The top 32’s in 2015: Will Dimitrov and Sock rise again, are Stosur & Kuznetsova ready to push





No. 28

Grigor Dimitrov: In 2014, it looked like the now 24-year-old was coming up rapidly. He has tremendous variety, he is fairly quick and driven. But in 2015, he was all over the place and he was admittedly confused. If he wants to return into the top 10, the Bulgarian has to be more patient and calm.

No. 27

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez: The veteran has played a ton of tournaments, and while he was unable to grab any big events, the Spaniard did snare Croatia (hard courts) and Romania (clay). He is a big hitter and while he will never win a major, he has improved and if he managed to avoid the so-called Big 4 plus 1 early on (Djokovic, Murray, Federer, Nadal and Wawrinka), he can reach a major semifinal. He will be very pleased indeed.

No. 26

Jack Sock: Slowly but surely, the American is rising up. He is ‘only’ 23 years old, and while he has been unable go very deep at the Grand Slams or the ATP 1000s, he did win Houston on clay, and he reached the final at Stockholm (upending Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet). Outside the top 10, he has beaten a number of fine players, but inside the top 10, he has shocked the top competitors such as Djokovic, Federer and Nadal. Will he be ready to take down the big boys in 2016?

No. 25

Robert Bautista Agut: There are so many good, solid Spaniards. Last year, Bautista reached No. 14 and looked like he was prepared to jump into the top 10 and pound the opponents. In 2015, he was pretty close, but when push came to shove, he went backwards. Try, try, try again – in 2016.


No. 28

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: Let’s be positive about the Russian: She did win a tournament at Linz and then reached the final at Moscow, which was terrific. But, when she went to the Fed Cup Final against the Czech, she lost all three matches and they went down. Now, she has won eight titles since she began on the tour in 2005, which is admirable, but is she consistent enough to go very deep at the Slams? Doubtful, but give her another chance in 2016.

No. 27

Samantha Stosur: The veteran may have slipped downward, but the Aussie keeps working and she has improved her so-so backhand. She says that someday, she could win another major (she won the 2011 US Open), and perhaps she can, but first and foremost, she cast off any nervousness in Australia. She has lost to numerous average players over the years at the Aussie Open, Sydney and Brisbane. If she goes deep in Melbourne, the entire world will stand up and cheer.

No. 26

Anna Karolina Schmiedlova: Slovakia has had a decent amount of solid players over the years, but few expected that the 21-year-old Schmiedlova would crack the top 30 and make heads turn. She won two small events in Poland and Romania, which is commendable, but she didn’t do much at all during the Slams. She is pretty young though, so in 2016 if she continues to get better, she might threaten the big girls.

No. 25

Svetlana Kuznetsova: If Serena Williams won three Slams this year when she was 33 years old, then maybe ‘Sveta’ can do the same thing — revive. The Russian is 30 years old now and while she isn’t quite as fast as she did when she won the 2004 US Open and 2009 Roland Garros, she does mix it up now and she is very bright. If she wants to move back into the top 10 in 2016, she has to improve her backhand and her volley.

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