Bleacher Reports has a new slide show about American players who the author feels are poised for success in 2011. I would like to get a discussion going on this. I will give a brief overview of the players and see if you agree (I will give my thoughts and we can see who does better in a year). For the complete slideshow – CLICK HERE
1) Andy Roddick – “One of the game’s veterans, Roddick finished the year solidly with quarterfinal appearances in his three of his last five tournaments, which included the U.S. Open.” Their prediction – The lower tier of the top 10 in 2012.
So let’s look at those 5 tournaments. One win, David ferrer at the U.S.Open is solid. Next best win – #11 Nicholas Almagro. He also lost to #31 – Kevin Anderson in that period My prediction is he won’t break the top 10 and might not stay in the top 15.
2) John Isner – The big-serving star had a career year in 2011, which saw him win two tiles and reach the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open. Their prediction is he will “reach a lofty status.”
I agree except it’s hard to define what a lofty status means in numbers.
3) James Blake – In 2011, he won two titles on the Challenger circuit, as well as notched a win against Juan Martin del Potro. A return to the top 25 for the former world-four can’t be easily discounted.
Okay, he beat del Potro one time (and lost to him the other time they played). In the tournament he beat del Potro he also beat Nalbandian but that was a walkover, Oliver Rochus (72 in the world) and lost to Jarkko Nieminen (#73 in the world). Winning two Challenger tournaments – one with $10,800 in prize money, one with $7,200 in prize money and losing in a third Challenger with less prize money than our local sectional tournament at Colonie Golf & Country Club – $1,420 compared to Colonie’s $3,000 – I’m just not ready to declare him top 25 material at age 32.
4) Sam Querrey – He’s been forced to make his way back up the rankings through Challenger matches, and has risen to the occasion. The progress should continue in ’12.
Hard to argue with this statement. It really just says that his rankings will improve.
5) Wayne Odesnik – going from being unranked at the start to 129 at season’s end. Progress interrupted by a drug scandal appears to be back on track.
I have no opinion either way here. I’ll pass on making a prediction.
6) Steve Johnson – The perennial All-American possesses a big enough game to make waves at the pro level.
Again, I’ll pass. I trust their knowledge on this one.
7) Jack Sock – He’s a versatile, heavy-hitting young player already ranked in the top 400. 2012 could be the year that he advances even further up the rankings ladder.
Jack has been featured in this blog and I feel he almost has to be included in this list. To me agreeing with the assessment this is the easiest call on the list.