Changeover Chat: Unwisely Attempting to Predict 2015


(Note: this chat took place before the beginning of the 2015 season…no “Shvedova will beat Lisicki in Brisbane” cheating will be found below!)

Lindsay:  Hello again! So, we’ve already looked back at laughed at our 2014 predictions. Since we never learn, shall we move on to embarrassing ourselves in 2015?

Andrew: I am so ready to join the embarrassment. Bring it.

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.

Lindsay: I agree. Maybe another final. I do think we’ll see him in a few more semis and finals of Slams in his career, but it’s hard to see him getting another. That said, he’s proved us wrong many times before!

What about the other surprise of the season, Marin Cilic?

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.

Lindsay: The so-called Big Four. Let’s discuss in order of ranking: Djokovic first!

Andrew: I think Djokovic does even better in 2015 than in 2014. I would predict at least two slams for him, including the Australian Open. He’ll go all out for the the French, too.

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.

Now, Federer?

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.

Lindsay: Nadal?

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.

Alright. Muzz? I’ll bow to your expertise, Andrew.

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: 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.

Lindsay: Berdych and Dani will be interesting. But yeah, he’ll stay the same.

Anyone else I haven’t mentioned that you see breaking into the top 10 or being a big factor at a Slam?

Lindsay: crickets

Amy: I hope Delpo will make it back to the top 10, but he’s always slow starter when he’s coming back from injury, and with him out of Brisbane, it’s not looking good. And as much as I love him, he’s getting older. His window may have already closed.

Lindsay: Aaaw, yes, Delpo. I hope he brings his bench to tournaments.

Andrew: I’m starting to lose faith that Delpo’s career will ever take off again, if I’m honest. I think Gulbis will still impose himself occasionally, and I’ll be keeping a very close eye on Kyrgios.

Lindsay: Kyrgios is the wild card.

Amy: I don’t believe in the Kyrgios hype.

Lindsay: Oh, I totally do. But we’ll see.

Anyways, onto the fun part. What are our predictions for the top five?

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.

Lindsay: LOLOL

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: I think one of the three–Dimitrov, Raonic, Nishikori, will be in the top 5, and I think Raonic has the best chance of staying healthy.

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 number 1, not after her efforts this year

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.

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.

Lindsay: Oh, I would love that so much!

Andrew: Wimbledon and the US Open for Petra. Wimbledon either Serena or Petra, for sure. I would be ready for a year in which it was really Serena vs. Petra throughout the season.

Lindsay: And VIKA. A healthy Vika, Serena, and Petra as the main rivals, with some kick-ass Simona, Caro, and Ivanovic thrown in.

Andrew: Now THAT would be exciting.

Lindsay: I LOVE THIS.

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.

Lindsay: I do like Bouchard’s attitude, though. But, I mean, it would be nice if she could find a coach…

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.

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?

Andrew: Keys.

Amy: Muguruza.

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.

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

Lindsay: Oooooh Amy. Big talker.

Andrew: WOW, Amy. Bold.

Amy: Go big or go home.

6 Responses

  1. Ming
    Ming January 6, 2015 at 1:25 pm |

    “Berdych will continue to do nothing and still qualify for the World Tour Finals.” – He’s been ranked 5-7 for like the last 5 years. Best phrase ever though.

  2. kwando
    kwando January 6, 2015 at 1:50 pm |

    No prediction for Bernie winning Wimbledon this year? xP

    1. Amy
      Amy January 6, 2015 at 3:32 pm |

      that just goes without saying. 🙂

  3. fernando
    fernando January 6, 2015 at 3:09 pm |

    Fernando says Rafa will win at least two slams don’t be fooled by Doha. If Rafa is healthy, he is the best. And with Fernando’s fashion consultant granted input in the design of Rafa’s 2015 kits, Rafa will look marvelous doing it. You already see the results with his beautiful Kit in Doha.

    Djoker for all his toughness is a bit of a softie and he will lose some focus with a beautiful baby to come home too. Not a bad thing, but unlike Maestro, Djoker does not live and breathe tennis. One Slam- maybe. And just a few 1000’s.

    Maestro Federer is riding a waive of good cheer but he has won only one slam in 5 years. Don’t buy into the hype as maestro benefited from very easy and draws and no Rafa last year. No Slams for Maestro and a decline for sure. Maestro will also seek to compensate for declining skills by coming to the net more and will get passed quite a bit- by everyone.

    If he is healthy Marin is not a fluke. He tailed off last year but will get the fire back.

    Fang Murray just does not have the consistency nor mental toughness especially if he loses early in the season in matches he is favored to win. His confidence is very fragile.

    I am Fernando @vivafernano

    1. Matt Vidakovic
      Matt Vidakovic January 8, 2015 at 10:06 am |

      Fernando is spot-on on almost everything. As a Djokovic fan, I must say I fear you might be right – Nole tends to let out-of-tennis things influence his tennis too much. The only thing I think you are wrong about is Cilic; I think Cilic is indeed a fluke, and while he has the talent to explode and beat people he hasnt a shred of consistency, and that eager Winner Fire inside. Never had…therefore NYC was a fluke.

  4. Moo Tennis
    Moo Tennis January 7, 2015 at 2:10 pm |

    Bold predictions and loving the optimism for Petra! I think she will win another Grand Slam this year, most probably Wimbledon. I’m still not entirely convinced whether she can be consistent enough throughout a whole year to be world number one… But I hope she can do it! I agree with Amy that Muguruza will be the Bouchard of 2015. I fancy Muguruza to crack the top ten along with Safarova.

    On the men’s side, I’m surprised Nishikori didn’t feature in any of your top fives. I think he’s going to go from strength to strength. His health is a concern, but I think he was less fragile during the second half of 2014. He was brilliant at the US Open and also responsed positively in the fall season. I’d back Nishikori to win a Slam in 2015 and break into the top three.

    Looking forward to your coverage this year 🙂

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