ATP predictions for 2012

Following on from my predictions for the top 10 in the WTA, here is my predictions for ATP top 10 at the end of 2012.  I found this one much more difficult…
The season-ending ATP top 10 of 2012
Novak Djokovic
1. Novak Djokovic – I’m going with Djokovic to stay at world number one at the end of 2012.  However, I think it will be much closer than 2011 and the ranking points will be much more evenly spread out.  I’m predicting that Djokovic will win the Australian Open and do well in the summer hard court season, but lose a big chunk of his points during the clay court season.  To be honest, i’m feeling very indecisive about this one and I wouldn’t be surprised if Djokovic goes off the boil!
2.  Roger Federer – Federer moves up to number two in my predictions with his season being highlighted by at least one major win.  Federer, once again impressed at the World Tour Finals in London and I think this is a sign that he will have a good 2012 and won’t be hanging up his racquets anytime soon.  The biggest event for Federer next year is likely to be the Olympics and it could be a magical grass court season for Roger…

3. Andy Murray – For the last couple of years, I have predicted Murray to win his first major and once again, I am predicting he will do it!  Last year, he showed great consistency by reaching the semi-finals in all four majors.  I predict that his time will come at the US Open and he will perform strongly at the hard court Masters events in 2012.

4. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – The most likely player to break the top 4 for me is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.  I think he will reach two Grand Slam finals, but will come away empty handed.  He has all the tools to win a Grand Slam; however I think his biggest weakness is mentally and he will need to improve his focus in matches.  After an injury free season in 2011 and building on from a strong showing at the World Tour Finals, i’m confident he is going to assert himself as a big threat on the tour in 2012.
5. Rafael Nadal – Out of the present top 4, Nadal is the man I see struggling the most in 2011.  It is a given he will produce some solid results on the clay and I fully expect him to claim another Roland Garros title.  However I think he will struggle to match some of his strong results on the hard courts in 2011 (such as the final showings in Indian Wells, Miami and the US Open) and for that reason, will move out of the top 4.
Juan Martin Del Potro
6. Juan Martin Del Potro – Last season Del Potro was finding his feet after a long lay-off from injury in 2010, but this year I think the Argentine will mean business.  I predict that Del Potro will be especially strong on the hard courts and the clay this year.  I fancy him to scoop an ATP Masters title along the course of the season and reach the final of Roland Garros.
7. David Ferrer – I have a huge amount of respect for Ferrer and I predict another solid year cemented within the top 10.  I would love to see him win a Grand Slam, but unfortunately he doesn’t have enough weapons to challenge the top 4… the best I can see this year is a couple of Grand Slam quarter-finals.
8. Tomas Berdych – Berdych had a remarkably consistent 2011 without making any headlines.  I think it will be more of the same from the Czech next year.  A little like Tsonga, I question his mental strength at times, which is why I cannot see him any higher in the 2012 rankings.
9. Gael Monfils – For so many years, Monfils has shown flashes of brilliance, but failed to deliver on a consistent basis.  I think 2012 will see him improve this and break the world top 10.  Monfils has the talent to do this, but needs to show the focus and drive when things aren’t going his way… but I think he can do it in 2012!
10. Janko Tipsarevic – Tipsarevic impressed me with some of his performances at the end of 2011 and I particularly enjoyed his match with Djokovic at the US Open before he retired.  I think it will be another good year for the Serb and he will keep building in confidence and consistency, adding another Grand Slam quarter-final to his belt.
Movers and Shakers in the top 100
Going down:
Andy Roddick
I predict that both Mardy Fish and Nicolas Almagro will move out of the top 10 in 2012.  Fish will be there or thereabouts at the edge of the top 10, but I think Almagro will have a much larger fall towards the 20 or 25 mark.  Robin Soderling is still suffering from illness and I think this will see him have a large drop in the rankings as he has already confirmed that he will the miss the Australian Open.  Andy Roddick will continue to run out of steam and fall out of the top 30.  I also think that 2012 will not be a good year for Fernando Verdasco and Juan Ignacio-Chela who will both exit the top 30 and fall towards the 50’s.
Going up:
Grigor Dimitrov
I predict we will see Milos Raonic, Kevin Anderson and Kei Nishikori all move into the top 15 in 2012.  I think that the biggest mover in the rankings will be Vasek Pospisil, who showed some real potential at the US Open towards the end of 2011.  I think he will make a meteoric rise from his current lowly ranking of 126 into the top 30.  Bernard Tomic and Grigor Dimitrov will also continue their progression and should be top 30 by the end of 2011.  Dimitrov struggled to produce consistent results this year, so top 30 might be too optimistic!  Ryan Harrison, another promising talent should also be knocking on the door of the top 30…
So there are my ATP predictions.  Admittedly, my knowledge of men’s tennis is not as good as the women, but I am still looking forward to see how things will turn out on the ATP tour this year.  To be honest, i’m very unsure of what will happen to the top four in 2012 and how things will progress… but thats the fun of predicting 😉

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