2018 ATP Predictions: Champions, Contenders, and Dark Horses

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Roger Federer

The 2018 tennis season is about to begin, so we are here to deliver ATP predictions for all four Grand Slams. Who will win, who will impress, and who will come out of nowhere?

Australian Open

Winner: Roger Federer

After a 2017 season that nobody saw coming, I think Roger Federer is going to start 2018 off the exact same way with an Australian Open title for the sixth time in his career. There are a lot of question marks concerning the health of several top players, but we’ve seen that a rested Federer is always dangerous. Getting a good draw will be crucial as the Australian Open will be his first tour event of the season so he’ll be able to work his way into top form.

Back-up contender: Novak Djokovic

As long as the six-time Australian Open champion is playing, he’s always going to be a contender down under. I think Novak Djokovic will come back ready after missing most of last season with an elbow injury. He’s been cautious throughout the process, so I don’t think the former world No.1 would rush back.
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Dark Horse: Kevin Anderson

Kevin Anderson on a hard court is always dangerous, as we saw in New York during his US Open run. The South African is coming off a career-changing run at the last Grand Slam which should give him a ton of confidence heading in to the new season. His draw opened up in New York and he managed to make the most of it, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does the same in Australia.

Roland Garros 

Winner: Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal seems like the obvious choice here. The world #1 and ten-time French Open champion has shown no signs of slowing down any time soon, especially on clay. It’s tough to make an argument for anyone else besides Nadal at this point considering the way he won the title last year. I don’t think it’ll come as easy, but once again Nadal will be holding up the trophy in Paris.

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Back-up Contender: Stan Wawrinka

The 2015 French Open champion is always a threat at any slam. He plays his best tennis at the grand slams, and when he’s on he’s capable of beating any player on any day. During his 2015 title run, he defeated Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, and Novak Djokovic in the final fairly easily. With Nadal playing close to 100% it won’t be easy, but if anyone could knock off the Spaniard it would be Stan Wawrinka.

Dark Horse: Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils will be a dark horse every year he’s playing in Paris. He’s consistently performed well there but just hasn’t been able to take the next step. Even last year at Roland Garros when Monfils was nowhere near 100% he reached the round of 16 before falling to Stan Wawrinka. A big if, but if he’s healthy and the draw opens up he can certainly make a run.

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Wimbledon 

Winner: Andy Murray

The two-time Wimbledon champion and hometown favorite Andy Murray will always be considered a safe pick playing at the All England Club. Last season he was upset by Sam Querrey in the quarterfinals, but was hampered throughout the tournament with a hip injury and didn’t play again after that in 2017. Wimbledon is always tricky dealing with the short turnaround after the long clay season, look for Murray to make a run at home once again for a third Wimbledon title.

Back-up Contender: Roger Federer

It’s hard not to see Roger Federer being there on finals weekend at Wimbledon after what we’ve seen recently. The eight-time Wimbledon champion turned back the clock last year playing some of the best tennis in his career. He’s the best at managing his schedule making sure he’s fit to play his best tennis when it matters the most, so look for Federer to once again be the favorite going into Wimbledon.

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Dark Horse: Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios made himself a household name at Wimbledon in 2014 when he defeated Rafael Nadal in the round of 16. I think it’s safe to say Kyrgios will be Wimbledon champion someday, but he just hasn’t shown the ability to put it all together for two weeks. Maybe this will be the season that the Australian does so.

US Open 

Winner: Novak Djokovic

I can’t see Novak Djokovic going a whole season without a slam again after a disappointing 2017. Obviously, a lot depends on how fit he’ll be heading in to each grand slam, but he always plays well in New York. The two time US Open champion enjoys the night sessions and feeds off the crowd.

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Back-up Contender: Marin Cilic

A big question after Marin Cilic’s title run at the US Open in 2014 was will he be able to it again, or was it just a two week run? Since then Cilic has played well staying in the top 10 but that’s about it. He’s shown what he can do when he gets hot and a draw opens up. If last year’s trend continues with injuries, Cilic can make a run on the hard courts in New York.

Dark Horse: Jack Sock

It’ll be interesting to see if Jack Sock can start the 2018 season playing the same way he did to finish 2017. I’m sure he didn’t want the season to end considering how well he was playing. He’s shown he can win matches at Masters 1000 events, but he still hasn’t taken the next step in a best of five set match. It’s only a matter of time for the American, look for it to happen at his home slam.

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