Tennis Prose



ATP #PASTGEN Not Ready To Fade Away Just Yet

Gilles Simon served by the Mrs.

These well known, veteran players are still out there on the pro tennis circuit, not quite ready to announce retirement – or just stop playing…

Ivo Karlovic was supposed to hang it up at US Open and then Indian Wells but he still has not officially retired at age 42 and last week was practicing with Stefan Kozlov in South Florida.

Fabio Fognini is 34 now and ranked 36. His record on the year is 22-22. 2022 may still hold a last hurrah or two for the dynamic Italian.

Kevin Anderson has battled back in 2021 to rebuild his ranking up to 61 from around the 100 range. At 35 there is still plenty of fire in the soul of the tenacious South African who was ranked no. 5 in 2018.

Feliciano Lopez is 40 now and his ranking has fallen to 109 because of a poor 9-20 record on the year. It’s hard to imagine the seven-time ATP singles champ will improve upon his subpar 2021 but a few more years as a doubles specialist could become his objective.

Gilles Simon has only won five matches this year (17 defeats) and his ranking is at 122. The 36 year old who has won 14 career ATP singles titles just played St. Petersburg qualies with a PR but lost first round to Emil Ruusuvouri 60 63.

Gael Monfils is still going strong at 35 he’s ranked 21 and has won 15 matches this year after a very slow start.

John Isner is 36 now and ranked 26, still a dangerous assignment for most of the ATP. He’s a hot month away from the top 15 but also a cold month or two from the top 50.

Richard Gasquet has fallen out of the top 50 to no. 76. He’s playing Challengers trying to get back to ATP main draw contention. At 35 the pressure will be on in ’22 to stick around.

Jeremy Chardy is 34 and ranked 87.

Pablo Andujar is 35 and ranked 92.

Andreas Seppi is 37 and ranked 98.

Pablo Cuevas is 35 and ranked 100.

Sam Querrey is 34 and ranked 102.

Philipp Kohlschreiber is 38 and ranked 119. He’s been absent for most of the first half of ’21 but resurfaced to win seven matches against nine losses.

Andy Murray is 34 and ranked 156 but he just knocked out a top ten player Hubert Hurkacz in Vienna. 12 wildcards this year have helped him get match play but he’s struggled to rebuild his ranking despite the ATP support. Beating Hurkacz could be the confidence builder and spark that he needed but losing the rematch to young Carlos Alcazar had to be a stinging defeat for the proud future Hall of Famer.

Jo Wilfried Tsonga is 36 now and ranked 169.

Ernests Gulbis is 33 and ranked 196.

Tommy Robredo is 39 and ranked 322.

Fernando Verdasco is 37 and ranked 144, his record on the year is 2-8. He’s playing Challengers and has three coaches listed on the ATP site so it looks like he will make a final push in ’22.

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  • Cory · October 30, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Great post. So many great careers above.

    Surely Robredo is done… I keep rooting for him at these clay challengers but he just can’t win anymore.

    Verdasco looks solid, as does Anderson, Cuevas, and Kohlschreiber. They’ve all had poor years but I’m talking about their play itself. I think they’ll all continue to hang around – but like you said, the question is can they push back into serious contention.

    Andreas Seppi has has a wonderful year at the Challenger level and earned his stripes but needs to show up at main events. He’s still got plenty of gas in the tank, I think, but results matter.

    Players like Gulbis and Chardy (and a post-30s Tsonga) just always find ways to self-destruct.

    Hoping that Murray can wiggle himself into the main draws without help, as you said. None of us see him being what he once was, but he has enough skill and willpower (sans fitness/health) to hang around the top 50 I think.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 30, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Cory, Murray is an intriguing subject because we see how desperately he wants back in the big time for a last hurrah or two. He may want it more now than ever before. And he’s so tantalizingly close. He suffers through and then suddenly he scores the huge win finally vs Hurkacz but then he loses to Schwartzman or Alcaraz. He just can’t sustain that high level enough to win a title. But the flashes of brilliance are awesome to see. I thought of more players fading away – Donald Young just played an ITF in Vero Beach and bombed out. Ryan Harrison just won an ITF in Naples but beat nobody of note. Both are ranked around 500 now. I saw Harrison practicing in Newport this summer with Ramanathan (after he lost in qualies) and boy did he look solid and sharp, good quality tennis. But he can’t win ATP matches anymore, or Challengers either. Kozlov is making a run in Vegas Challenger this week, some huge wins, Kozlov also won Columbus Challenger a few weeks ago.

  • Cory · October 31, 2021 at 1:41 am

    Agreed fully about Murray. Interesting you mention Young & Kozlov… both players who get in their own way, with poor attitudes, and dubious mental games. We all know Kozlov has the capacity for a top 50 run, as does Young (already done) but WOW – to hear Young has dropped to 500 and losing ITF. One wonders if this is “it” for him. He’s still relatively young, so there should be no fitness / physical issues. It’s gotta take a LOT of work to get out of a 500-ranking pit. You’d have to play ITF & challengers (with success) for at least a year and a half just to get opportunity again at the tour level. Wow.

  • Cory · October 31, 2021 at 3:04 am

    Also curious, Scoop, if you have any comments on Malek Jaziri… he’s fading at 37 y/o and ranked 301 at the moment… had a nice fun inside the top 50 at the age of 34-35. I have always loved this guy’s game, he’s tricky… and playing adroitly if you watch the matches, but just not closing anything out, losing, and ranking fading fast.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 31, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Cory, Young as to be finished, he’s been losing to absolute no namers, the game passed him by. It’s a shame he never hired a real coach, his parents were not equipped to coach on the ATP level. Kozlov is still improving and learning and I can easily see him getting to top 50. He’s on a good run in Vegas right now. Young has gotten some helpful wildcards this year but failed to capitalize. He won’t get any more, he’s on his own.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 31, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Jaziri had a fine career, he did a very nice Biofile with me. I remember Goran Ivanisevic said about Jaziri when he first emerged into the ATP as a raw unknown that if Jaziri had an experienced coach, with his natural talent, he would have a successful career, which he did. But it looks like Jaziri is at the end of the line.



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