Archives for December 2021 2021 year-end review: top 5-1, the men

novak djokovic

5. Andrey Rublev
The Russian played 28 tournaments this year, which is perhaps way too much. When he is playing wonderfully, he can smack the lines. He only won a title this season, grabbing Rotterdam, and he reached three more finals, which was a positive. Even though he is a big hitter, he couldn’t break down the top players, losing versus Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. He was close, but he has to be more patient, and to go for winners early. Plu,s he has to return better and make sure that he smacks second served deeper into the court. He is young enough. If he wants to beat the top 5, then he must improve even more if he wants to win a Slam someday.

4. Stefanos Tsitsipas
At the beginning of 2021 at the Australian Open, he upset Rafa Nadal in five amazing sets, and then in the semis, he lost versus Daniil Medvedev. That was fine, because his body was tired. He did win Monte Carlo and Lyon, on clay, and then he went to Roland Garros. He reached the final, beating Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev. Tsitsipas was red hot. However, once again, the amazing Novak Djokovic edged him 6-4 in the fifth set. Then he slipped a little bit, with no more finals from July through November. As he said, perhaps he is playing way too much and needed to get some rest. “Mentally mostly. Not so much physically,” Tsitsipas said. “Like, too much tennis. When your brain gets used to certain patterns all the time, certain game style and everything, the way you’ve been playing all the time, that works for you, your brain sometimes gets really tired of it and wants to change some things. That’s why I start missing those forehands that I never miss. The brain sometimes cannot cope.” Next year, he is ready to go from major finalist to Grand Slam winner.

3. Alexander Zverev
The German really had a great year, winning six events, winning two ATP 1000’s in Madrid and Cincinnati, as well as winning the ATP Finals. He has grown up a lot, on court, that is. Yes, he can be cocky in the press, but he also has been more thoughtful. He is very vigorous, and he can bash the ball, with a very good serve. He is not wonderful at the net, but he does really likes to rallies and yank it side to side. He really wants to win his first Slam next year and move past letting the 2020 US Open slip through his hands. When he reaches into the final again, he should blitz immediately and put his opponents on their heels.

2. Daniil Medvedev
The Russian took a long time to reach Grand Slam glory and he finally grabbed it, winning at the 2021 US Open in his third major final. Many people thought that Djokovic would out-hit him, but the very tall man kept banging hard. His offense was banging big ground strokes and he can also run and play defensively. He sent the ball low and flat, crosscourt, too. The clever, dogged Medvedev started to combine different strategies, using his height to his advantage when serving, getting a lot of free points. He also prevailed in Madrid and also the Davis Cup Final. Yes, the 25-year-old can be mediocre here and there, but next year, he will have a huge shot to become No. 1.
1. Novak Djokovic
The 34-year-old has won 86 titles, and assuming he will be healthy in 2022-24, he will get to 100 titles. That is a huge amount, just like Roger Federer (103 wins) and Rafa Nadal (88 wins). The Serbian finally became No. 1 in 2011, when he won 11 titles, winning the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open. At the beginning, he was very good, but not yet great. He was already almost at the top of the charts, like his backhand and his speed. But he had to work his forehand, his serve and at the net. Eventually, he did improved, year after year, which is why he has won 20 Grand Slams. His forehand is historic, much more when he started to hit more flat; his first and second serve are so close on the lines; and when he serves, he can scramble and put it away at the net. Hard to believe that winning three Slams and getting to the final of the last can make for a disappointment. Winning four Grand Slams in a year is rare and remarkable. But, for Djokovic, three was good enough. Next year, the brilliant player will attempt to do it again. It is improbable, but why not, as clearly, he wants to be the best player ever. 2021 year-end review: top 5-1, the women

Ash Barty, Ashleigh Barty

5. Barbora Krejcikova
Pretty crazy that Krejcikova won the Roland Garros singles and doubles titles. Yes, over the past eight years, she look terrific in the mixed and doubles, winning a bunch of titles. But in the singles, she looked OK, but not fantastic. And then in Paris, she shook up her head, and she beat a number of very good players. She punched out everyone. She has a lot of variety, and she can kick the forehand, as well as her effective backhand. Each year, at the net and serving, she improved. Now, everyone knows who the Czech is. There are thinhs she has to work to improve, but she is looking climbing the mountain.

4. Karolina Pliskova
Every year, the Czech looks wonderful, nailing so many aces, and throwing in her winners, with her exploding forehand and blowtorch backhand. She is a basher, and she can hustle. The is a very talkative person, in the press, winning or losing. When she wins, she can be happy if she played great. But if her performance was so-so, she would say that “I just have to be better.” When she loses, she would also say, “I really sucked.” She is a smart person, and she has beaten all the top players. But, when very deep in the Grand Slams, she seizes up. It is somewhat amazing that the 29-year-old has yet to win a Slam, falling in two finals. Perhaps in 2022, she will finally achieve her gold trophy.
3. Garbiñe Muguruza
If you go back early in the year, the Spaniard was still struggling; she did not know where to turn. She had won two Slams a few years ago, and she was knocking off everyone with her forceful strokes. But in 2018 she started to slip, gradually, and she grew joyless. She loves hitting her serve and she can be swift. She also hit some spectacular shots. This year, she looked OK, until finally, at the WTA Finals, and she found herself again. Right there, she was back, being determined. “This is actually something important when the moment comes, the tough moments, the stressful matches, to not fear them,” she said. “You have to be like, ‘Okay, you know what, I know how to handle. Let’s see how it goes.’ Have a kind of better mindset to face them.” And she did, winning the WTA Finals. Because of she can keep that attitude, then she can reach No. 1 and win another Slam.

2. Aryna Sabalenka
Possibly the strongest woman on tour with her leg power, the Belarussian can knock out anybody with her ground strokes. She can pop her dynamic forehand and her blazing backhand, as well as her returns. Except for the Grand Slams, she was decent. But at the majors, she can become freaked out and commits many silly errors. She did play very well at Madrid, when she won it, but that is the only title this year. Sabalenka will always have a legitimate shot to win a Slam for the first time in 2022. But, just like Pliskova, if you freeze, or you will lose. She needs to stay controlled when playing under pressure. 

1. Ashleigh Barty
The Australian is still No. 1, mostly because when she is playing, she always keeps her focus. Talk about mixing it up, she is so lucid, moving it all over in the box. Her one-handed backhand is legendary, with she slices, spin, and on occasion, she can power it out. She is all about assortment. She has won two major titles, at the 2019 Roland Garros and the 2021 Wimbledon. But can she win the 2022 Australian Open, given that the Aussies haven’t won it in Melbourne since 1978 when Chris O’Neil’s grabbed the title? Barty has to snare it in January. “I’m looking forward to going out there this year and trying to tick that off and do the best that I can to give myself a chance to win the Australian Open,” she said. If she wants to reach the final — which she has not done before — then she will need to use her varied game and extraordinary athleticism. 2021 year-end review: top 10-6, the men

Rafael Nadal

10. Jannik Sinner
This year, the Italian certainly improved a good amount, having more self-trust and confidence to hit some different shots. He smashed the ball and was more patient. The 20-year-old is not close to reaching his potential. Month after month, he seemed to be more mellow. He does have a gigantic forehand and his backhand is consistent. Those are the positives. But there were a few negatives this year, when he lost in the first rounds, six times. That is a lot. Next year, he should pull it back, and re-think what he should do on court.

9. Hubert Hurkacz
The very tall Pole has revamped his game over the past year. He has a lot of variety, with his big forehand and his firm backhand and can go very hard or soft right over the net. If he falls off his game, then he knows how to pick it up. He needs to return a lot better. But, he can scramble. Even with a big jump in the rankings, out of nowhere on the clay he would underachieve. In 2022, if he wants to get deeper into the top 5, then on clay he will need to find more success.

8. Casper Ruud
The Norwegian mentioned that his forehand and his backhand were just fine. During the summer, he needed to improve his return. So, he worked on it a lot, and now it is better. He really likes to play on the dirt, which is surprising. But he got used to it. He is pretty smart, beating four very good players like Diego Schwartzman, Pablo Carreno Busta, Fabio Fognini and Stefano Tsitsipas. He has to swing out with his backhand and certainly at the net. Next year, he has to develop more if he wants to win an important ATP 1000.  

7. Matteo Berrettini
In July, the Italian reached the final at Wimbledon, and lost to No. 1 Novak Djokovic in four tough sets. Before that he won the title at Queen’s Club on grass. He is versatile, and on clay, he reached the final in Madrid. This year, he stepped on the gas, and he decided that he was good enough to swing away and grab more winners. His serve has improved a huge amount, when he held 80 percent when it was 0/15. That is very difficult, but he did it anyway. He has won some titles, on clay and grass, but next year, can he figure out how to understand to win on the hardcourts? He will try again, and he should flatten it out more. Whack it.

6. Rafael Nadal
The older he gets – when he is healthy which is rare, now – he still is extraordinary. His forehand is mind blowing, with heavy spin, very deep, crosscourt, down the line, wherever he aims. That is why he has won 20 Grand Slams. When the rally begins on clay, he is the master. He is patient when he is about to serve, he sits way back when he is returning, and he gets it back, much more than most players. That is, except with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Stan Wawrinka, who also can return constantly. Yes, the Spaniard Nadal does not have a fantastic backhand, but it is much better than when he came on tour. He also has improved a lot at the net, and now he can put it away. The questions is: Can he win another Grand Slam title? Clearly, he is always the favorite at Roland Garros, but the 35-year-old is getting hurt a lot these days. Sure ,he has a chance to beat anyone, anytime. But, when he walks on the court, can he make sure that he is 100 percent? One way or another, he just loves to battle. 2021 year-end review: top 10-6, the women

Anett Kontaviet

10. Ons Jabeur
The Tunisian had a terrific year, overall, re-thinking what she should do during the match. She is so fast and can hit it harder, crosscourt and down the line. A couple years ago, she was decent, but not wonderful. Currently now, she can grind it. While she wants to rally for a long time, there are times when she doesn’t go for it enough and look to end points by cracking winners. Next year, if she wants to reach the top 5, she will have to dig in and slam it even more.

9. Iga Swiatek
When she is on and focused, she is thrilled and compelling. Other times, when she isn’t playing well, she can be ticked off. When she won Roland Garros last year, she was phenomenal, sliding on the clay, charging in and she pounded it. She is young, and she can be impatient, so she must be more consistent. In 2022, if she wants to go higher, it would be nice to see her improve her serve and her forehand.

8. Paula Badosa
The New York-native Spaniard jumped up the rankings by gradually pushing herself. She is working with the coach, Jorge García, and apparently, he found a solution this year. Badosa is willing to mix it up, with her slice, spin and flat shots. Using that kind of variety can be confusing, but it is possible. She had beaten a number of top-level players, winning Indian Wells. So now, next year, she will add with more strokes. Just push even harder.

7. Anett Kontaveit
The Estonian is now at her career high. She started this year at No. 23, dropped down to 31 in May and then she rapidly bolted up. Somehow, someway she won four smaller tournament titles, but important ones. At the WTA Final, she reached the final, and while she lost, she beat a series of solid players. She is intelligent, quick and can change direction. Now she is much smarter on the court. “I think I’m excited for the next season. Really want to keep this momentum up, just keep improving on my game,” she said. She will charge once again.

6. Maria Sakkari
The Greek is another one who rolled up, being incredible consistent, and she was very rugged. She scrambles and jumps up in the air while crushing the ball and deep. After the end of the season, she wrote, “Before this year, I would say that sometimes I was a little too hard and negative on myself. This season, with the help of surrounding myself with the right people, I’ve concentrated on making my mindset much more positive by manifesting kinder thoughts. I would definitely say that being nice to yourself is always a good idea.” It must be. Next year, then, she won’t be negative for the rest of the year. She hopes. 2021 year-end review: top 15-11, the men

Felix Auger-Aliassime

15. Dominic Thiem
There are days when he can be move the ball around, with heavy spin, with his forehand and backhand. He is presto and can run quickly. He has improved a lot over the past few years, understanding what he had to do, and to push the opponents to the back wall. Yes, he was hurt much of the year — playing only 18 matches — so that is why he dropped down into the top 15. But next year, if he is healthy, he will punch back into the top 5 and maybe, he can win another Grand Slam. It is all about the perfect health.
14. Denis Shapovalov
The Canadian kept playing all the time, when he was very good, and so-so when he was tired. Clearly, he wants to play a lot, almost each week, and he can mix it up. His forehand and backhand are very solid. He is young, but he has been here for a few years. If he wants to reach into the top 5 next year, he will have to grow even more. If he can improve his return and come to the net more, then the lights will be bright. But first, try to reach a ATP 1000 final for the first time.

13. Diego Schwartzman
The Argentine is efficient. He also likes to spin it on the clay courts, and he punches into the net. Over the years, he also started to read his strokes on the hardcourts, hitting even harder. In reality, while he is very good, it will be difficult for him to reach a Grand Slam final. To reach that level, the 29-year-old has to play almost perfectly. In 2022, maybe he can try to hit the ball, very deep, and dive into the net.

12. Cameron Norrie
The Brit finally added to his game, and he could see that in order to win much more, he had to make changes. Now he knows that when he wasn’t playing well, he would find a a way to throw in a few winners. After that, he became more disciplined and then he would fire away. He did that at Indian Wells this year, winning an ATP 1000, perhaps his best two weeks ever. Now he thinks that in 2022, and he continues to improve, he will be better, month after month. However, to upset the top players, he has to focus every second.

11. Felix Auger-Aliassime
Another Canadian had a dusty year, adding to his strokes and becoming smarter. He is very rugged, and he can bang the ball. He can chip it, here and there. He is another young player who is rising, and he has said that he certainly wants to win an ATP 1000, or a Grand Slam. Given that he has reached eight finals, and he has lost all of them, the 21-year-old seems to find a path through his nerves. Like all of them, to go there, Auger-Aliassime should improve his serve and his decisions when he is playing. He has to practice very hard, and then in 2022, he will win even more. 2021 year-end review: top 15-11, the women

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

15. Elina Svitolina
You can go back a few years ago, she is very strong and extra confident, but not at the Grand Slams. She finally reached the semis twice, and she was mentally better, improving on the earlier contest when she would freeze. Yes, she won a number of big matches outside of that, and she looked like a fine player, but on court, she can mentally check out. She can be very good, but in 2022, if she wants to crack into the top 3 again, she will have to re-think her game.

14. Elena Rybakina
The 22-year-old is impressive when she is thinking hard, moving quickly and, at times, being patient. She had a very decent year. While she was more thoughtful, she did lost to many of the top 15 players. That means that she had to continue what she is improving such as her serve, as well as her forehand. Like all the players, she has played thousands of matches since when she was very young. However, even though you can strike the ball, that does not mean you know where to hit it. Next year, if she really wants to upset the top-notch players, then she has to lift her game.

13. Naomi Osaka
This was an odd year by the four-time Grand Slam champion. When she is focused and totally deep, she can beat anyone. She is so mighty on both sides, her first serve and she frequently goes for the lines. But, she stopped playing in the fall because she was depressed, and currently, few people know when she will come back. I would think that she is currently using a psychologist, which can help address her life and how she can be happy again. She is such a great player. So when she returns, it will be fascinating to watch her on court, and see that she is really committed.

12. Sofia Kenin
At times, and the American was aggressive and she was on top of the ball. She could smack all of her shots, very flat at times. Back in 2020, the 23-year-old was trying to get to the No. 1 spot quickly. But this year, she did not play well, likely because of her injury. In fact, she stopped in July, after Wimbledon, and she is trying to recover and back at 100 percent. Almost two years ago, she won the Australian Open. Now her goal is to play within herself. If she does, though, the former No. 4 will be aiming for the lines.

11. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
The Russian has been here for a very long time, and this year, she finally rose. Before that, she was decent, but not unreal. She decided that if she is going to go up the charts, then she has to be more confident and smarter. She reached the 2021 Roland Garros final, beating Aryna Sabalenka and Vika Azarenka before losing against the very good young player Barbora Krejcikova. The 30-year-old Pavlyuchenkova is now nimble and very healthy. If she can bolster her serve and attack more, she can win a huge tournaments, which she has not done it yet. 2021 year-end review: top 20-16, the men

Pablo Carreno Busta

20. Pablo Carreno Busta
The Spaniard had a decent year, but not fantastic. He won the bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, upsetting Daniil Medvedev and Novak Djokovic. That might have been the best stretch of his career. Not only is he very consistent, but he can mix it up and smash the ball. However, he absolutely loves clay, and he can scramble on the dirt. Outside of that, though, the 30-year-old plays a tremendous amount, which means he will look spotty. Next year, perhaps he can jump on it, early, and grab the points.

19. Roberto Bautista Agut
Another Spaniard had a notably good year, grinding down his opponents. He can move all around the court, hitting well from both sides. However, while the veteran is solid with nine titles, he cannot upset a lot of people in the top 10. He has to get even faster and hit with more aggression. In 2022, he can win ATP 1000, but I doubt that.

18. Aslan Karatsev
Another veteran, the Russian had a shockingly successful year. He won Dubai by upsetting Andrey Rublev in the final. Before that, at the Australian Open, he reached the semis, knocking off Felix Auger-Aliassime and Grigor Dimitrov before he went down against Djokovic. He can crush the ball, and he can be fierce whenever he hads the opportunity. He started the year when he was ranked No. 114 and now he skyrocked up the chart. Like others, he wants to punch into the top-10 in 2022. He could, if he can run faster.

17. Cristian Garin
The 25-year-old from Chile had a good year, when he finally rose up. Like some other players, he loves clay, winning five tournaments in three years. He is fast and more intelligent now. Over the past couple years, he began to believe in his strokes. However, he still has a lot of work to do, because the top players are simply better than he is. If he wants to go even higher, than he will have to hit the ball even harder and with his serve. He just has to ambush his opponents much more often.

16. Roger Federer
The famous Swiss has rarely played this year. He is still recovering from knee surgery. He is 40-year-old, and the 20-tim Grand Slam winner loves to add more game but his top goal will be just to get back on court. Of course, the injury and age has slowed his incredible foot speed. He is without a doubt one of the best competitors over the past 20 years, perhaps the best of all time, excluding Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. His variety is unconscious, with his forehand, his great eyes when he is returning, and at the net. Next year, he will come back, at some point, maybe in February or March, and then, if he is 100 percent, then he will win at least one tournament. But to win another Grand Slam? That will be surprising, except in Wimbledon, when he will have a small opportunity. If he does, the entire world will cheer as loud as they can. 2021 year-end review: top 20-16, women

Simona Halep

20. Simona Halep
Before she became injured, the Romanian played for years, and she rarely went down and retired. She may be a little bit short, but she is so strong and she can sprint. She is emotional, and very intense. Halep has won two Grand Slams, knocking off a number of the other top players. However, over the years, she can go back and push the ball, instead of slapping harder. Next year, assuming she will be healthy, she will punch herself back into the top 10 and will have a solid chance to win another Grand Slam.

19. Emma Raducanu
The Brit came out of nowhere at the US Open, given that when she started the year ranked No. 345. She won her firs Grand Slam, starting in the qualifying, and winning 10 matches, in all straight sets. She out-hit so many good players, like Belinda Bencic, Maria Sakkari and Leylah Fernandez. Her forehand and her backhand were deep and ruthless. She looked sort-off good at the net, too. In New York, she was placid and very confident. The 19-year-old will be around for a very long time, but in the fall, she was mentally exhausted. However, she is very young, and next year, she will be refreshed.

18. Jessica Pegula
That was quite a year by the American, who finally understood that she had to confront her mental game, improve and let it all go. Over many years, she wasn’t beating the top 20 players, so many people though that she looked decent, but not fantastic. But in 2020, and then in 2021, she started hitting much better, with depth and pace. She has played some long matches, and watching it, you could see that she just wanted to fight and she did. In 2022, she certainly wants to go into the top 10 for the first time. To do that, she has to amend her serve, play at the net, and return game. That is a lot of work.

17. Petra Kvitova
The Czech has always been a super, nice person, talking with the press and in onn-on-one interviews. She is so realistic about her game, whether she loses ofwins. Some other players barely want to talk at all. Kvitova has grown up a lot, and she is aging, but at least she has won two Grand Slams, and she also won some huge events. But there are times when on the court, she can be mediocre, and then she can check out. She does crush the ball, both sides, and she has a jumbo first serve. Her weakness is moving from left to right. The thing is that if she wants to win another Slam, she is going to have to refocus on her movement. If she does, she had a very good chance to win Wimbledon again.

16. Angelique Kerber
The German has won three Grand Slams and, like Halep, she likes to rally, rally, rally until her opponent becomes exhausted. Kerber, who could probably jump into the ocean and swim for 3,000 miles, with no problem. However, last year she began to mentally buckle, and she grew sorrowful. In the first six moments, she was shaky, but in the summer, she began to play better, finally, winning a lot of matches. The 33-year-old loves playing tennis, and it is her entire life. So, in 2022, if she begins to play amazing, then she can win just one more Slam. 2021 year-end review: top 25-21, men

Gael Monfils

25. Daniel Evans
It’s been quite a year for the Brit. He has yet to reach the top 20, but it took the 31-year-old a long time to hit the right ball with more consistency. The keys are for too move forward and swing very hard. Yes, the top 20 players can knock him off. Now he is more thoughtful, and he finally found out where he will be. Can he reach the top 20 in 2022 next year? Is the glass half empty or half full? He will find out soon enough.

24. John Isner
The American had a decent year, but he knows that if he wants to go back into the top 10, he will have to practice all the time, as well as to figure out his so-so backhand. Yes, his massive serves and dominant forehandse are fantastic. He has gone deep before, and he won Miami a few years ago. Then, he knockd off almost everyone. But now the 36-year-old is aging so if he wants to do it again, he has to jump on the jets.

23. Taylor Fritz
The young American had a very good year, during some tournaments when he was super consistent. But, other times when was unfulfilled. He plays a lot, and he travels all the time. Will he show up tired? The problem is he plays a lot, on court, which was 34 wins and 22 losses. In the fall, he upset a number of fine players at Indian Wells and St. Petersburg. He can bang the ball with both of his groundstrokes. Maybe he should slow down and rest more often. If he does, the top 10 is waiting for him.

22. Nikoloz Basilashvili
He has been around for 14 years, and he has some terrific wins. Oddly enough, he had some hard to believe losses. When he is into it, he can pound out winners when he wants to. He likes to slap the ball, which can be very flat, or he can run around and he waits to see there is a chance to clock the winner. A few years ago, he was ranked No. 16. There is no doubt that he wants to reach the top 10 before he retires. If so, it is important that he needs to improve his return and volleys. Something better is needed. 
21. Gael Monfils

The Frenchman is still so fast, and can return some very long shots. He has gone through so many matches, all over the world. When he is healthy, he can be riveting. Everyone knows that he has been hurt a lot, and he pulls out frequently. But if he can push through his sore knees, then in 2022, he will win some rousing matches. 2021 year-end review: top 25-21, women

Jennifer Brady
March 8, 2019: Jennifer Brady (USA) defeated Caroline Garcia (ESP) 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. ©Mal Taam/TennisClix/CSM

25. Jennifer Brady
Right out of the gate in 2021, the veteran sprinted early, reaching the final at the Australian Open. She played spectacularly versus Karolina Muchova in the semis. In the final, she went down to Naomi Osaka in straight sets. Yes, the Japanese plays amazing deep in the Slams, but at least the American looked very good, even though she could have returned better. After that, she did little the rest of the year, likely because she was injured, and she stopped playing after August. She can hustle, and she is very stout, so when she starts again, in 2022 she will have to rehab and look ahead.

24. Leylah Fernandez
Almost out of nowhere, at the U.S Open, she went ga-ga. She was on fire, smashing the ball from both sides, and she was totally intense. Following up on her Monterrey victory, she ran and ran, into the corners, deeper, and very concentrated. She is only 19, so in the next few years, she will continue to grow, to understand how that the other players tend to hit the ball. The older she becomes, the smarter she will be off and on the court.
23. Belinda Bencic
The Swiss can look fantastic, and other times, she mentally went down. She is darn good, and she also had some fun variety. She plays a lot, and when you watch her, she can be pissed off. Yes, a few years ago, her body was very hurt, so she stopped for months. When she came back, it was almost zero, and she had to rethink her path. She does look sharp at times and get back into the top 10. She is going to have to much more find a bigger game or she will never win a Grand Slam.

22. Coco Gauff
The 17-year-old had a very good year, growing up quickly on the court. Sure, she has a lot of learning to do, but she gets better all the time. Her forehand and her backhand are strong, and she can flatten it out or spin it when she has to. Her first serve is pretty good, and, she is decent at the net. She is climbing up the hill of the rankings. However, she has lost a number of matches this year due to inexperience and lack of focus when the match isn’t going her way. In 2022, she will be even more intelligent, and thoughtful.

21. Elise Mertens
This player from Belgium put together some high level tournaments early on, but later, she collapsed, here and there. The veteran can be very consistent, or she can hit the ball when it is too short. She does like to hustle, and also in the doubles, she returns very well. But really, if she wants to go to the Grand Slam final for the first time, she is going to hang it out.