Oct/17

30

American Tennis Evaluation Report

Qball

 

By Scoop Malinowski

Ryan Harrison won a title in Memphis and rebuilt his ranking back up to 45, with a career high of 40 in the summer. Overall Harrison has a 19-22 W/L record. The 25 year old, coached by Davide Sanguinetti and Peter Lucassen, achieved a career highlight moment by winning his first major title – in doubles at Roland Garros with Michael Venus. Harrison has cooled off in the second half of 2017 but he proved this year he can be a force in the ATP and with some fine tuning could continue to make progress next year.

Grade: B +

Steve Johnson got himself in the best shape of his life last off-season and played some of his finest tennis earlier in the year, zipping around the court like an NCAA Division 1 guard. The 27 year old is ranked 42 in the world right now after posting a solid 30-21 W/L record for the year, following today’s Paris Indoors loss to Robine Haase 62 61.  Johnson won Houston this year but last summer Johnson was ranked 21 in the world, and he started the year ranked 31 so he’s taken a small step backwards. Hard to say which direction Johnson will turn next year. But once thing is certain: This extremely diligent hard worker will explore every possible option possible to try to reverse his 2017 ranking drop.

Grade: B –

Sam Querrey is ranked 13 in the world right now (36-20 on the year), his career high best ranking. This year he won two titles and scored a host of major league wins over the likes of world no. 1 Rafa Nada, Jo Tsonga, Dominic Thiem, Andy Murray at Wimbledon, Kevin Anderson, Nick Kyrgios and David Goffin. The 30 year old quarterfinalist at US Open seems poised to crack the top ten next year, if he can sustain the new level he showed this year while protecting all those points.

Grade A –

 

Donald Young is ranked 59 right now which seems not quite indicative of his up and down year. He beat John Isner for the first time in Memphis en route to the final. He beat Sam Querrey in three sets at Indian Wells. Young is 24-22 on the year but still without his first ATP title.  DY had several heartbreaking losses this year – 75 in the fifth to Monfils at US Open; 76 in the third to Nishikori at Citi Open; 13-11 in the fifth at Roland Garros to Ferrer; 46 67 to Sock at the Delray Beach semifinals. The highpoint was probably finals in Roland Garros doubles. At age 28, Young seems 50-50 to surpass his career high ranking of 38 in 2012. Hiring a top flight, experienced ATP Tour coach may be the best route available for Young to take the next big steps in his career that seem years overdue.

Grade C

John Isner is 14 in the world today with two titles and a nice 35-21 record. The 32 year old, who reached no. 9 in the world in 2012, beat Nadal for the first time at Laver Cup.  Isner won Newport (def. Ebden) and Atlanta (def. Harrison) back to back but his toughest losses this year were 76 76 to Dimitrov in the Cincy SF,  the five setter to Sela at Wimbedon, the tight four setter to Khachanov in the third round of Roland Garros, 76 in the third to Zverev at Miami Open R32 and 97 in the fifth to Mischa Zverev in Melbourne. Isner had another healthy year so it would not be unreasonable to expect Isner to possibly break into the the top ten again in 2018.

Grade A –

Jack Sock is ranked 22 with a quality 31-19 record on the year including two titles which came earlier in the season (Auckland, Delray Beach).  In April Sock was ranked 14 but it seems his season took a downturn after suffering two losses to Nadal in Miami and Rome and the loss to Thompson in Davis Cup was another confidence damaging setback.  Losing to Ofner in five sets at Wimbledon, Thompson at US Open and Vesely in straight sets at Roland Garros were crushing defeats. Coached since the summer by Jay Berger after parting ways with longtime guide Troy Hahn has not produced the desired results. Despite the Sock slump this year, it still is so easy to imagine the 25 year old galvanizing all his energies and powers and focus towards becoming the elite top five ATP superstar he has the potential to become.

Grade: B

 

 

Note: Later in the year we will evaluate the rest of the American ATP players including the #NEXTGEN contingent.

 

 

 

 

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3 comments

  • Chazz · October 30, 2017 at 11:46 am

    What’s your grade on Sock?

    The NextGen is hard to grade because they are so up and down.

    QBall clearly had the best year of any American. His results in Wimbledon and the US Open very good.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 30, 2017 at 11:54 am

    B for Sock. Solid B. But we all expected an A this year. Especially after winning two early titles and beating Nishikori and Dimitrov at Indian Wells.

  • Hartt · October 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    Scoop, thanks for the recap on these players’ seasons. But do you really think that Sock could be a top 5 player? I like Sock generally, but think that top 10 would be a big goal for him.

    As for Young, surely if he has not made a coaching change by now, he never will.

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