Niall Clarke’s 2015 ATP World Tour Predictions
Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
With the start of the new tennis season just days away, I thought I would share with you some of my predictions for 2015.
2015 Year End Top 10
10. Tomas Berdych
The big Czech has been a top 10 mainstay for many years now, with 2009 being the last time Berdych finished outside of it. After making five consecutive Tour Finals appearances I think the 29 year olds consistent top 8 level will drop off a little In 2015. However I still believe his results will be good enough for him to sneak in the top 10 for another year.
9. Juan Martin Del Potro
This prediction may startle a few readers considering the wrist surgery that made him miss the majority of the 2014 season. However, I believe that Del Po may be back with a bang. It may take The Tower of Tandil a few months to re-find his level, but I believe he has the mental strength to get him through this period. Del Potro will rally towards the end of the season and squeak a top 10 finish.
8. Milos Raonic
The big serving Canadian was one of the most consistent performers of 2014, and I believe he will compete at a similar level in 2015. Despite the huge serve, I can’t see Raonic threating to win the big titles, and by default I have put him at number 8 in my predictions. He will have a solid year which sees him making the tour finals for a second straight year
‘Baby Fed’ finished 2014 on the cusp of the top ten, and looks set to make that breakthrough in 2015. Dimitrov has some big points to defend during grass season, but you’d expect the Bulgarian to make them up at other points in the season. Grigor will have a 2015 that will see some real high points and some real low points, which sees him finish 7th in the rankings and make his debut at the World Tour Finals.
6. Stan Wawrinka
Stan had his best season yet in 2014, winning the Australian Open, and Monte Carlo masters. Those performances led him to a 4th place finish in the rankings; His best year end ranking in his career. Lots of tennis fans believe The Swiss will have a huge fall from grace in 2015, and a few months ago I would have agreed. But Stan showed some good form at the end of the season, and I now believe he can have a decent 2015. I see a mix between his 2013 and 2014 season, which sees him finish in between the rankings he obtained in those two years.
5. Andy Murray
Murray’s ranking took a hit in the middle of 2014 as he failed to recapture his 2012-2013 form after a back injury. However, The Brit rallied some good results towards the end of the year to finish in a respectable 6th position. I don’t believe Murray will find his old form again, but he will be solid enough to finish the year just outside the top 4. His best results will likely come on grass and hard courts as he tends to struggle on clay.
4. Roger Federer
Federer had somewhat of a resurgence in 2014, which saw him make another Grand Slam final and finish the year as world number two. There is a lot of talk about Federer’s inevitable decline as he turns 34 in 2015. However I don’t see him declining too much just yet. His effortless game has seen him avoid major injuries throughout his career and I see the Swiss having one final solid year. In 2015 he will finish fourth with some good consistency throughout the year.
3. Kei Nishikori
The Japanese star finally broke into the top 8 in 2014 with a very good year. He was unlucky not to win a major title after losing in the finals of Madrid and The US Open. There has always been question marks over Kei’s health, but his talent has never been in doubt. I think 2015 is the time for Nishikori to establish himself amongst the elite. I believe a first Grand Slam and Masters 1000 title will be in order for the current world number 5, and that will see him into third in the rankings. Just not quite having the consistency of the two ahead of him.
2. Rafael Nadal
After appendix surgery saw him miss he end of 2014, Rafa will be back in 2015. You can almost guarantee that Nadal will pick up a lot of points on clay, where has dominated since he first started on tour. I expect the Spaniard to claim a record 10th Roland Garros title and fight Djokovic for other major titles during the year. However, I believe Djokovic will get the better of their battles, so Nadal will have to settle for number two at the end of the year
1. Novak Djokovic
The world’s best of 2014 will continue to be the best in 2015. Djokovic is the most consistent top performer in the game at the moment and I don’t see that changing in 2015. He will challenge for every tournament he competes in and will be victor more often than not. I expect Novak to regain the Australian Open and win the majority of Masters 1000 titles during the year. The Serb will finish the year as world number 1 again, and further add to his list of accolades.
Predictions for Grand Slam winners
Australian Open: Novak Djokovic
Runner up: Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic will regain the Australian Open crown. The Serb has dominated the event since the surface changed in 2008, and will win yet another title down under. Federer being the number 2 seed will make the final but will fall short in a potentially classic encounter against Djokovic. As for the defending champion, Wawrinka; he will fall in the semifinals.
French Open: Rafael Nadal
Runner up: Novak Djokovic
Rafa will win his tenth French Open crown in 2015 defeating Djokovic in the final (again). These two are clearly the two best clay courters in the world at the moment, but Rafa has had the edge every time they have met at Roland Garros.
Wimbledon: Shock winner
Runner up: Andy Murray
Wimbledon is the hardest slam to predict. I believe that upsets are more likely to happen at SW19, so I am going to say we get a shock winner here. Maybe someone like Dimitrov, or Tsonga will step up and win the Wimbledon title? Murray to make the final but loose to the shock winner with Djokovic and Federer both falling in the semi-finals.
US Open: Kei Nishikori
Runner up: Novak Djokovic
Last year’s finalist will finally be ready to step up and become a Grand Slam champion. Nishikori showed physical and mental fatigue in last year’s final after playing 3 tough matches in a row, and that’s without even mentioning the inspired form of Marin Cilic. Nishikori will defeat Djokovic in a classic final, which results in the Japanese winning his first grand slam title.
Predictions for Masters 1000 winners
Indian Wells: Novak Djokovic
Miami: Kei Nishikori
Monte Carlo: Rafael Nadal
Madrid: Rafael Nadal
Rome: Novak Djokovic
Canada: Roger Federer
Cincinnati: Novak Djokovic
Shanghai: Novak Djokovic
Paris: Kei Nishikori
World Tour Finals: Novak Djokovic
Other ATP Predictions
Here are some other predictions for the 2015 season.
- The ATP World Tour Finals will stay in London long term
- Former World Number One Lleyton Hewitt will retire
- Slovak Martin Klizan will break into the top 20
- Nick Kyrigos, and Benoit Paire will win their first ATP titles
- David Ferrer will decline
- The International Premier Tennis League Exo will be a success in 2015
- Team France will win the Davis Cup
If you have any predictions you would like to share please Tweet me @niallclarke96 and I will retweet them.