In what is now an annual tradition here at The Changeover, we will now look back at our 2015 predictions, and see just how ridiculous they really were. Anusha wasn’t with us last year, but she’s here to laugh at us anyway.
The block quotes are the excerpts from last year’s chat, and our reactions are below each block.
Lindsay: Let’s get the men out of the way first. Why don’t we start with the first big surprise of 2014, Stan Wawrinka? How will he follow up a year where he won the Australian Open, Monte Carlo and Davis Cup?
Andrew: I don’t think he’ll defend the AO, for a start. But I do think he’ll win at least one big masters event again.
Amy: I think he’ll have a few moments of brilliance, but he’s never going to be Mr. Consistent. He’ll bomb out early in some tournaments, and maybe win big in others. I do think he’ll stay in the top 10, though.
Andrew: Exactly, I think that the AO win and everything else has given him the confidence to win the occasional big event now, but nothing regular. Top 10, definitely.
Lindsay: I’m actually going to predict that he’ll stay in the 4-6 range.
Andrew: 6-10, for me.
Lindsay: Will he win another Slam?
Andrew: I doubt it.
Amy: Tough one, but no. I hope he proves me wrong.
Andrew: Maybe if Rafa can’t play the French? Otherwise, no.
Andrew: See, now I feel bad about how we underplayed Stan, but I’m pleased that my inkling towards the French Open proved accurate.
Lindsay: Stan! Well, I think it’s safe to say he was actually The Man in 2015. He got a second Slam.
Amy: I think we did okay on our Stan prediction. Lindsay was closest.
Anusha: I almost wish someone had predicted the shorts.
Amy: That would’ve taken some real talent.
Andrew: There was NO predicting those shorts.
Anusha: See the ATP isn’t all that predictable after all!
Andrew: Stan’s interesting because of how well he performs in slam finals. I can’t believe how great he was in that French Open final. It was something to behold.
Amy: To be fair, I think Stan’s performance in the RG final was far more impressive than his performance in the AO final. It was his five-set semifinal win over Novak Djokovic at the Aussie Open that everyone will always remember, not really almost collapsing against an injured Rafa in the final (but a great first set).
Andrew: It was the best he’s ever played, yes.
Lindsay: It really was. He’s such a weird case, because he’s inconsistent, but it has nothing to do with the pressure. I mean, also to be fair, he didn’t really have a chance to be that impressive in the Australian Open final because of Rafa.
Amy: Okay, the next one is really fun. For me, anyway.
Amy: I am not a Marin Cilic believer. I don’t think he’ll do anything of note in 2015. I think Cilic’s slam win was the flukiest thing ever, and will never happen again.
Andrew: I don’t see him doing anything big at all. I think he had a week of brilliance in that second week of the US Open and I don’t think it’s something he can replicate.
Lindsay: I want to believe in Marin, I really do. But he makes it so difficult.
Amy: The World Tour Finals just proved he’s totally out of his element with actual top players.
Lindsay: I think Marin stays in the top 10 for the year.
Andrew: I don’t think that at all. I’d predict a year end ranking of 15-20.
Amy: Cilic does have quite a few points to defend in the beginning of 2015, so I think he could struggle to stay in the top 10. He won Zagreb, made the final in Rotterdam, and won Delray.
Andrew: Well we were right, I’ve almost completely forgotten Cilic exists. Again.
Lindsay: Cilic who?
Amy: Honestly, I am surprised he is ranked 13. Seems high for his actual 2015 accomplishments.
Anusha: That US Open run saved him.
Amy: I feel like he should’ve been docked those points just from how bad his semifinal performance was against Djokovic. His high ranking just shows how the really good guys have hogged all the points.
Lindsay: Djokovic has all of the points. All of them. There are none left.
Amy: One slam for Djokovic, I think. Maybe he’ll finally win the French Open.
Andrew: I think he sticks at No. 1, too.
Lindsay: I agree on another good season for Djokovic, probably finishing No. 1 (depending on Rafa’s health), but I expect a couple of surprising Slam losses like we saw this season.
Lindsay: Welp. We didn’t quite nail that one.
Andrew: Feels smug.
Amy: I was definitely most wrong of all of us!
Lindsay: Haha, yes, Amy, you win that award.
Andrew: I’m feeling okay about my call there, but I could never have predicted just how amazing his year turned out to be. Novak is incredible. I do think it’s a shame he couldn’t get the French Open, though. Maybe in 2016.
Amy: The biggest upset of the year was me deciding I like Novak Djokovic, lbr.
Andrew: That is quite a big shock Amy, yes.
Amy: Still confused about that one.
Andrew: In 2016 you’ll learn to love Isner.
Amy: HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA! No.
Lindsay: Novak’s legacy took a humongous leap forward in 2015, I think. His consistency is just absurd.
Amy: He is good at tennis.
Anusha: There was less shirt ripping in 2015.
Andrew: I don’t think Federer will win a Slam, and I don’t think he’ll finish World No. 2 again.
Amy: I have no idea what Fed will do. Probably not win as many matches as he did this year, but maybe another Slam final, at least.
Andrew: I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished the year in the 5-7 range in the rankings.
Lindsay: I’m with you, Andrew.
Amy: I’m going to be more optimistic and put him in the top 4.
Amy: Woohoo, nailed that one!
Lindsay: I did not see Fed’s year coming. At all. RETURNERER.
Andrew: I am sorry, Federer fans.
Amy: You should be more sorry about putting Grigor in front of him in the rankings. That’s far more offensive. But we’ll get to that in a bit.
Andrew: I knew that was going to be brought up. Nobody predicted the SABR.
Amy: I think Rafa will peak at RG, and struggle elsewhere. His body has just been through too much to see him have another year like 2013.
Andrew: I’m going to work on the assumption that Nadal will miss at least one slam due to injury, and I think he wins at least one slam fairly convincingly.
Lindsay: I see two Slams for Rafa, less emphasis on Masters.
Andrew: That said , if he doesn’t win the French, I’m not sure which slam he wins.
Lindsay: It’s easy to forget how close he was to winning the Australian Open and getting two Slams this year.
Amy: I predict that Toni Nadal will talk about Rafa’s injury status after every big loss (while also saying he doesn’t want to make excuses).
Lindsay: Haha. That’s a given.
Lindsay: LOL. My Rafa Radar was way off this year. I mean, I still don’t quite understand what’s going on with that guy. It’s one of the mysteries of 2015 for me.
Anusha: To be fair, neither does Rafa.
Amy: Well, he never made it past the quarters of any slam this year, so I guess he did technically peak at the French Open. Not the way I expected, though.
Andrew: I agree with Anusha that he’s not quite sure himself, but I still think it takes time to heal from an appendectomy.
Lindsay: 12 months?!?!
Anusha: The Jedi mind trick Rafa played on us for years was that it’s normal to come back and win everything after a long layoff.
Amy: HAHA, no way. Not a year for an appendectomy. Wasn’t it arthroscopic surgery???
Andrew: I have a degree in cinema, I’m not going to pretend to know anything about medicine, I just feel like having a part of your body removes probably means healing time.
Amy: Controversial take: Rafa is getting old and bad.
Andrew: I do not think Rafa is done.
Anusha: I would say that he was psyched out by Novak’s form but that doesn’t explain Fabio.
Andrew: YES, Rafa has seemed psyched out this year. He looks … uncomfortable.
Amy: Or just old. And uncomfortable with being old. Even Fed beat him!
Andrew: Or just missing an appendix.
Lindsay: LOL Andrew. Stick with this theory. Don’t let it stop.
Amy: We may have to consult WebMD on this one.
Anusha: He’s lost his nerve. He hits short especially on the forehand. Then he can’t recover in the point.
Lindsay: I think Rafa’s margins have always been smaller than the rest of the Big Three’s — hence the bizarre losses we saw him have throughout his career. With his mojo gone, the margins are not in his favor.
Andrew: I was just talking about Murray last week, and I was saying I didn’t think he was going to win another Slam in his career … now that I have to write that down, I’m not so sure. He started competing better towards the end of 2014, despite the big flop to Federer in London.
Amy: I think some better things are ahead from Murray. He did basically nothing in the first half of 2014.
Lindsay: I want Murray to win a Slam in 2015 more than almost anything, mainly because I want Mauresmo to win a Slam. And I think he can do it.
Andrew: At this point, some Masters wins would be a huge boost. A huge boost. I’d love to see him come into Wimbledon firing. I pick Wimbledon only because it’s his legacy slam and it matters a great deal to him. He’s a second half of the year player anyway; Wimbledon and the US Open are usually his best chances. Let’s see if his new team breathe fresh life into him.
Lindsay: Ugh, Murray.
Anusha: He’s No. 2! Yet it feels underwhelming.
Amy: It wasn’t a bad year. Plenty to be optimistic about, I think. Not hugely satisfying, either.
Andrew: I think finishing the year ranked No. 2 for the first time is not a bad result at all. I think he can build on that in 2016, it’s not been his best year but not his worst.
I guess that Davis Cup win will give him confidence but please let’s not pretend the Davis Cup win was anything other than a nice confidence builder because I can’t deal with DC hype.
Anusha: I think it’s going to be hard for him to catch current Novak and an in-form Rafa.
Amy: He needs to solve that Djokovic match-up, although that’s no easy feat for anyone. And to be fair, he’s done it twice in slam finals, so it’s not like he’s not capable.
Anusha: 2012 Novak couldn’t close.
Amy: Yeah, that was so much fun. (That’s 2012 Djokovic-hating Amy talking.)
Andrew: Djokovic is scary-good. I don’t see Murray elevating to that level. Novak would have to drop.
Anusha: I also think Andy’s Fed match up is worse than it was.
Andrew: YES. He used to basically own Federer back in the old days and now it’s getting more difficult.
Anusha: Fed has more power with the racquet and doesn’t get into those weird rallies as much.
Amy: Mainly because Fed is actually playing better than he was for a few years there. Not their early rivalry. But Fed’s level has lifted a bit, and it’s paid off significantly vs. Murray.
Andrew: The new racquet has changed everything.
Lindsay: Alright, moving on. Any bold predictions for any of the following: Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov, Berdych, Tsonga, Ferrer?
Amy: Tsonga and Ferrer will continue to drop in the rankings. Berdych will continue to do nothing and still qualify for the World Tour Finals.
Andrew: Ha, Amy that is so true! Just like this year, Berdych will seem to have an AWFUL season and yet he’ll remain the top ten cockroach that he is. Which is a compliment — survival skills! Tsonga disappears into the ether, I think.
Amy: More unwatchable tennis from Raonic, and hype for Dimitrov, but neither one will win a slam. Maybe this is wishful thinking from me. 🙂
Lindsay: Haha. I do think we’ll continue to see Raonic and Dimitrov and Nishikori do well, maybe win a Masters and go late in Slams. I can’t see them winning a major, though. Tsonga will, well, I don’t know. Be an idiot, but I do think he remains top-10-ish.
Andrew: I think Dimitrov finishes the year ranked higher than Nishikori and Nishikori ranked higher than Raonic. But all top 10.
Andrew: I’m hiding behind my couch reading that.
Amy: Thank god for no Raonic or Dimitrov in the top 10.
Andrew: I think in the next paragraph I said something about Dimitrov having Top 5 level stretchiness and I stand by that remark, unfortunately he does not have Top 10 level … tennis.
Amy: I still have absolutely no idea how Tsonga is in the top 10.
Anusha: Roland Garros semi. And Novak having all the points.
Lindsay: He won Metz. LOL.
Andrew: Oh well that’s nice then.
Lindsay: My Tsonga prediction was dead on.
Andrew: It really was, Lindsay.
Lindsay: As was your Berdych prediction.
Amy: 1. Djokovic, 2. Rafa 3. Murray 4. Fed 5. Stan. Big Four are still the easiest bet.
Andrew: 1. Djokovic 2. Nadal 3. Murray 4. Dimitrov 5. Federer
Amy: Ewwww, Baby Fed in front of Real Fed. Gross.
Andrew: I know. It’s disturbing. But I went there.
Amy: May that never, ever happen.
Amy: Fed DEFINITELY needs to retire before it does.
Andrew: He’s just so stretchy. That is world No. 4 level stretchiness.
Lindsay: 1. Djokovic 2. Rafa 3. Stan 4. Raonic 5. Federer.
Andrew: I would love that, Lindsay, I showed great restraint not add a little maple syrup to the mix.
Lindsay: Omfg what is wrong with me.
Amy: GRIGOR AND MILOS. ABOVE FED. NEVER AGAIN!
Andrew: We all picked the World No. 1 correctly. So. There you go.
Lindsay: I mean, Fed is going to literally be a Grandpa before these guys surpass him.
Amy: You say that like it will ever happen. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.
Andrew: I mean, Milos…
Andrew: , maybe…
Anusha: Carlos Moya had better get a gazillion dollar bonus if it does.
Lindsay: Anyways, let’s move to the ladies. Let’s start at the top: SERENA.
Amy: Another slam for Serena, but some more weird losses at Slams to Alize Cornet.
Lindsay: She has Steffi in sight. She’s going to prioritize the Slams more, and I think she gets two.
Andrew: I think Serena stays at the top of the world. I just don’t see her losing her grip on No. 1, not after her efforts this year.
Amy: I totally bombed this one. So badly. Sorry, Serena, it’s embarrassing!
Andrew: I mean, the weird loss wasn’t to Cornet but it did happen.
Lindsay: She did get two. And then another one.
Andrew: So you were totally correct.
Lindsay: I’m basically an oracle.
Lindsay: What about Sharapova? Excuse me, CLAYpova.
Amy: Another French Open for Sharapova.
Lindsay: I think the French Open is the only Slam she has a shot at.
Andrew: Sharapova won’t win a slam in 2015 because the year isn’t an even number. Never happens.
Andrew: SEE. Wasn’t an even number. No slam for Maria.
Amy: I think my overall WTA predictions were about as bad as you guys putting Milos and Grigor in the top 5, sadly.
Andrew: We don’t need to keep bringing that up.
Amy: I think we do.
Lindsay: What about our only other active Slam winner, Kvitova?
Andrew: I think Kvitova will win another slam this year. I think it could be something other than Wimbledon too.
Lindsay: I want to believe that, Andrew, I really do. So I’m going to agree.
Amy: I’m going to boldly say she’ll win two. I think she’s ready to have that year we all thought she’d have in 2012.
Andrew: We BANKED on Kvitova, wow. This did not happen, clearly. But she DID get engaged.
Lindsay: Hahahaha, oh man, Amy went ALL IN. She did get engaged, Andrew. And not to Steps or a teenager. So, VICTORY.
Lindsay: How will Genie and Simona follow up their big years?
Amy: I go back and forth on Simona. I see her win these matches, and I don’t get it sometimes.
Andrew: I think Halep will be a massive force again this year.
Amy: I’m not sure Simona will be able to follow up that great year, though I do enjoy her playing. I guess it’s the lack of weapons thing. That style of play might not get her to the top.
Lindsay: I mean, if Clijsters could do it… I don’t know, I’m really on the Simona train, especially after the YECs.
Amy: I could see it going either way. Bouchard had an awesome year, but I think she’ll have trouble replicating her Slam success. She did get some good draws. (Though of course her higher ranking will give her more of those now.)
Lindsay: I agree, Amy. And she really did not do much outside the Slams at all.
Andrew: I’ll be really interested to see how Bouchard fares against the big names, that’s really where she needs to take giant leaps this year. She can beat players ranked below her pretty consistently, she proved that at the slams in 2014.
Lindsay: It will be interesting to see if Bouchard can find week in, week out WTA consistency.
Amy: All that said, I don’t think she’s a Sloane who won’t be able to transfer her success to the WTA events.
Andrew: Agreed, Amy.
Andrew: What do we even say about Bouchard right now?
Anusha: It’s strange to think that her losing streak was the good part of her year.
Andrew: LOL Anusha.
Lindsay: Anusha wins the commentary on this one. It’s so sad and true.
Amy: She played really good tennis at the US Open. And that’s about it.
Andrew: The US Open was so promising, I’m really sad about the concussion situation.
Anusha: Me too. Really frightening and such a hard injury to come back from.
Andrew: She could legit have won that title. Flavia Pennetta won the US Open. Flavia Pennetta.
Amy: I still think her attitude will set her back on the right track. Maybe not to the top 10, but this was all a bit ridiculous.
Andrew: Agreed, Amy.
Amy: Provided she starts the year fully recovered from the concussion, which sounded like a very serious one.
Anusha: I am not so sure. I think that Genie needs that 100% focus and intensity to do well. She was already faltering because of her higher profile. The concussion and lawsuit will be problematic.
Amy: I think I was close on Halep.
Andrew: I have practically no memory of Halep in 2015.
Lindsay: Same here, Andrew. I mean, talk about missing opportunities at the U.S. Open. But I was definitely all in on her after the YECs.
Amy: I don’t believe Halep has the killer instinct to get to the top. She doesn’t seem to rise to the occasion in big matches.
Anusha: I think it was a respectable year for Simona — Serena kind of made it impossible for anyone to have an amazing year. I think I see the killer instinct developing. She needs to be fighter girl.
Amy: Guys. She lost to Makarova, Lucic, Cepelova, and Pennetta in Slams this year. Her slam record this year was extremely unimpressive.
Andrew: Lucic is such a thorn in Halep’s side. Which, I mean, really says it all.
Amy: Ha! Exactly. To your point, Anusha, it would be one thing if Serena had actually prevented Halep from winning a Slam. But Halep didn’t even get close enough to lose to Serena. Sad. The only impressive thing from her at Slams was the Vika win at the US Open.
Anusha: That was amazing. But Vika was on a comeback and had that terrible rash from her Nike gear, too.
Andrew: One thing we didn’t predict was that Kerber would be the box office player of the year and that Serena’s biggest rivals would be Vinci, Mattek-Sands and Heather Watson,
Lindsay: How do we think Ivanovic and Wozniacki will follow up their returns to relevancy?
Amy: Woz will win the Aussie Open!
Andrew: I’m feeling more convinced by Wozniacki than I am by Ana Ivanovic, but then Wozniacki has always been the more consistent of the two while Ivanovic has had the bigger wins when she’s on top form.
Amy: I feel like I’ve handed out more than four Slams already. Everyone gets a Slam!
Lindsay: I’ve basically handed out 10 on both tours.
Andrew: I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if Wozniacki took a hard-court Slam. Again, US Open is the Slam I’d put her down for. I’ve given everyone Wimbledon and the US Open.
Amy: Woz is also a bit underrated on grass.
Andrew: She was Queen of Eastbourne for a while, I seem to remember.
Lindsay: Wozniacki needs some draw breaks — and apparently that includes BZS — but it’s not out of the question.
Andrew: I think she’ll beat Serena at least once this season.
Amy: No words.
Lindsay: Omg we were drinking the Kool-Aid.
Andrew: I know what “drinking the Kool-Aid” means now that I live in America and yes, we were.
Anusha: Cue “check her blood pressure.” They looked so good beating Maria at Cincy and the US Open. Could happen to anyone.
Lindsay: Barreling ahead, anyone other than the usual suspects we haven’t mentioned (Radwanska Kerber, etc.) that we see making it into the top 10 this season?
Amy: I’m going to bet on Muguruza being the Bouchard of 2015.
Lindsay: I hope so on both accounts. I’m going to stay on the Bencic train — I think she’ll have a really great season, although the top 10 might be a bit of a stretch.
Will Domi stay in the top 10? LOLOL I couldn’t type that without laughing.
Andrew: Will Domi stay in the top 20?!
Amy: Hahahah, no. She has the AO final to defend, LOL. She will lose in the first round to a qualifier.
Andrew: Good call on Muguruza, Amy. Keys has had a tough year, but I still think she’ll come back firing.
Amy: Muguruza, future GOAT.
Andrew: Linz, Bencic also had a great year, so congrats to you too!
Lindsay: No. 14 isn’t so bad!
Lindsay: Give me your top fives. Here are mine:
1. Serena 2. Kvitova 3. Sharapova 4. Halep 5. Azarenka #DREAMTEAM
Andrew: 1. Serena 2. Kvitova 3. Halep 4. Wozniacki 5. Radwanska
Amy: 1. Kvitova 2. Sharapova 3. Serena 4. Wozniacki 5. Muguruza
Amy: I am proud of my Muguruza prediction. She was ranked outside the top 20 at the time!
Lindsay: Kudos Amy on Muguruza.
Andrew: Yeah, good Muguruza call!
Lindsay: Kvitova finished No. 6, so just outside. But we all had her in the top two.
Amy: We were so high on Petra.
Lindsay: I was so hopeful about Vika.
Amy: And Woz.
Andrew: I really thought Kvitova would finally have her big, big year. I keep thinking a switch will flick and she’ll dominate.
Amy: There’s always 2016!