TennisReporters.net 2020 year-end review: top 11-15, men

Milos Raonic

15. David Goffin
Three years ago, the Belgium had finally shone and became very good. He could always blend it up and move with speed. In 2017, he upset a few fine players, like Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem at the ATP Finals. Federer and Nadal have beaten Goffin numerous times with some blowouts, too. Now he is 30 and has gotten over his nerves, especially in the backcourt, where he is very steady. However, he has yet to win a Grand Slam or the ATP 1000 final. There is a small chance to win a major, but if he can move closer to the net, just like Rod Laver and Pete Sampras, then he can break that ceiling. In 2020, he did not do much, as he was only 12-11. He has to return better. It looks like he could win the titles, but not the big ones

14. Milos Raonic
The huge hitter came up pretty fast, with his huge serve and his muscular forehand. In 2016 Wimbledon, he reached the final, upsetting Federer in five sets in the semis. He was ready to go, but in the final, he lost to the Brit Andy Murray. While Raonic has gone deep into the finals, and he has won eight titles, but he stalled. The 29-year-old has not won an ATP 1000. During the summer, he reached into the final, at Cincinnati, cracking past Stefanos Tsitsipas. But, he went down in the final to Novak Djokovic. He is tall, his forehand is a weapon, and his backhand improved this season. But at the US Open, he lost against another Vasek Popsil. Currently, he is working with coach Mario Tudor. Optimistically, next year, he can get back into the top 3, but the most important thing is to stay on the court, rather than pulling out. He just has to stay healthy.

13. Roberto Bautista Agut
The Spaniard finally reached the semis at a Grand Slam, 2019 Wimbledon. There, he bent down and flipped his shots deep into the court. Unfortunately, he could not find a way, losing to Djokovic in four sets. He has played the majors since he started in 2005. Now, he has racked up 61 wins and 31 losses. That is very decent, but he has been stuck getting to the round of 16 over and over. The 32-year-old has always played consistently, as he rarely gets hurt. That is a huge positive. He has won nine titles, which is good, but he has yet to win at the ATP 1000s. At least in 2016 at Shanghai, he upset Djokovic and in the final, he went down to Andy Murray. Bautista Agut is very good, but that doesn’t mean that he can win a Grand Slam. However, he will try, and try again.

12. Denis Shapovalov
The young Canadian will continue to grow, but he has to improve his serves and volleys. At the start of the year, in Brisbane he looked terrific, beating Tsitispas and Alexander Zverev. He reached the quarterfinal, and then lost to Djokovic. But, he eventually stalled, and he didn’t play well as the year wound down. He was 17-15. That is not good enough. He is coached by his father, Tessa Shapovalova, and the former top 5 Mikhail Youzhny. They can really add to his game. He should be satisfied now. If he wants to go to the top, then he must expand his weapons.

11. Gael Monfils
The Frenchman can be phenomenal, sprinting and cracking with his major forehand. When he is healthy — and that is not often given over the past five years that he injured a lot— he can compete with top 10 player. But, one of the reasons was that he has not reached the final at the Grand Slam is that he can’t get is mental game up to the level of his physical game. He can be close, but he has to beat the great players. He should improve his backhand and move up closer to the baseline. He is engaging with the players and his easy personality is a winning asset. Next year, he can return to the top 10. But beyond that, I cannot see him winning a Slam.

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