2020 tennis season predictions

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jacket: plt (only in grey now sorry!!) // pants: topshop // trainers: nike

I have been planning this post with my lovely friend Michelle who runs the Shapovalov fan account Denis Shapo B&W since like a month before the 2019 season even ended, and of course it’s only actually going up now when we’re way closer to the next season than we are the one just finished. Better late than never x

I’ve gotta say, please don’t @ me and don’t come for me if 1. you disagree 2. I end up getting these wrong (which I so will come on) 3. I’ve insulted your fave. It’s just a bit of fun, some of these are going to be written as a totally bias and slightly delulu fan of a few certain players, some of these are gonna be such a cop out and probably so easy to get right, and some of these will probably contradict each other. But if I get any of these right of course I’m gonna be taking the ego boost and using it as one big WE BEEN KNEW X

To be fair, I’m doing this because me and Michelle have predicted soooo many things in the second half of this season that were really hard to get right that we’ve been 100% right in, but ofc it’s gonna be typical that the second we take this out of our messages and onto our blogs where everyone can see, we’re gonna suddenly get them all wrong. I’ll take the L if it meant we got to be right about that dreamy weekend of Denis winning Stockholm and Andy beating Stan in the Antwerp final earlier this year though, because that was an impressive prediction from us x

So enjoy my predictions and pls take them for a bit of fun, and check back on Michelle’s blog because I think she’s gonna do her own version of this post soon too and has lots of good off season content coming!

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elina svitolina clinches world number one – likely during the clay swing

The back end of my fave gal Elina’s 2019 season was impressive – back to back Grand Slam semi finals after failing to ever make one before and being stereotyped for having a block at the Slams, then going undefeated at the WTA Finals until losing the final match to Ash Barty. And now she’s just enlisted the newly retired Baghdatis as a coach too.

The reason I think Elina could finally get that world number one ranking (other than the fact that she is my favourite so I assume all my faves will be world number ones with Slams) is because she’s set herself up perfectly for the new season, and clay is arguably her best surface. Last year she struggled with an injury during the entire swing and had lots of early defeats, so she’ll barely be defending any points during the part of the season where she usually gains the most. And she’ll still have the Wimbledon and US Open semi finals and the WTA Finals final points as part of her ranking, so she’s really primed to boost that ranking during the Spring clay swing. See you at the top gal x

SW24 bby x

Imagine not predicting Serena to win another Grand Slam? And even if you want to use her last two seasons without one despite being in four finals as an argument, it’s way better to predict Serena to win a Slam and she doesn’t, than to never have predicted it at all. Poetic x. But seriously, you can’t bet against Serena ever regardless of the last four finals.

I will say that I think it could potentially become less likely as the season goes on, like maybe it’s best for her to just do it at the first given opportunity at the AO so as the year goes on there are less doubts and questions over her failing to do it at the previous slams. Ofc the French is her least likely (a maiden Slam for Elina to go with that world number one I’ve already predicted pls?) and I do feel stupid saying it’s less likely as the year goes on because then she has Wimbledon and the US Open, where she’s made the finals of for two consecutive seasons and one of which she is at home for. But I do feel as though the sooner she can get over this roadblock of 24, the better. And the first chance is next month so let’s roll x

shapo to end the season ranked 5-12 and (somewhat) in london

Me predicting big things for Denis Shapo? Shock. But seriously, everything he did from Winston-Salem onwards last season was ridiculous and everything I always knew he could do. First title, first masters final after losing something like eight semi finals at that level before, ending the season at a career high of 15, carrying Canada to the Davis Cup final. Another person who has put himself in prime position to have an even bigger and better 2020, and I think he’ll end next season ranked higher than he currently is, which is just seven spots away from the o2 and the year-end finals.

I think Denis will be ranked between 5-12 this time next year, and if he doesn’t qualify for London he at least will as an alternate. Youzhny is the dream coach for him, I’ve been waiting for him to find someone like that since Marty sadly left the team last Summer, so I think everything will be better for him next year. Further in the Slams, more titles at higher levels than just a 250. But always remember no matter what he does that I am an OG fan and that I told you lot this would happen even when everyone was writing him off in Spring this year after going on a bit of a losing streak. Welcome back to the bandwagon everyone, I never left it x

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kim clijsters makes a slam second week

Can I pls hedge my bets on this one before I see her actual comeback? Especially since she postponed it from the AO to Monterrey. I will also say that this one is permitting a few things. Obvs she will be unseeded at the Slams so I’m not expecting her to make the second week if she comes up against a top player in the first round, or has some ridiculous draw with the best of the WTA for seven projected matches straight.

Still, as long as things aren’t drastically bad for Kim there is a big part of me that wouldn’t be surprised if she managed to have a deep run at a Grand Slam run, even with over seven years out of the game. She’s 36 which is kinda the new prime tennis age, and it’s one of those things where I just don’t see why not. Weirdly Kim is one of my favourite players of all time even though I started watching the sport after she retired and have never properly seen any of her matches because of it, but her coming back gives me the chance I never had.

us open to be won by a non big three

I know this is a slight cop out (actually is it? they’ve won the last three years worth of Slams) because if there is one Grand Slam of the year that sees the slightly more random but still not that random winners, it’s the US Open. I know we hear all this shit about the changing of the guard and the next gen are coming, and then it doesn’t happen and Fed, Rafa and Novak win the last twelve slams in a row, but something has got to give soon and I do think the end of 2020 may be when we finally see something change.

Tbf, that still doesn’t mean it’ll be a next gen thing. I don’t think it’ll be a super surprising winner, it could be a Murray or a Wawrinka or a Delpo – established top players and previous Slam winners. It could be a Thiem or a Medvedev, Maybe a Tstisipas or a Lil Z. Or, in my dreams, a Denis or Felix. I just don’t see one of the big three managing to get hold of the last Slam of next season but also people have been waiting for Roger to retire for about ten years and look what happened to that. We shall see x

on that note, thiem can win a slam

I really think it’s all happening for Domi. First M1000 title this year and very very nearly winning the ATP Finals last month. Another Slam final at Roland Garros, beating the big three multiple times. He’s another one who has set himself up nicely for 2020. Only the millionth I’ve mentioned in this post x

The two Slams I think he’s in with a chance of winning are the US Open, obvs I just said it, and the French Open. I really think if anyone is going to beat Rafa and/or stop him from even winning his 13th trophy there – other than his own body and injuries – it’s Thiem. There’s nobody else in the world anymore who will do it. Finally we could have a 90s baby as a male Slam champ, he was the first one that kinda age to have even made a Slam final and the only to make two. I think his achievement of making those finals has gone overlooked, especially the 2018 one, because everyone moaned about the younger ATP guys not going that far in a Grand Slam and there was lovely lil Dominic Thiem who had, but got a bit lost in the conversation because he isn’t a ~young gun~ like someone like Lil Zverev. 2020 just might be the year.

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andy murray to win a medal at the olympics

Still not over the fact that it’s a Summer Olympic year next year. Swear Rio was like a year ago not four? Muzza is the reigning singles gold medallist for tennis, winning the whole bloody Olympics in both 2012 and 2016. He thrives at the Olympics, so this seems like an obvious choice but I’m sorry the man literally retired in January and has a whole metal joint in his hip so this isn’t a safe bet.

Given his Olympic track record, I really won’t be surprised if he bangs it out again in Tokyo next Summer. He’s still building up in the comeback and I think by the time the Olympics comes around he’ll be back up there around his best level, he’ll have gotten his ranking right up and gotten lots of big tournaments under his belt, so he’ll be primed and ready for the Olympics. What a story if he wins the gold again – the same result as the previous two Olympics so anyone could be forgiven for thinking it was a given, but my god if you think of all the shit that’s happened between the 2016 Olympics and now. I’m not saying it’ll be gold but it’ll be amazing if it is, but I really have a feeling Andy will bring us home another medal for our tally.

roland garros to be won by elina, simo or karolina

I often group these three together as similar players in terms of their achievements on tour and rough age group and stuff, even though if you think about it there’s actually not that much parity between them. I know Pliskova doesn’t necessarily think of herself as a great clay court player, I still remember how surprised she was reaching the semis a couple seasons ago, but I really do think of her as one. She’s won a good few big titles on the surface and there are actually few players I’d pick to beat her on the clay in Paris.

Other than Serena, because as I’ve said you never bet against Serena, I feel like nobody should be able to beat these three at Roland Garros permitting they’re healthy and injury-free other than each other. Ofc we’ve had some big surprises at the French these past few years but if things follow a script for once on the women’s tour, it’s gonna be one of these three lifting the trophy come June, which is a pretty big deal considering it would likely be Svitolina or Pliskova’s first – if they haven’t won the AO.

some of the top young guys will stall

This isn’t even necessarily a bad thing, but we’ve seen so many big breakthrough weeks and tournaments from people like Tsitsipas, Medvedev and Lil Zverev the last couple years that it can’t go on forever and now they’re near the top, they won’t drop but I don’t think they’ll take as big strides forward as they have been. Medvedev isn’t going to have that freakish Summer / early Autumn run of all those finals in a row. Tsitsipas isn’t suddenly going to break some big ranking goal because he’s already there so the only way is down, unless he’s gonna overtake the big three. We’ve kinda already seen the stalling from Sascha this year, he’s had a good season but people are comparing it to his breakthrough titles so they’re thinking it’s not good enough.

Felix jumped dozens and dozens and dozens of ranking spots this year, made Masters semis and his first few tour level finals. He can win a title or even titles next year, but he can’t rise as rapidly. Things might look disappointing from this lot next year because they might not do as many crazy almost impossible things as they have this season, but they’re up there now so there’s not much more for them to do.

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coric!!!

I made brief notes in my phone about each point I wanted to raise in this post, and this point was literally just written as coric!!! and nothing else. If you know, you know I love Borna. He was that kid that did lots of big things early on when he was 17/18ish and beat tons of the top guys and was given all the superlatives in the world, and then underperformed for those high high expectations. Then he had an unreal 2018, and this season was derailed by injury.

Trust me, he’s back on his bullshit in 2020. He’ll get back to where he was in 2018 and exceed it. If you skip out this year, it’ll just look like he’s carrying on from where he left off last season in 2018 with his Masters final and career high ranking. 2020 really could be the year of Borna – whilst his age mates Tstisipas, Medvedev and Sascha stall like I said before, Borna will go further and further, especially because he’ll have way less points to defend next year where this season was a bit of a let down. Who knows, in a year we could be talking about how Coric was the guy beating the big three, winning masters and qualifying for the o2. I’d love that pls x

each of the big three to win one more slam each

This is kinda where I start contradicting myself, though also not. Because then technically I have each of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic for one each of the AO, RG and Wimby, and then the non big three winner for the USO. As these three close more and more in on each other in the Slam race – still not over 20-19 for Fedal – I actually feel like we could all be fucked over and in a year be in the exact same position, just each of them with one more in their count but the same gaps.

It does make sense to think that one of Federer or Djokovic will win in Australia, Nadal will win the French, and then the other of Fed and Novak will win Wimbledon. It follows what you’d expect. Ofc if this even does happen, the interesting bit is in what order. Will Nadal tie Federer at 20-20 before Federer can pull away and be one ahead again? Will Fed get two ahead again on 21-19 before Nadal catches one up again? Who knows none of this will probably happen anyway x

muzza at home in the o2

More Andy Murray predictions because I was so traumatised when he retired nearly a year ago that I now just lap up the fact that he’s playing and winning again, and predict all the big things for him because a girl can dream. I do think he’ll qualify for the year-end finals next season though, and tbh he better because it’s the last year that it’ll be held in his home country where we can all go see him.

If you think about it, he’s already making big leaps ahead this early on in his comeback, and the level of competition in the ATP at the moment makes it seem realistic for him to get back to the top end of the rankings over the next year. Lol soz ATP guys x. Look at this year’s finals though, Berrettini got in with I think what was the lowest amount of points someone has qualified with in the ten years the tournament has been in London. I really don’t think it will be that hard for Andy to accumulate enough ranking points to qualify in November – again permitting he stays healthy and injury-free for enough of the season. See you in the o2 Andy x

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muguruza and kerber are back, see you in shenzhen

It’s an on year for Angie in 2020. We know how this goes – she has one on year where her ranking gets her back into the top three and she wins a Slam and makes the WTA Finals, and then she has another year where it’s a lot of pressure and a lot of points to defend, and she falls to around 20 in the world, fails to have a big Slam run and fails to make the year end finals.

And Garbi? I actually think the WTA lot should be scared. Muguruza felt like the one who could fill the gap when Serena went on maternity leave, she won Wimbledon and become #1 in the world in 2017, then faded away for a good couple years. She finally fired that coach she had the awful OCC sessions with (no judgement we don’t get their relationship but that was always uncomfortable to watch) and she hired Conchita Martinez – who ended up in her coaching corner temporarily for the two weeks she won Wimby two and a half years ago. It’s all coming back for two of the best players of 2016, and I think we’ll see both of them in the top eight at the end of 2020, in Shenzhen.

ones to watch – comebacks and the ~next gen~

Thought I’d end by throwing some people together who I think could have an interesting year. Delpo is coming back from yet another unfortunate unfair injury this season and we saw what he did this year when he got to come back on the clay before life was yet again cruel to him and he got injured on the grass. I think Dimitrov could have a much better season than he has the last couple years, he did get that USO SF with the win over Roger this year. Also on the men’s side obviously Jannik Sinner is one to really look out for this year who will start hitting some first time milestones in his career.

When I tweeted a lil while ago that I was writing this post and asked for other peoples’ 2020 predictions, a few mentioned Amanda Anisimova and that’s probably a really good call, I can see her having a proper breakthrough year and it’ll be interesting to see how what is essentially her sophomore season plays out. I think Jelena Ostapenko could keep rising now she’s got Marion Bartoli as her coach, this season ended really well for her once they got together. Sabalenka didn’t do as much this year as everyone had probably predicted at the end of 2018, but I think she could pull it together too and get back on the course that she was set to be on this time last year.

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Well there ya go, watch absolutely none of these come true now I’ve said them x

For the few people that do care this much about tennis, do lemme know what you think is gonna happen in the 2020 season but like I said, pls don’t @ me if I’ve offended your fave thanks.


Yasmin

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2 Comments

    • Yasmin Stefanie
      Author
      January 7, 2020 / 9:06 pm

      very good call on rublev 👀

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