Can the ATP top 5 stay there?

(Last Updated On: December 15, 2014)
POLL RESULTS
Milos Raonic 41%
Grigor Dimitrov 39%
Marin Cilic 9%
Ernests Gulbis 6
Gael Monfils 5%

Cilic, Raonic, Dimitrov, Gulbis and Monfils all are ready to move up

At some point in the future, say the next two years (2017 to start), the Big 4 of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray will no longer be dominating and another group will push them out of the elite group. Eventually, things change and the Big 4 won’t be easily sitting in the top 5.

This year, the season ended between No 1 Djokovic, No. 2 Federer, No. 3 Nadal, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka and No. 5 Kei Nishikori. Murray is No. 6, who was way down and struggling seriously big time until he was rose up in the fall — until he faced against Federer in London and collapsed. Can he reconstruct his purpose quickly? That we do not know but we do know the two-time Slam champion believes he can beat anyone, except for the rest of the Big 4, whom he did not beat him during the 2014 season. Even if he loses to the Big 3 during 2015, he still could finish in No. 4.

But the big question remains: Is the new bread ready to pounce and finish in the top 5 at the end in 2015?

Not everyone has a serious chance, but there are enough who are encouraged and ready to make it very close to the top 5. Will they stay for more than brief moments or will they stay? Here are a few who have yet to end 2015 in the top 5:

cilic goran 14

US Open champ Cilic has the potential to grab a 2015 slam.

Marin Cilic: The Croatian finally broke out, smashing with serves, forehands, backhands and at the net, winning the US Open. He is tall and he’s in great shape, but he gets hurt and can become depressive. He has to steady his nerves and, if he does, he will have another Slam in his pocket.

Milos Raonic: The Canadian is consistently better year after year. His backhand has improved in 2014 — which is mandatory – and he is looking why he should be thinking about his better point construction. He is very aggressive, but he has to begin to best the top guys or he will never make it.

Grigor Dimitrov: The Bulgarian is a very colorful person and when he on fire, he can actually beat just about anyone, including the Big 4. But even though he can dance and react to size of the back, he can also grow at impatient and lose games before he wakes up. The top men have lasted so long because they don’t think about messy calls. They yell, they glare, but then they move onto their next point. Dimitrov must go the same, because if he does, he will look as pretty as Federer does by dipping wicking slices with their one-handed backhands, or he can be stuck in their mud outside of the top 10 forever.

Ernests Gulbis: The 26-year-old came a long way from outside  the top 100 and now is ranked No. 13, but the talkative Latvian started fast and then slowed down fast. He is a very flashy opponent who isn’t afraid to go for his shots. Many fans discovered who he is when he took down Federer and Tomas Berdych to reach the Roland Garros semis, before he went down to Novak Djokovic. He looked like he was ready to really break out, but after Paris, he did nothing after July, losing everywhere and everyone on grass and hard courts in the fall. He likes to talk about how good he is, but to ever reach the top 5, he has to commit to playing hard for an entire season and he’s never really been close for that.

Monfils IW 10 MALT6324

Monfils has the talent to return to top 10 but can he break into the elite circle? Photo: Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Gael  Monfils: Can the Frenchman looked as good as he ever was when he stunned Federer in the Davis Cup final, or will the world No. 19 stay healthy enough and make the top 5 for the first time? The quick-footed Monfils once reached No. 7 in 2011, but he began to slip. The 28-year-old has been consistently hurt due to his sore knees, but he can play for hours and loves his crowds. He lives for long points, but he can swing away from his first serve and his gigantic forehands. He looks like he will make one last push, but staying in the top 5 for more than a week or so? This time, why not?

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