) Nadal
WTA top 5: 1) Azarenka 2) Serena 3) Kvitova 4) Sharapova 5) Kerber
Wozniacki will be 6-10 on a consistent basis.
Djokovic wins RG. If Murray wins a Slam, it’s Wimbledon; otherwise he goes slamless. Del Potro wins USO.
There’ll be a new WTA slam winner. Probably Kerber.
And I’m sorry, but Janowicz will flop. Year end 40-50.
I do not see Kerber even making the semifinals of any Slam let alone win one. Think 2012 was her career year. If I recall, Kerber won more matches in 2012 than the previous 5 or 6 years combined.
No faith in Janowicz! Good thing I bought all that Jerzy stock: I will become a millionaire next year!
I see that we agree on the first combination where Djokovic taking the hardcourt Slams and Nadal taking the soft surfaces Slams(winning the Channel Slam for the 3rd time in his career). Also, agree that Errani drops out of the top 10(in fact, I think she will drop out of the Top 20) as all her 4 titles were International stops and the most, she can play in them will be 2(one per half) and will not repeat her Slam success at all Slams that are not played on grass.
On Lepchenko, she had a career year. I would be surprised if she stayed in the Top 50. Stephens and McHale will have a battle for top Americans not counting the Williams Sisters.
The funny thing is, I think I picked this exact combination of male Slam winners for 2012…and got 50% right. Could’ve been 75% if Djokovic had decided to stop complaining about the wind at any point in the first two sets of the US Open final.
I actually think Lepchenko will hang around. She’s worked so hard to get where she is, so she’ll make the most of the opportunities she’ll have in 2013. If she’s lucky with injuries, of course.
2013 Slams Predictions (WTA winner – ATP winner)
Australian Open: Azarenka – Djokovic
French Open: Ivanovic – Nadal
Wimbledon: S Williams – Nadal
United States Open: Azarenka – Djokovic
I like your predictions. 🙂
Ivanovic to win a Grand Slam?!?! That’s the boldest prediction on this post, Master Ace!
Believe in the 5 yr theory (Pierce 2000 then 2005 and Kuznetsova 2004 then 2009 now 2008 to 2013 with Ivanovic) and the French Open is wide open. Sharapova can not win a Slam in the odd year, S Williams has not won a tournament on red clay since 2002 French Open, Azarenka has not made a deep run at the French.
“Tiriac might show up to the trophy ceremony wearing a leopard-print speedo.”
That’s probably the new ball-girl/boy/model/whatever-they-are outfit for 2013.
I don’t think Djokovic will win the AO, and I don’t think Nadal will win the FO.
I love watching Kerber, but I don’t think she’s shown the head for the biggest matches so far, so I have my doubts about her winning a slam. I’d put money on Wozniacki or Radwanska over Kerber.
It’s pointless making any real predictions about Rafa until he plays on clay. I don’t think he’ll win anything on the hard courts, but I’d give him an outside chance at Indian Wells if things break right for him. No idea how his body will hold up, but if it does, even with judicious scheduling, I don’t see him dropping out of top 5.
I don’t think Ferrer will match his 2012.
I think Serena will get to #1 early in the year, but I’m not convinced that she’ll keep it to the year-end. If she loses at slams, it’ll be in the first week, not in the second. And then we can have real #1 debates all over again! We’ll also continue to have GOAT and slow court debates. Such fun.
I think del Potro and Kvitova will both add to their slam count in 2013.
Laura Robson might end the year inside the top 30. I don’t know about Heather Watson, I think she could get inside the top 30, but I don’t think she’ll go much higher, or stay there for years. I actually like her better than Laura, but think Laura has more potential.
I’d predict Tomic to get to #1, but I think I should maybe save that for 2014. LOL. Can’t wait for the tennis world when Bernie is GOAT. 🙂
LOL at the Bernie part, Jewell! I am also waiting for that day: when Bernie clinches his 2nd straight Calendar Slam and is universally anointed as the GOAT.
Also, Wozniacki ahead of Kerber? Though, you do have a point – Kerber seemed to go off the boil pretty regularly in big matches. If she harnesses her inner chaos, improve that second serve and improve that cross-court forehand…she might make another leap. If not…she’ll be the fun entertainer that she is right now.
First step this year, when Bernie reaches the top 10, as per his stated ambition. 🙂
My predictions (that I will inevitably laugh and shake my head at come Nov. 2013):
1) Djokovic will win at least 2 Slams and finish at No. 1 for the third consecutive year.
2) Nadal will almost certainly win the French Open. As much as I’d love for Djokovic to achieve the Career Slam and as big as the question marks surrounding Nadal’s health are, we’re talking about the clay GOAT here. If anyone can come back from a 7-month layoff to overcome no less than three tough opponents to win a record 8th RG trophy on sheer will and grit, it’s him.
3) With that said, Nadal is not going to make it past the semis at any other Slam and if he loses at the Monte Carlo M1000 for the first time in eight years, Djokovic will in fact complete his Career Slam.
4) Federer’s 2013 will play out much like his 2011: he’ll make it to at least the quarters at all of the Slams, but he won’t win any of them and there will be at least one high-profile upset performed on him by Berdych, del Potro or Tsonga.
5) Del Potro will make it to a Slam final (best bet is at the US Open), but he’ll lose there to either Djokovic or Murray.
6) Raonic will become the first new Slam male semifinalist since 2010.
1) Serena will pulverize all opposition under her heel for the first half of the year and win the Australian and French Opens for a second Serena Slam.
2) Azarenka and Sharapova will break through the Serena stranglehold in the second half of the season and divide up Wimbledon and the US Open between them.
3) Serena will topple Azarenka for No. 1 in the first half of the season, but Azarenka will regain it with a strong showing in the fall season.
4) Wozniacki will not make it to the semis of any Slam, but she’ll win at least 2 Premier Mandatory/5 titles.
5) Li won’t win any Slams, but she’ll replace Kerber in the top 5.
What 2 Premier Mandatory titles Wozniacki will win b/w Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing? I do not see her winning any titles above Premier.
My train of thought was that she might have a shot at winning Indian Wells again if she gets some favors from the draw or that she could pick up one or two Premier 5 titles held during the fall season if not all of the top players show up. Of course, it’s quite possible that she ends 2013 with zero titles above Premier level again, but I’m holding out hope that she’ll rebound somewhat from her 2012 slump. Predictions are based on wishful thinking just as much as rational logic, if not more.
Agreed with your comment on wishful thinking and the fact Wozniacki may get a favorable draw. During the first part of 2012, it seems like Wozniacki drew S Williams in every tournament S Williams played beginning with Miami.
Raonic as a first time Grand Slam semifinalist…intriguing. I will say that Raonic was returning serve a lot better near the end of the year, and got that big win over Murray. We’ll see what the future holds for him, but unless he stops being embarrassing in the return game and his backhand breaks down, he’ll find it difficult to go far in big tournaments.
I dont think Nadal will have trouble finding his form off this injury. I think when it comes to this stuff, its mostly in his head. In that, he feels like he is more injured than he really is. Its like a mind game with him as a way to lower expectations in case he loses, so that its not that big of a deal since he can blame the injury for the loss and if he wins, its like he overcame some monstrous obstacle. The cramp at the US Open, the leg injury prior to AO, the knee stuff resurfacing after IW and into Miami. After all these cases, he went on to play well, really well especially after Miami. I really think this guy is more of a head case than anything else. If his head is ok, he will be fine. I would be surprised if he didnt make the SF’s of all the Majors and of course will be favoured to win the French.
AO – Novak, French – Rafa, Wimbledon – Fed and US Open – Delpo. Hope my boy Raonic can take a big step forward this season and break into at least the top 10. Top 5 will be a reach, but you got to believe. He will have lots more points to defend this go around as opposed to last year since he had a hip injury and was out of Wimbledon and the summer hard-court season. Novak will be Novak, consistent but not in 2011 form. I think Fed still has another Wimby in him and I really like what I saw from Delpo last season especially in the 2nd half. Even though I think Delpo has a man crush on Fed, he seems to have gotten over the mental hurdle versus Fed. I think their Olympic SF battle and his bronze medal win did wonders for him, especially in the mental aspect of his game.
End of Season Top 5 1. Novak 2. Fed 3.Nadal 4. Delpo 5 Murray
On the WTA side, Serena gets to number 1 and dominates from the get go.
AO – Serena, FO – Sharapova, Wimbledon – Serena and US Open – Serena. My dark horses on the womens side to put a crash on the Serena party would be Kvitova and Kerber. Kvitova seems to have Murray mental problems about her. And she seems to get nervous in bigger points and matches. If she can get over that, she has the potential, I think, to have a huge year. Dark horse for winning a Major on the womens side, I would choose Bartoli. She is a lot of fun to watch and she just puts everything to every single point. She has been a handful for the top players in the past.
End of Season top 5 1. Serena 2. Sharapova 3. Azarenka 4. Kvitova 5. Kerber
I do go some way towards agreeing with you about Rafa’s head, Greekster, and that he prefers to lower expectations for himself, and not to think of himself as the favourite, but as the challenger. I also think he sometimes feels emotions, even nervousness, as physical pain. However, I cannot imagine him taking just over six months out of the game and missing the Olympics and the US Open, and nearly half a season’s worth of ranking points, for a mind game, or a fit of pique, or whatever.
As for the pain before the AO, if I’d ended up missing several long periods out of my career due to chronic knee or foot issues, I’d be paranoid any time I felt a twinge, too.
I’d love it if it was all a mind game, I have to say. I’d be relieved and much more relaxed about Rafa’s future if I could believe that. 🙂
There are always people who think this about every player who reports an injury – Fed’s back problems weren’t real – he just didn’t want to play DC; Delpo’s wrist was a way of removing the psychological pressure of defending his breakout year, and he was depressed; Venus’s wrist tendinitis back in the day was rumoured to be fake, because she was so rocked by and jealous of Serena’s winning a slam first she couldn’t play; Monfils’s knee problems are really depression; Sharapova faked her shoulder surgery to try to give herself time to figure out how to beat Serena, etc etc. I don’t understand it. Why are we so eager to assume that injuries aren’t real or are in their heads?
*slow claps after reading Jewell’s comment*
Word. Anyone who says that tennis players are only faking their injuries/illnesses needs to watch the video of Nadal cramping up in the middle of a press conference. Or the video of Djokovic collapsing on court during the Argentina/Serbia Davis Cup semifinal in 2011. (I seriously cannot believe that people are saying that Nadal is just faking his health problems to cover up mental ones or avoid losing endorsement money. Have they not considered that even though Nadal could still play in this condition, it would most likely just worsen his health? Do they not remember how del Potro tried to play with a dodgy wrist at the 2010 Australian Open and only ended up aggravating it?)
For me there is a difference between being hurt and being injured. In my post, I didnt say he wasnt hurt, I said I think he feels he is more injured than he really is. I believe the cramp was real, his twinge in the leg before AO was real, his knee injury during Miami was real, but I believe his reaction in all these cases was over exaggerated because of his fear and paranoia concerning anything he feels in his body. When he feels something, he fears the worst, as in, his career is over.Sorta like some people feel like they are going to die when they feel anything negative in their body and rush to the ER over and over again. Sometimes these people dont even leave their house because of their fear and paranoia. For us, it seems weird or crazy that he would miss the length of time he has if all this was in his head. However, for him it probably feels justified because the fear and paranoia he has, makes it seem worse than it is. Again, I believe its his fear and paranoia that his career will end that drives him to the behaviour you see from him in regards to his health, not the actually injury (cramp, twinge, knees). The mind can have a strong hold over the body in situations like these. Having said that, I am not a doctor. Just giving my opinion and point of view.
Fernando’s thoughts to leave behind:
1. The Court’s have been homogenized to become slow which detracts from the variety of the game and favors baseliners.
Fernando says: utter nonsense. The Courts have not been slowed- Nadal’s (and now perhaps Djoker’s) defensive skill, athleticism and stamina is what is slowing down the Courts. The homogenization of the Courts is a myth created by the jealous Federinas.
2. The Czechs won the Cup:
Fernando says: Really? If The Humble Bull played trash talking Tinman would have been quiet as a mouse and Espana would have won easy.
3. Maestro is the greatest tennis player of all time.
Fernando says: The Humble Bull is so young and already has 11 grand slams, more masters titles and a dominating head to head. Let’s talk 5 years from now, no?
4. Rafa truly lost to Soderling at Roland Garros and Rosol at SW19.
Fernando says: Rafa was badly injured going into both matches. The proof is irrefutable. After the loss at RG, he missed SW19 and after the loss to Rosol, Te Bull missed entire rest of the year including the Olympics.
5. Clay is not the true test to determine the best tennis player:
Fernando says: On clay, the best tennis player wins, not the best server. The other surfaces disproportionally reward clown grounds trokers who can just serve big. On clay, you must use tactic and strategy.. On clay you must demonstrate consistency. On clay you must have stamina. On clay, you must be an athlete. On clay, your physical advantages like height are diminished. Clay is the perfect balance. it rewards both shot making and defensive skills.
Fernando speaks the truth, no?
I am Fernando vivafernando
um MasterAce and Juan warm my extremely worried heart but I have no idea where your confidence is coming from guys. This particular break has been unlike any of the other breaks he’s had. I mean a part of me wants to look at Bjorn and say, if only you had such a break from tour. But doesn’t it feel like the tour has changed a lot in the past 7 months? if Rafa drops to #5 after AO, His draws will be affected. Winning FO doesn’t feel as far fetched but anything else will be a gift.
Delpo beat Roger at the tail end of the tour. I don’t know how significant that is. He also has a Ferrer/Novak problem. Andy MIGHT have a play on the USO trophy again. AO surface is to Novak what clay is to Rafa. There’s an affinity there. So if anyone else wins the AO trophy, it will be a surprise. Unless its Rafa. then its CALENDAR SLAM yougaiz!!! – no not really, but a fan can hope LOL.
I am going to see how the new coaches prove themselves. Rasheed, Isner’s new coach, Carlos. My hope is the first two successfully help their proteges’ to hit a proper backhand. Every single one of you wrote Roger off? tsk tsk.. I feel like we all went overboard excited with Jerzy AND that Tokyo final with Milos and Kei. A real break through from all 3 would be wonderful.
Whether Vika wins any slam at all will completely depend on her serve. but I can see her being second best to Serena for now. she needs a breakthrough at Wimbledon and make a finals. She was stopped by the eventual winner at Semis in both 2011 and 2012. So for her sake, I hope she and Serena are always on the opposite side of the draw.
Maria had her first HC win against Vika in a while at Istanbul. It might mean something. (contradicting myself from earlier when I spoke of Delpo’s wins). I prefer not to predict anything about Petra. I’m anti-jinxing my anti-jinx of her by not doing anything or saying anything.
Remember when Li told the umpire to “Tell the Chinese not to teach me tennis”? LOL.. Maybe she’ll win AO? I thought it would happen this year when she made Sydney final. But Vika really took off. Speaking of Li, can we never see another Li-Masha match? I hated their Beijing match. HATED.
I think maybe Vika will beat Serena once or something next year. and Angie might make a once repeat too. Watson has her first title. Maybe Robson will get her first next year. I want to see another Vika-Sam match to see if the USO did Sam any good. She came SO CLOSE to beating Vika.
Maybe ARad will reverse her losing streak to Vika. That could be fun. Can Errani repeat her 2012 success? I think so. The racquet change seems to have really worked for her. Sveta will be back and maybe Vera will too. That might mix things up. I’d love for Lucie to take confidence from the Fed Cup wins, even if its over Jankovic.
Sorry Juan, I believe in Wozzilroy too. They won’t break up anytime soon. Now that I’ve said it, consider their relationship jinxed. I thought Wozniacki’s fight to be #10 was impressive. And so was she vs Sam at Kremlin Cup. I hope she can make a slam breakthrough.
That’s all I got. Keep writing guys. I love your site.
To clarify on Federer, we didn’t discuss him much, but I still see him in the mix to win Slams. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he won Wimbledon again, or a hard court major.
I was teasing you guys.. sorry if it didn’t come across quite as I meant it :). And I’m with you. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some more majors left in the old man.
That was great, Mithi. As always!
I wonder about the new coaches as well. Rasheed has the most to work with, but Isner does have things to improve to make life easier for himself.
About Federer: Linz has him finishing the year at #1! Who knows what 2013 will bring for Federer. Judging by his schedule, he won’t be chasing the top ranking anymore. It’ll all be about the majors. And there, it’ll be as hard as always to send him crashing before the semifinals.
Understand the concern on Nadal and him going through a “Borg” break and we will not have any idea on him this week thanks to a stomach virus. We will have to wait until Doha. For some reason, I agree with you on Janowicz. He may stay in the Top 50 but Top 20, I do not see it until he can prove to be consistent playing outdoors. Remember, he made his run playing indoors and the top players were getting mentally ready for London.
NO FAITH IN JANOWICZ! I just want to point out that Janowicz was the junior French Open runner-up. I can’t wait to see him hit those crazy drop shots on clay. It will be awesome.
Yes, no faith in Janowicz until he has consistent results playing outdoors
I was wondering when the “Crazy Piotr” label would come. Strange how he’s actually respected by tennis insiders. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/wozniacki-is-happy-to-keep-it-in-the-family-7768762.html Maybe this will help.
Murray will win at least one major.
Kvitova will fail.
Kerber will rise.
Nadal will win the French.
Querrey will be the top American.
Serena will win Wimbledon.
Djokovic will be the year-end No. 1.
If I said I had a really good feel for predictions other than these, I’d be lying.
“Every single one of you wrote Roger off? tsk tsk..”
It’s fashionable (and fairly safe) to do so. Fed is a contender, but hardly a clear favorite any more.
Sort of curious that even at 31 and having been past-peak for about 5 yrs, the guy plays 5-6 yr younger valiant supermen on roughly equal terms. Almost
impressive, if one asks me.
*waves to Amit*
Jerzy Janowicz will sweep the slams, becoming the first man since Rod Laver to win all 4 slams in a single calendar year after defeating Ferrer in a 5th set tie break at the USO.
Puff puff, pass?
Oh, dear, methinks that comment rather identifies our ages, does it not, Master Ace? LOL
I feel fairly confident that he’ll make three semifinals at the majors, but as the biological tennis clock keeps ticking, it will be harder to gauge how he’ll handle a full year. Greatness and slippage are equally valid expectations, and I’d be lying if I said I had a clear handle on what the boyo will do in 2013.
We gonna see, no?
I will say that the Australian Open is an opportunity for him, since he’ll have the two-seed. It would actually be a plus for him to get Nadal in his half, since Rafa is not in position to go deep in this specific major in this specific year.
The other thing worth mentioning is that this is a year in which Murray needs to make the 1000s count. That’s how he’s going to have to surpass Federer for year-end No. 2 and a more favorable shot at major titles in 2014 and beyond. That’s not going to be an easy climb. A big French Open would help Murray a lot in this respect as well. (Not betting on it, of course.)
I still see status quo in the ATP for at least this year, but I think the stranglehold the top 4 have will start to erode. With Nadal back (assuming he gets back to 100%), I just think the draw really needs to break someone’s way in order for someone on the outside to break through. Assuming they make the quarters, then in order to make a final they will most likely have to play a combo of Fed/Nadal/Murray/Djokovic, not saying it can’t be done, but it’s a tough ask. I do look for Del Potro or Berdych start to break through consistently though.
As for WTA, I see Serena get to number 1, but I don’t think she ends the year 1. I think she made it clear she isn’t going to chase the number 1 ranking given her post-USO schedule this year. She really could have had the #1 ranking if she picked up a few tournaments. As long as she avoids injury, she’ll be the favorite at 3 slams this year. I want to see her pick up a 2nd French, and I definitely think it’s a possibility-the French is such a wildcard on the WTA side. I still see Sharapova as a mainstay in top 5-she should still consistently make late second week at slams. Azarenka will also remain there. One thing I look for in 2013 is the Kvitova v. Azarenka match up-I don’t think they met in 2012, and that’s a match up that I think Kvitova will have the best of.
Correct that we did not get a Kvitova vs Azarenka or even a Wozniacki vs Azarenka match to see how she would fare against her equals besides A Radwanska
It’s a shame we didn’t see Kvitova vs Azarenka in 2012 – I was totally convinced that they would be providing us with a really terrific rivalry after their 2011 matches. Which just goes to show how wrong my predictions usually are. 🙂
I keep on thinking the girl with the beautiful smile Tamira Paszek and Goerges will have great 2013,just seeing it happen…
Unlike many Serena lovers who except her to do better next year I always feel the end after she tears up the tour with a great run,not that I wish it but I just know that somehow the girl is going to be hit with the “age factor”…I mean there are so many girls that can keep up with her the early rounds that her vulnerability increases on early stages of tournaments.
I sure would want me another year of Serena triumphing but I will not bank on it…no denying a chance for her to keep winning some but I’m certainly not of those who predict she’s going to keep winning…
As for Kvitova I don’t know why people tend to forget that it takes time for young and new champions to develop in steady winners…she’s going to get there I strongly believe,just need to get over the hump then probably set the tour on fire…
as for Venus anything is a “plus” nowadays…
Now Azarenka and Sharapova are likely going to curb up their form,they’re young and able…and watch out Serena if they both capitalize on their serves because quite frankly their groundstrokes are lethal…
Paszek could be the next player to be top 10 at end of 2013 which would make it 3 consecutive years where a player was at 30 or below but make major strides after Kvitova in 2011 and Errani in 2012
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