Tennis-X Contest: Pick the 2009 Year-end Men’s Top 10
by Richard Vach | January 12th, 2009, 11:23 pm

Tennis-X head honcho/webmaster/slave-wage-payer Luke Johnson has asked the X-bloggers to predict their 2009 year-end Top 10 men’s ranking, as Sean Randall did so eloquently (Gasquet? Really? Really!?!), but we thought why not open it up as a contest to all X-readers?
Post your 2009 year-end Top 10 as a comment on this blog thread before the first ball is hit at the Australian Open, and we’ll send the winner a grab bag full of swag. Super swag bag, with your name on it.

Rules: One point for each player you correctly pick in the year-end Top 10, and another point for hitting his exact finishing position.

Here is a (winning) example:

1. Andy Murray (GBR)
The student has become the master.
2. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Might have used up his best years chasing Federer, with lots of punishment to the knees.
3. Roger Federer (SUI)
Will be edged after hitting 1,315,000 backhands to 30 forehands on the year.
4. Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Leaves Wilson for racquet cash grab, and needs to work on emotional maturity.
5. Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)
Stretch armstrong will get even better as he learns to attack and end points at the net.
6. Andy Roddick (USA)
Top 10 stalwart will remain a threat.
7. Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)
Yawn. See above.
8. Gilles Simon
Exciting shotmaker will show he was no fluke at the end of 2008.
9. Robin Soderling (SWE)
Big-hitting Swede’s time has come if he can stay off the injured list.
10. Lleyton Hewitt
Fire up the lawnmower, the testy Aussie is back from surgery and ready to remind why he was No. 1.

Let us see your predictions, and let the games begin.

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33 Comments for Tennis-X Contest: Pick the 2009 Year-end Men’s Top 10

Mike Says:

Let’s see…
I’d like to say Rafa will still have number one by the end of the year… So here goes:

1. Rafa Nadal! I can see him still clinching the middle two slams, and maybe going far at the US open? And of course some majors.
2. Andy Murray! I think he can win the Australian, and a great majority of the majors. Maybe even Wimbledon?
3. Roger Federer! I think he’ll still hang on, clinch at least one slam, and a handful of majors.
4. Novak Djoko! Having some trouble, but I think he’ll get some majors, and maybe a grand slam final at the Aussie open?
5. Giles Simon! I’ve liked his play recently, and I could see him being a threat at some of the big uns!
6. Andy Roddick! I’d like to see him still in the game, maybe take a few tournaments, get far in the slams? Who knows, maybe he’ll get the US open again ;)
7. Juan Martin Del Potro! I can definitely see him taking some major titles, and getting far in the slams. He could even make it to number six over Roddick!
8. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga! Not his biggest fan, but he’s got good game, and I can see him staying in the top ten.
9. Gael Monfils! He’s crazy, and playing pretty good. I think he’ll hit the top 10.
10. Nikolay Davydenko! I think(and sort of hope) that he will finally drop down a bit. Still stay in the top ten, but maybe this will finally encourage him to play harder, maybe finally beat Fed?

That’s just a guess! Hope it’s close! :)

Tom.A Says:

1. Andy Murray
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Roger Federer
4. Novak Djokovic
5. Andy Roddick
6. Gilles Simon
7. David Nalbandian
8. Juan Martin Del Potro
9. Nikolay Davydenko
10. Marat Safin!

sox Says:

1. rafa
2. novak
3. roger
4. andy m.
5. andy r.
6. jo-wilfred
7. gael
8. nicolay
9. gilles
10. david n.

Daniel Says:

1. Roger Federer
2. Rafael Nadal
3. Andy Murray
4. Novak Djokovic
5. Nicolay Davydenko
6. Jo Wilfried Tsonga
7. Giles Simon
8. David Nalbandian
9. Andy roddick
10. Juan Martin Del Potro

Trev Says:

1.Andy Murray wins Australian and US open
2.Rafa Nadal wins French and Wimbledon
3.Rodger Federer
4.Novak Djokovic
5.Nikolay Davydenko
6.Juan Martin Del Potro
7.Stanislas Wawrinka
8.Ernests Gulbis
9.David Nalbandian
10.Andy Roddick

lenny Says:

1) Andy Murray (His game, fitness and mentality have improved vastly over the latter part of last season, he’s a brilliant brainiac on the court, and he’s pretty much got Fed’s number.)
2) Roger Federer (No, he’s not at his magical best, but Raja still knows how to win when it counts most of the time. I’m not buying the “he’s finished” argument. Even not at his best, he’s still very, very good.)
3) Rafael Nadal (As a huge huge huge Rafa fan, the heart balks at putting him down here. But the head knows that as the one with the most major wins last year, he also has the most to lose this year. It will take a superhuman effort to defend all those points, and Herculean muscles aside, I think the task is still too Herculean for Rafa. Add to that the evil knees, and well….)
4) Novak Djokovic (Yes, the boy’s got game, and he’s still deserving of a place in tennis’ Fab Four, but imo, Murray has firmly knocked him out of the Big Three.)
5) Nikolay Davydenko (Ever underrated, ever under the radar and ever on the court. With the amount this guy plays – assuming his injuries are sorted out soon – he’s still going to be up here)
6) Gilles Simon (Gillou really came of age last year, and he’s more than proven himself against the big guns. His 2008 top 10 finish was no fluke.)
7) Juan Martin Del Potro (I marked this kid as a future top 10 player and Slam winner way back in 2006, when I watched him knock out Moya at the inaugural Kingfisher Open in Mumbai, and I remain impressed.)
8) Stan Wawrinka (Not a popular pick, I see, but most of those above him now while more talented, are also bad head cases, so I’m picking him as my dark horse)
9) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (He’s been too injury prone to stay as high as he is now, but he’s also too good to drop out of the top 10)
10) Marat Safin (What am I, nuts? Maybe, but hey, so is Safin. If his body holds up, he’s just crazy enough to pull this off. Of course, I can’t deny it’s a sentimental pick – it’d be fab to see him go out with another slam to go with all the slammed racquets)

peter Says:

1. Roger Federer. He’s not done yet will win french
2. Andy Murray. Really fit, could challenge Fed
3. Rafael Nadal. His body will cost him
4. Novak Djokovic. Big 3 too tough for Novak
5. Juan Martin Del Potro. He will be a star
6. Nickolay davydenko. can’t win majors
7. Andy Roddick. His big serve will keep him in the top 10.
8. James Blake. could go ahead of Roddick
9. David ferrer. can’t win on grass or hard.
10. gilles simon. he’s no fluke.

Blah Says:

1.Rafael Nadal

2.Roger Federer

3.Andy Murray

4.Novak Djokovic

5.Gilles Simon

6.David Nalbandian

7.Richard Gasquet

8.Andy Roddick

9.Nikolay Davydenko

10.Marin Cilic

After the top four it’s pretty much guessing. I don’t see why people are so surprised with Gasquet in top ten, he was top eight in 07… he’s only 22 and has the talent to be top five…

I have a good feeling about Nalbandian this year , but not about the other Argentinian Del Potro, Tsonga’s too inconsistent/injury prone, I don’t see Nadal’s body completely breaking down for another season or two, and I don’t see Roddick or Davydenko out of the top ten yet.

Simon can pick up quite a bit of points in slams. There’s always one guy that gets in there who hasn’t been there before, I am guessing Cilic this year.

Yeah I know, I’ll totally miss on these =P

Von Says:

After the AO:

1.Federer – Will regain No. 1 after the clay season
2. Nadal
3. Murray
4. Djokovic
5. Roddick
6. Davydenko
7. Tsonga
8. DelPotro
9. Simon

Von Says:

After the AO:

1.Federer – Will regain No. 1 after the clay season
2. Nadal
3. Murray
4. Djokovic
5. Roddick
6. Davydenko
7. Tsonga
8. DelPotro
9. Simon

Von Says:

After the AO:

1. Federer – Will regain No. 1 after Wimby
2. Nadal – Will not duplicate ’08 results
3. Murray – On the rise – inconsistent in spurts
4. Djokovic – Periods of inconsistency
5. Roddick – Will make up points at the slams
6. Davydenko – Still consistent but could drop
7. Tsonga – Sporadic results due to injury
8. DelPotro – Same as Tsonga
9. Simon – will not duplicate ’08 results
10. Up for grabs by Cilic/Gulbis/Nalbandian/Blake

The Top 4, depending on Federer’s performance could change positions often, but definitely after Wimby. For the bottom half, rankings will teeter back and forth.

Janadev Says:

2.Other Andy
5.The Original Andy

MMT Says:

1. Nadal
2. Murray
3. Djokovic
4. Federer
6. Simon
7. Tsonga
8. Roddick
9. Blake
10. Verdasco

The only think keeping Davydenko in the top 10 all these years is lack of injuries, that will end in 2009. Nalbandian’s best days are behind him – the older he gets, the bigger his stomach will be. Safin will retire.

anthony Says:

1. federer – the return
2. murray – no.1 in 2010
3. djokovic
4. nadal
5. roddick
6. davydenko
7. del porto
8. Gasquet
9. Simon

Tennis Master Says:

1. federer – wins french
2. djokovic – wins USO
3. murray – the scrawny, hothead inside him still lurks
4. nadal – the iron man starts to rust
5. Simon – runner up in a slam and a masters tourney
6. roddick – better slam record than ’08
7. davydenko – fills out his schedule with some challengers!!!
8. del potro – wins masters in spain
9. nalbandian – i have no idea what he’s going to do
10. gulbis – joins the club with consistent ’09

J-Tenn Says:

1. Nadal – wins French & Wimbledon
2. Murray – wins U.S. Open or Australian
3. Federer- wins U.S. Open or Australian
4. Djokovic
5. Tsonga
6. Simon
7. Del Potro
8. Monfils
9. Roddick
10. Karlovic

Fumus Says:

1.Murray: Wins award for least attractive tennis player on the way to winning two slams this year. Possible British Wimbledon Champion!?!
2.Nadal: Defends RG title by busting heads going undefeated during the clay season. A repeat at Wimbledon isn’t in the cards. Lightening only strikes once and there are too many good players now that can beat him there.
3.Djokovic: Reaches semis at 3 out 4 of the slams but continues his sophomore slump in the big matches.
4.Federer: Like Djokovic he makes some appearances late in the slams but isn’t the clutch shot maker he used to be. Early exits at Wimbledon and RG will cause Fed to slip to his lowest ranking since 02′.
5.Roddick: Ro-duck finally wins another slam, Wimbleduck or a US Quacker!?! He’s also going to be playing deep into 3 out 4 of the slams. I’ll let you guess the 3(HINT: Not one on clay).
6.Tsonga: Injuries will plague Jo once again as I predict they will for his whole career. I expect he’ll be healthy enough to make some runs at a few big tourneys. Possibly another slam final or masters title under his belt.
7.Gulbis: This future number 1 will continue to be inconsistant. Seeya in 2010!
8.Cilic: The rise will continue for this future top 5 player, but the big results will elude him yet.
9.Simon: See above. The problem with Simon is his style of play and lack of a big weapon will hurt him on the faster surfaces; especially late in the season or the business end of big tournaments.
10.Blake: Blake ends the year right where he started, underachieving, choking and over hitting. The summer season will be kind to Blake again, along with the two American HC tournaments in March. Blake will mentally take the rest of the year off as usual.

Fusionaut Says:

1. Nadal (Fed-worshiping tennis cognoscenti always eager to write him off, happily envisioning him hobbling around on crutches the rest of his natural life. Sorry kids, but he ain’t going away anytime soon. Deal with it.)
2. Murray (Lots of points to gain early in the season. Still a year or two away from claiming the top spot, though.)
3. Federer (Will tie Sampras this year with 14 slams, one way or another, but like Pete near the end is too old and grumpy at this point to bother at the smaller events, causing a slight slide in the rankings.)
4. Djokovic (Why are so many down on him right now? Will have a good solid year, but Rafa too tough for him and Murray too talented.)
5. Del Potro (Bigger upside than many people seem to think. Will have a shot at the top 3 within a couple of years.)
6. Roddick (Better results at the slams will help him to a decent year, but he’s kind of spinning his wheels at this point. All credit for continuing to make the effort, though.)
7. Davydenko (Zzzzzz…. Oh, what? Was I saying something? Zzzzzz….)
8. Simon (Will have another good year. Great at the smaller events, but not a serious threat at the slams, I’m afraid.)
9. Cilic (The major riser this year. Future multiple AO/USO winner.)
10. Wawrinka (Beats the odds and hangs in the top ten. Just edges out future star Gulbis through greater consistency/maturity.)

Sheryl Says:

1. Rafa – one year at #1 will not be enough for him
2. Roger – a little better year than 2008
3. Murray – he’s good, but please learn some grooming!
4. Novak – at least he’s cut down the bouncing but needs an attitude adjustment
5. Del Potro – bigger things to come
6. Davydenko – so easy to forget about, not sure I’d even recognize him on the street without a racquet
7. Tsonga – opposite of Davydenko
8. Simon – up and coming
9. Querry – my longshot
10. Roddick – the serve keeps him in the top 10

Alex Says:

1. Nadal
2. Murray
3. Djokovic
4. Federer
5. Tsonga
6. Monfils
7. Davydenko
8. Gasquet
9. Del Potro

roki Says:

You all are to crazy for that Murray guy.
His game is pittifull. He goes out by 1/4 in all 4, maybe not in USO.

Rafa RG and at least semis in other 3
Djokovic AO and maybe USO
Fed Wimbly again and has a shot at USO
Del Potro
and the rest of it is just a longshoot
would like to see Moya and Safin make top 10 again though even Bagdatis

funches Says:

1) Federer – Because he still has more game than anyone else.
2) Djokovic – Because stroke for stroke, he has more power than Murray, and that counts for something.
3) Nadal – Because I said he would be No. 3 by the U.S. Open several months ago, and I like beating my head against the wrong wall.
4) Murray – Because um, well, I’m stubborn.
5) Del Potro – Don’t understand why the purists dislike his game.
6) Roddick – Because of the serve and his ability to stay healthy.
7) Davydenko – Because he’ll get healthy soon and is better than most people realize
8) Cilic – Because he looked better in his loss to Djokovic at the U.S. Open than almost anyone else did in a win.
9) Tsonga – Because I’m stupid enough to believe he can stay healthy.
10) Gasquet – Because Sean rocks!!!!. I don’t trust Gasquet, but I don’t trust anyone else, either. Simon? Not sure he will stay in the top 20.

funches Says:

And you people writing about players having few points to defend early in the year, what the heck are you talking about? There’s no such thing as points to defend when we’re projecting year-end ranking.

King Roger Says:

1. Nadal
2. Murray
3. Djokovic
4. Del Potro
5. Davydenko
6. Federer
7. Tsonga
8. Roddick
9. Gasquet


This guy who calls himself ‘King Roger’ is just a moron ! He just hates Federer and can do nothing else. This insane fellow has made the worst guess of all ! Come on man, you really suck !

Gav Says:

1. Nadal – just edging Murray (2 Slams).
2. Murray – the best on hard courts (1 Slam).
3. Tsonga – the most talented player (1 Slam).
4. Djokovic – always great, until a noise during his serve.
5. Federer – no great revival, unfortunately his game is fading .
6. Monfils – Roger Rasheed will bring out his talent.
7. Del Potro – still building his range of shots.
8. Simon – Murray-lite, great mentally, but lacks power.
9. Gonzalez – losing Stefanki will do him some good.
10. Cilic – nudging past Nalbandian, Davydenko and Roddick for the last spot in the top 10.

Richard Vach Says:

Interesting stuff. I wanted to put Tsonga and Monfils in my Top 10 before I remembered they are injured ALL THE TIME. Those guys either have tough luck or poor body types for the grind of tennis.

Candice Says:

Murray at number 1???? He has only been in one slam final, one in which he was crushed by the way, and yet people have him winning two slams!!! Nadal won 5 slams before he was number 1, so, how will Murray get there when he hasn’t won any?? Nadal and Federer would have to have disastrous seasons and Murray would have to dominate for him to make up enough points to finish the year number 1.

1. Nadal-French Open victory is a lock and he will likely at least make the finals in either the Aussie or Wimbledon, if not both
2. Federer-He will likely win at least 1 slam and make the finals in at least 3 of them
3. Murray-He is moving up the ranks; but, he is nowhere near Nadal and Federer yet, especially not in the majors.
4. Djokovic-seems like he may be in a bit of slump
5. Del Potro-He is consistently improving his game; but, he needs to improve his results in the grand slams.
6. Roddick-Occasionally, he has good results; but, he is way too inconsistent.
7. Tsonga-He is a streaky player; but, his talent makes him top-10 worthy.
8. Davydenko-He owns in the small tournaments; but, he crumbles when he faces the big 3.
9. Simon-Had a break-through year last year. He may not play quite up to that level last year; but, anything close to it will keep him in the top 10.
10. Cilic-Constantly improving…He has the potential to be a top 5 player in the future.

funches Says:


Even though I have him at No. 4, Murray definitely can get to No. 1. Every situation is different. History isn’t always a good guide to the future. Nadal winning five majors before he reached No. 1 has nothing to do with Murray’s chances because Federer was in the midst of the greatest stretch in tennis history while Rafa rose.

markrules Says:

del potro

no comments. just send me my check.

مصطفى هيثم البزاز Says:

1_roger fderer
2-andy murray
3-rafa nadal

Sam Says:

1. Rafael Nadal
2. Roger Federer
3. Andy Murray
4. Novak Djokovic
5. Andy Roddick
6. Nikolay Davydenko
7. James Blake
8. Gilles Simon
9. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
10.Lleyton Hewitt

Tom Says:

1. Rafael Nadal- He is going to have good year and do well at the slams but might slip on smaller tournaments. Wins 2 Slams.

2. Roger Federer- He is going to keep his number two ranking and probably tie Pete’s record but will not have a chance at beating Rafa in the rankings. Wins 1 Slam.

3. Andy Murray- He is going to do well in smaller tournaments but will probably choke at the slams.

4. Novak Djokovic- He will win a few tournaments but nothing special. He will be shadowed by Rafa,Roger,and Murray.

5. Andy Roddick- He will do well in the Slams and the smaller tournaments. He might even pass Novak too. (My Fav to win the U.S. Open) Wins 1 Slam. ( I hope)

6. Juan Martin del Potro- He will probably have a small injury and that will stop his drive for a little while. Will do pretty good at the slams and smaller tournaments.

7. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga- Probably about the same as Juan Martin del Potro. Might switch with Del Potro.

8. Nikolay Davydenko- Will cling on with the smaller tournaments and will not do too well at the slams.

9. Geal Monfils- He will push himself more and break the top ten. He will probably make at least the quarters in two slams and do well in the smaller tournaments.

10. James Blake- Will produce about the same quality of tennis as last year which will not be enough to move him up the ranks.

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