It is the Georgian who succeeds Marin Cilic whom you had designated in 2019 as the biggest disappointment of the season. As much as the fight had been tight a year ago between the Croatian and Edmund, as much as this time, Nikoloz Basilashvili was cited by more than 90% of our readers, journalists and consultants. But during this unique year 2020, many other players also passed through. Here is your top 10 flops of the season!
- Nikoloz Basilashvili - virtual ranking 2020: 140th in the world (175 points)
With only 3 victories in 17 matches, Nikoloz Basilashvili is logically at the top of this ranking. If he sometimes showed, especially at the beginning of a match, that he was not totally lost on a tennis court, he showed above all that he was unfortunately unable to maintain a correct level of play over the duration of a match or even a set. The ex-16th player in the world did not win any title this year of course. This is his first season since 2013 with a negative ratio. The current ranking of the Georgian (40th) is only a facade illusion. By allowing the players to keep their points acquired since the beginning of 2019, Basilashvili has been able to stay in the top 50 despite a series of 9 consecutive defeats in 9 tournaments played since the resumption in August. Among his most humiliating defeats of the year were a 6-1, 6-0 in 40 minutes against Struff in Dubai, and a 6-2, 6-3 at the ATP Cup in January against Nishioka. The interruption of the season due to the pandemic therefore does not explain this dark season which started well before March. One reason may explain Basilashvili's total absence: his extra-sporting problems. Indeed, he was arrested in May after being accused of assault and battery against his ex-wife. His trial began at the end of October and he faces up to three years in prison. The Tbilisi prosecutor appears determined to make him an example in the fight against violence against women. A heavy fall in the rankings is to be expected in 2021 when he will gradually lose the precious points that keep him afloat for the moment.
- Matteo Berrettini - virtual ranking 2020: 45th in the world (550 points)
If the balance sheet (9 victories for 6 defeats) is not so catastrophic, the Italian is nevertheless the first player in the world's top 10 to appear in this ranking of the year's flops. He finished last year at the 10th place in the world but without succeeding in winning the important matches and often against players much less ranked than him. He suffered an injury in late January that kept him off the courts at the worst possible time, before the coronavirus pandemic got in the way and prevented him from returning to the circuit. As a result, he was unable to play any matches between his second round Australian Open match on January 22nd, which he lost to American Tennys Sandgren, and his return to the tour on August 24th in New York City. The numerous exhibitions could have allowed him to regain the rhythm and confidence, but it was not the case. He suffered some relatively worrying defeats, notably against Altmaier at Roland Garros and Giron at Bercy. Cited as one of the biggest revelations of the 2019 season, we wondered whether Matteo Berrettini would confirm his incredible 2019 season that led him to the Masters in London. For the moment, the answer is no, but he is only 24 years old. With a good physical preparation in the off-season, he can get back on the road to success. He has the advantage of having very few points to defend until the grass season. Defeated in the 2nd round in Melbourne in 2020, in the first round in Indian Wells and Miami in 2019, he also passed through in Dubai (1st round) and Marseille (2nd round). His performances on clay can be summed up as a 3rd round at Roland Garros and Rome, a title in Budapest and a final in Munich. He was beaten in the first round in Monte Carlo and did not play in the Madrid tournament. That's enough to give the Italian some hope to stay in the top 20 in the world.
- Sam Querrey - virtual ranking 2020: beyond the 150th place in the world (150 points)
Only three small victories for six defeats in 2020, but above all an incredible escape from Russia to escape quarantine after his positive test at Covid-19. The American would undoubtedly like to quickly draw a line on 2020, but will the authorities catch him by the arm and impose a suspension? In any case, on the field, the performances have been quite average, even mediocre. He nevertheless finished the season in 53rd place. He too will have very few points to defend until June. Beaten by the untenable Rublev in the 2nd round in Adelaide then 3rd round in Melbourne against Tennys Sandgren, he then does not count any victory during the resumption: 4 tournaments disputed (Cincinnati, US Open, Rome and Roland Garros) for 4 defeats in the first round, in particular a relatively humiliating one at the US Open in 3 sets against the Russian Kuznetsov.
- Joao Sousa - virtual ranking 2020: beyond the 400th place in the world (61 points)
The Portuguese lived through a nightmare season that began in January with a five loss streak in five games before being suspended from the tour. Already in great difficulty at the end of 2019 (5 defeats in 6 games), Joao Sousa was unable to get back on track when the tour resumed in August. He was taken out of the qualifiers in Cincinnati by Majchrzak, the US Open by Mmoh and then Kitzbuhel by Hurkacz. Apart from the latter, the two other players were and still are ranked lower than Joao Sousa. The ex-28th player in the world was eliminated 9 times in the first round of the 9 main tournaments played. He miraculously maintained himself in the top 100 (90th) but a reaction is necessary for the Portuguese player if he wants to stay in the top 100.
- Benoit Paire - virtual ranking 2020: 82nd worldwide (385 points)
Like Gaël Monfils, Benoit Paire also had an encouraging start to the year with a final in Auckland. Then came the blackout with a final score of 10 victories for 13 defeats including 6 in 7 games since the post-Covid recovery. In this very particular context, Benoit Paire was no longer thinking about tennis. Among the most notable defeats, we can note a 6-0 1-0 ab. against Borna Coric, or a 6-2 6-1 defeat by the young Italian Jannik Sinner, whom he had beaten earlier this year in New Zealand. Although he announced that he is looking forward to returning in 2021, one wonders whether Benoit Paire will manage to get out of this bad series as long as the pandemic is still present. Let's hope he regains the desire to play tennis, he who, like a Nick Kyrgios, can do great things with motivation.
- Fabio Fognini - virtual ranking 2020: 96th place worldwide (310 points)
He is one of the few players to have taken advantage of the suspension of the circuit to get back on his feet. Indeed, embarrassed by recurring ankle pain, the Italian decided to have surgery on both ankles at the end of May. He had started the season with dignity with a 4th round in Melbourne, but his annual record is poor with only 5 wins for 10 losses. Thanks to the reform of the ranking, he was able to maintain his 17th place. After separating from Franco Davin at the end of 2019, he will not have lasted more than a year with his successor Corrado Barazzutti. It is now with Alberto Mancini that Fognini will start this new season 2021. Mancini, a former top 10 player in the world at the end of the 1980s, won the Masters in Monte Carlo and Rome, was captain of Argentina in the Davis Cup and coached Guillermo Coria in 2003. His performances on the return to the circuit were not encouraging with defeats against Kukushkin, Huesler, Humbert and Ruud. At the age of 33, the Italian will have to set himself new goals.
- Marin Cilic - virtual ranking 2020: 46th place worldwide (550 points)
The 2019 flop is for the second consecutive year in this ranking. Its January was rather promising, however, with 6 wins for 2 losses. In Marin Cilic's defense, the player had the merit of never giving up. Except against the young Forejtek, he didn't suffer any scandalous defeats but his physical level was quite worrying. For more than a year, he has been sailing beyond the 30th place in the world. It is necessary to go back to 2008 for such a long period to such a ranking. At 32 years old, will the Croatian manage to regain regularity and a decent level of play? Not sure...
- Jérémy Chardy - virtual ranking 2020: beyond the 400th place in the world (78 points)
He is the second Frenchman in this ranking but has more "logical" reasons to be part of it. At 33 years old, Jérémy Chardy plays much less, even if, contrary to others, he still has the love of tennis in him. He has lost a few places on the ATP but remains 75th at the dawn of the 2021 season. He has the peculiarity of having only played for 3 months this year, in January (5 matches), August (1 match) and September (4 matches). He participated in the 3 Grand Slams this year, from where he got knocked out in the first round each time, against Goffin, Rublev, then Rodionov, after a titanic match at Roland Garros of 4:42 lost 10-8 in the 5th set by leading 2 sets 0 with a match point in the tie-break of the 3rd set. Among his three (rare) successes, two were against Frenchmen: Grégoire Barrere and Gilles Simon. At 33 years old, the Palois is not yet considering the end of his career but he will have to work hard to stay in the top 100. Recovering confidence will be his priority. He hasn't reached the last four of an ATP tournament since 2018...
- Damir Dzumhur - virtual ranking 2020: beyond the 150th place in the world (155 points)
He has emerged from the top 100 this season (119th). The reason is simple, he hasn't won a game on the main circuit: 8 defeats in 8 games. He was certainly in the final of a challenger tournament in Barcelona (beaten by Alcaraz) but his best were victories over a Verdasco hit by Covid, Hanfmann to Nur Sultan and Lloyd Harris in Davis Cup. Since reaching the top 30 in 2018, the Bosnian has been on the wane with very few good results. He is only 28 years old, he can still get back on track but confidence has been at a low ebb for more than two years now. And his ranking will prevent him from playing ATP tournaments and force him to the qualifications or challenger tournaments .
- Karen Khachanov - virtual ranking 2020: 25th in the world (940 points)
The Russian is 20th in the world, his worst ranking since October 2018. He followed a second year without title and without final after an already disappointing 2019 season. Like Marin Cilic, he appears once again in your ranking because of a level of play far from that which he had displayed in 2018 and which had enabled him to win Bercy. Karen Khachanov has not really been able to confirm all the hopes placed in him, contrary to her compatriots Rublev and Medvedev. He did not do better than three semi-finals in Dubai, St. Petersburg and Antwerp. In Grand Slam, Khachanov was knocked out in the semifinals at the Australian Open by Nick Kyrgios (after an incredible match lost in 4:24 in the decisive tie-break after playing 4 tie-breaks in 5 sets), and at the US Open by Alex de Minaur. At Roland Garros, he went all the way to the Round of 16, beaten by world number one Novak Djokovic. His end of season was relatively average with three straight defeats against Daniel Evans, Grigor Dimitrov and Davidovich Fokina but mostly complicated matches in three sets against Karatsev or Bergs.
Among the other players mentioned, Leonardo Mayer (3 victories for 9 defeats) has passed completely through his 2020 season. Now 135th in the world, he will have to whip and go through some challenger tournaments to climb up the rankings. It is not even any more qualifiable for a Grand Slam or for the qualifications of a Masters 1000... Robin Haase (197th in the world) could have been in the top 10. The 33-year-old Dutchman should not be able to come back to the top again. His last victory on the ATP circuit goes back to Winston Salem in August 2019. Since then, he's been struggling to win even as a challenger, apart from a final in Bangkok. He has not been mentioned but Peter Gojowczyk is 145th in the world. The German won only one match in 2020 in the first round of the Australian Open. Finally, because of their respective injuries, Lucas Pouille, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kei Nishikori have lived a blank season but hope is allowed to see them back on the circuit.
The detail of the votes :
- Nikoloz Basilashvili: 164 votes
- Matteo Berrettini : 89 votes
- Sam Querrey : 83 votes
- Joao Sousa : 81 votes
- Benoît Paire : 78 votes
- Fabio Fognini : 74 votes
- Marin Cilic : 68 votes
- Jérémy Chardy : 67 votes
- Damir Dzumhur : 63 votes
- Karen Khachanov : 60 votes
Other main players cited: Leonardo Mayer, Robin Haase, David Goffin, Gaël Monfils, Radu Albot, Frances Tiafoe, Juan Ignacio Londero, Kyle Edmund
Reminder of the 2019 rankings
- Marin Cilic: 126 votes
- Kyle Edmund: 111 votes
- Grigor Dimitrov: 53 votes
- Nick Kyrgios: 49 votes
- Milos Raonic: 47 votes
- Lucas Pouille: 40 votes
- Mischa Zverev: 37 votes
- Jack Sock: 35 votes
- Karen Khachanov: 32 votes
- Alexander Zverev: 29 votes
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