Lindsay: After looking through our accidentally ridiculous 2013 predictions, why don’t we set ourselves up for humiliation once again and make some predictions for 2014?
Juan José: YES. PLEASE.
Amy: That’s what we’re here for!
Lindsay: Let’s start with the men. Nadal’s comeback was the story of the year on the ATP. Do we think he can continue that ridiculous pace in 2014?
Amy: Having laughably underestimated him last year, I’m going to run the risk of doing that again and say he can’t continue that pace this year, only because it was such an incredible year. It’s like Djokovic’s 2011. I’m sure he’ll have a great year and pick up at least one slam, but nobody can do that two years in a row.
Juan José: I say Nadal doesn’t end 2014 as No. 1 with two slams and five Masters 1000s, but he will end up in the top 2, with plenty of Masters 1000s, and one slam.
Lindsay: I think he gets two slams. One of the hard court ones and the French. Again.
Juan José: I’m doubling down on my silly Year of the Djoko prediction from last year: 2014 will be a huge one for Djokovic. Not as violent as 2011, but plenty dominant. Three slams. four Masters 1000s. Year-end No. 1.
Juan José: Unless Boris trips him and makes him break something. I’m also doubling down on my “No slams for the Muzzard” prediction, but I think he’ll win a Masters 1000 or two, and finish No. 3.
Lindsay: I think that things will be pretty evenly spread out between Nadal, Murray and Djokovic. Fed will have a moment or two of glory, but nothing to threaten the others in the rankings. Unfortunately, I still don’t see anyone else coming up.
Amy: I don’t see Djokovic having a huge year like 2011. I’d predict something similar to this year. As far as slams go, Nadal will win one or two, Djokovic will probably win the Australian Open, and even though I always say this and it’s always wrong, someone other than the Big Four will win a slam.
Lindsay: How long do we predict the partnership with Boris to last?
Amy: 20 seconds?
Lindsay: I think through the Australian Open. I think that Djokovic won’t win the Australian Open for the first time in 100 years, and he’ll panic and Boris will get the blame. Murray or Nadal for the Australian Open.
Juan José: I actually think they’ll last all year. Or at least until after Wimbledon.
Amy: Boris will wait to tweet about them parting ways for a year, so it’ll seem like it lasts the whole year.
Lindsay: LOL. What do we think about Federer?
Amy: He’s in an unfamiliar place: he has hardly anything to defend. If he’s healthy, I expect him to take advantage of that to some extent.
Juan José: This is what I think of Federer in 2014.
Lindsay: Except out of the gates. I believe that he could go out of top 8 if he falls early in Oz. Berd and Stan are on his heels.
Juan José: “Berd and Stan are on his heels” has to be the least frightening thing in tennis.
Amy: Yeah, the Australian Open is the tough part for him since he made the semis there. But I don’t expect him to lose in the second round of Wimbledon again.
Lindsay: I agree, Amy. He will take advantage of it in places. But overall, I see him on the outskirts of the top 5. As you get older, you have to work twice as hard just to stay still.
Juan José: Yep – and we don’t know if Federer will be able to stay healthy for a full season. The man is going to turn 33 years old in August.
Lindsay: I predict every time he wins people will claim, “OMG HE IS BACK HE IS BETTER THAN EVER SHUT UP H8ERS.” And every time he loses people will say, “OMG RETIRE NOW.”
Juan José: That’s a given.
Amy: I’m expecting his season to be similar to 2011. He won’t be much of a threat, but he’ll hang in there near the top. Who the heck else is there? That’s the thing. If Nadal and Djokovic continue to rack up all the points, how hard is it going to be for Fed to crack the top 5?
Lindsay: Yeah … I mean, Delpo and Ferrer are also ahead of him. What do we see for them? Will Ferrer ever slow down?
Amy: Ferrer will drop in the rankings, I think.
Juan José: Yeah – he’s done with his coach, and he’s also getting to that stage where a formerly reliable body is starting to break down.
Amy: Once that Roland Garros final drops out of his ranking, he’ll fall down significantly.
Juan José: I just hope that Ferrer doesn’t run himself into the ground, a la his seven straight weeks at the end of 2013.
Amy: He always does that. That’s just the way he does things. I don’t expect that to change at this point.
Lindsay: I don’t think Ferrer will end the year No. 3, but I think he’ll still be 5 or 6. He’s just so consistent, and I think he has one more good year out of that body of his.
Amy: Year-end top 5 for the men?
Amy: 1. Djokovic 2. Nadal 3. Murray 4. Delpo 5. Fed
Juan José: 1. Djokovic 2. Nadal 3. Murray 4. Delpo 5. Berdych
Lindsay: 1. Nadal 2. Djokovic 3. Murray 4. Berdych 5. Ferrer
Lindsay: I was tempted to put Murray at 2, but I don’t know how his back is holding up. I do think that he’ll have a good and consistent year, and with nothing to defend for huge chunks of the year he’ll climb up. I think the top 3 will be close, and it will be a fun race to the year-end No. 1.
Amy: I would love to see Murray put up a fight for that year-end No. 1, but like you Linz, I wouldn’t predict it just because I don’t know about his form after the surgery.
Lindsay: Moving over to the WTA, will Serena continue her dominance? Winning 11 titles is hard to follow up.
Personally, I think that Serena will win two slams again. Perhaps an inverse of last year and get the Australian Open and Wimbledon? I feel like after a couple of heartbreakers at the Australian Open she’ll be hungry for that one again.
I don’t see her winning 11 titles again, mainly because staying healthy enough to be that consistent will be tough as she pushes 33. But maybe around seven titles?
Amy: It’s hard to predict any change to the status quo with Serena, provided she doesn’t get injured.
Lindsay: How about Azarenka? She had a tough time at the end of the year. Will she bounce back?
Juan José: I don’t know what to say about the WTA. Serena seems primed for another year of dominance, but you guys have outlined why that’s not a sure bet at all.
Azarenka continues to have injury issues, and she’s not really a threat outside hard courts. Sharapova is super motivated (and hired a new coach), but who knows how long her shoulder holds up.
Lindsay: I mean, Azarenka had a much improved upon French Open.
Amy: I think Azarenka will win another slam. And I disagree with you, JJ. She’s a threat on all surfaces.
Lindsay: I agree, Amy.
Juan José: Azarenka?
Amy: She’s much better on hard courts, but she’s made the semis at every slam. Two Wimbledon semis.
Juan José: I meant, threat to win the slams on those other surfaces. She is good enough to make it into the second week.
Amy: No, I think she can win them. All it takes is Serena out of the draw. I mean, MARION BARTOLI won Wimbledon.
Juan José: You take Azarenka over Sharapova on clay?
Lindsay: She almost beat her this year.
Amy: Not if both of them are healthy, but we don’t know if that’ll matter.
Lindsay: Their French Open semi was a lot of fun. I hope that rivalry continues to take shape this year.
Juan José: It is a good rivalry.
Amy: Vika is definitely the biggest threat to win any slam other than Serena at this point.
Juan José: I don’t know about that, but at the same time, who else is there to fill the void? Radwanska won’t, Li Na might, Kvitova … who knows. Wozniacki, Ivanovic and Errani are out as well. So, Stosur? Again?
Lindsay: I agree. Kvitova seems to be really taking fitness seriously again and she does seem happy/motivated with her new beau, but we’ll see. She always could win a slam. In theory.
Juan José: Lisicki?
Amy: Yeah, I wouldn’t call any of those players more of a threat than Vika. But I’ll be interested to see how Sharapova looks.
Lindsay: Radwanska will get back to a slam final this year I think. That Wimbledon loss to Lisicki ruined her for the rest of 2013, but I think she’ll be back. I don’t see her winning one, though.
Juan José: I see Radwanska slipping away from the top 5. But still in the top 10, because who else would push her out?
All I want is to see if Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens can make the leap, and if Halep can continue to climb. But this is all wishful thinking, I admit.
Lindsay: Stephens and Halep were, for different reasons, the breakthrough players of 2013. What do we see for their follow-up acts?
Juan José: Your guess is as good as mine.
Amy: I am expecting Sloane’s ranking to drop like an anvil.
Juan José: LOL.
Amy: Not a Sloane believer.
Lindsay: I think she stays about the same. She’ll find more consistency at smaller tourneys, but won’t be back in a slam semi.
Amy: I don’t know if I’m a Halep believer either, but I could see her enter the top 10 and stay there for a while, mostly because she has such few points to defend in the first half of 2014.
Juan José: I think Sloane might need to hit rock bottom before she climbs again. She’s an above average athlete with an unpredictable competitive spirit . So much uncertainty.
I have a lot of questions about Halep, too. I honestly don’t think she’ll exceed her doppelganger (Pennetta)’s ceiling. Borderline top 10, great clay player.
Amy: I don’t know that Sloane cares enough to find any consistency at the WTA events. It’s never a good sign when a player can’t motivate themselves at the smaller events.
Juan José: Nope.
Amy: And beyond lacking motivation, she had a bad attitude at some of those events. Snapping at reporters, playing terrible matches, etc.
Lindsay: Annacone won’t stand for that though, I wouldn’t think.
Juan José: The Annacone hire is fascinating – he can certainly see the potential, but he’s not had to deal with unmotivated youngsters recently. Though he did work for the LTA once upon a time.
Lindsay: BEPA WILL BE BACK. So it will be a great year.
Juan José: I hope she sticks around, too. She’s fun to watch, whether she’s playing well or not.
Amy: Yes! Our Changeover logo is back! Can we switch it to Soderling now? Maybe he’ll come back too, then.
Juan José: He won’t, and I’ll get my same prediction right two years in a row!
Lindsay: How about our Top 5?
Amy: 1. Serena 2. Vika 3. Kvitova 4. Radwanska 5. Sharapova
Juan José: 1. Serena 2. Azarenka 3. Sharapova 4. Kvitova 5. Stosur
Amy: Stosur’s a bold pick for the top 5.
Juan José: “From the guy who picked Janowicz to finish 2013 at No. 5 …”
Lindsay: 1. Serena 2. Sharapova 3. Vika 4. Radwanska 5. Li Na 6.-100. BEPA
Juan José: LOL BEPA.
Lindsay: She’ll always be number 1 in my heart. Or something.
Any last bold predictions. Any retirements? Any breakthroughs? Any break-ups?
Juan José: Breakthroughs: Genie Bouchard, Madison Keys.
Amy: Do we think Stanley stays in the top 10?
Juan José: No.
Lindsay: I do.
Juan José: Jo comes back and pushes him out. Plus, there’s Raonic and Janowicz, plus Isner.
Amy: I don’t see Jo sticking around the top 10.
Lindsay: Dear God I’d forgotten about the Frenchies. WILL GASQUET HOLD ONTO HIS SOCKS?
What about Dimitrov? He had some good moments at the end of 2013 and is with Rasheed now, any thoughts?
Juan José: Dimitrov … I sold or set on fire any stock on him I owned. Such a below par competitor, and such a frequently passive match player.
Lindsay: But will he stay with Masha?
Juan José: No.
Amy: I’ll say yes, because I’m just such a romantic.
Lindsay: LOL. I’m saying yes as well. And I think he makes top 15.
Juan José: FOG MACHINE TOP 10 BOOK IT.
FOG MACHINE ROLAND GARROS SEMIFINALIST BOOK IT.
FOG MACHINE SUMMER HARDCOURT LOSING STREAK BOOK IT
Lindsay: WE’VE GONE MAD.
Juan José: BENOIT PAIRE TOP 15.
Amy: Another title for Bernie. Because it worked last year. Preferably Wimbledon. I’m sure that’s how that works.
Lindsay: Benoit Paire is going to have at least one food-related injury. Benny WILL WIN A TITLE. Svetlana Kuznetsova will make a slam semi.
Juan José: No titles for Bernie, no titles for Benny, no titles for Jerzy. But three more titles for the Fog Machine.
Lindsay: Sabine Lisicki will cry on court.
And with that sure thing, I say we end this chat before we embarrass ourselves further. Changeover readers, what do you guys think?
Top 5 for WTA in 2014: S Williams, Azarenka, Li, Kvitova and Sharapova
Halep to make Top 10 before Indian Wells then starts to slip after the French Open
Stephens game will keep us asking questions even with Annacone as her coach
Mrs. McIlroy to make a surprise semifinal
Alizé Cornet will surely cry on court.
That’s the only thing I’m sure of.
Surprised to see so many people with Berdych in their ATP top 5. He was distinctly average for the second half of 2013 and has threatened for so many years now but never quite delivered. I think he has really improved his mental game over the last couple of years, but still cannot string the big wins together. I think he will be clinging on to his place in the top 10.
I think DelPo will move up to number three and win a Grand Slam, Tsonga will have a great year and make another a Grand Slam final and Stanley will consolidate his place in the top 10.
On the womens side, I don’t know why but I still have faith in Petra to come really good again! I believe there will be some big breakthroughs with at least one of the talented teens cracking the top ten. I’ll say Bouchard.
your predictions are such a joy to read
I’m hoping for more great tennis and more breakout players, possibly a new grand slam winner couldn’t hurt.
Let’s book it.
Top 5 1. Murray 2. Nadal 3. Djokovic 4. Delpo 5. Fed
Dimitrov, Gulbis, Paire, JJ in top 15.
1. Djokovic 2. Nadal 3. Murray
Try this again.
1. Djokovic 2. Nadal 3.Murray 4. Del Potro 5. Berdych (usually consistent for deep runs but not winning)
1. S. Williams 2. Azarenka 3. Li Na 4. Sharapova (shoulder concerns) 5. Radwanska
Breakthroughs: Keys and Bouchard top 15
Dimitrov, maybe Paire, maybe Pospisil top 15
Raonic and Halep top 10
Stevens Who knows, but not holding my breath. Depends on what Annacone can do.
Delpo loses the AO final to Novak and the FO final to Rafa. Book it.
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