Top 30s in 2018: Men 30-26

No. 30: Gilles Simon

The 33-year-old Frenchman will go on and on, tournament after tournament, city after city, rarely stopping. Yes, he has never won a major, and it is unlikely that he can do it now, but still, at least he has changed his tactics, which is why he can compete against very good players. Simon has never won a huge event, but he has won a bunch of 250s. In 2019, maybe he can reach the final at the ATP 1000s? Possible.

No. 29: Gael Monfils

Another Frenchman, the 32-year-old has come close to grabbing an ATP 1000, but he has yet to do it. When he is healthy, then he is very competitive and hilarious. But he has been hurt a huge amount over the last 10 years, his legs especially. His forehand and his first serve are forceful, and his backhand is a little harder now. Monfils has reached the final of the ATP 1000 in Paris twice. Can he do that again in the fall next year? Sure, why not, if his legs hold up.   

No. 28: Fernando Verdasco

The Spanish veteran is very similar to Monfils, who has a tremendous forehand, his first serve and he is still very quick. Years ago, in Australia, in the semis, he was close to upending Rafa Nadal. It took more than five hours, which was a fantastic contest, but in the end, Rafa pulled through. The 35-year-old Verdasco has played 909 matches — which is a lot — and he has beaten some fine players. However, while he is very good, he is not great, which is why he won’t win a Grand Slam. In the ATP 1000s, he does have one small chance next year. If he did prevail, he would totally thrilled.
No. 27: Denis Shapovalov

The Canadian is young — 19 years old — but he is very, very good already. He hustles, he has a big first serve, forehand and backhand. He can get frustrated, and he loses the control. After May, he lost a lot of matches, and it appears that he played too much because he is so young. I would imagine, though, that he is practicing a lot, so in 2019, he will be smarter and wiser.

No. 26: Richard Gasquet

The third Frenchmen in the group, Gasquet is 32-years-old, he has heavy topspin, he still can be quick, and once again, he plays a tremendous amount. Eleven years ago, he reached No. 7 and it looked life he would win a major, but at the Grand Slams, he gets too nervous. At least he reached a few ATP 1000s, twice in Canada. Gasquet does like hardcourt, grass and clay. His all-around abilities are admirable but can he even get better in 2019? Question mark.

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