During the 2013 edition of Roland Garros, French newspaper L’Équipe bravely attempted to predict the Top 10 men’s tennis players in 2018. As we are now in the midst of Roland Garros 2018, it is a perfect time to reflect on how accurate these predictions were and in addition, predict the ATP’s Top 10 in 2023. Predicting five years into the future is always difficult as there are so many variables that are very difficult to predict, such as a serious injury, sudden loss of motivation or early retirement, to name a few. Despite this, let’s first take a look at Top 10 predicted by L’Équipe’s predictions in 2013…
|L’Équipe’s 2018 ATP Top 10 predictions|
|1||Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria)|
|2||Benoît Paire (France)|
|3||Andy Murray (GB)|
|4||Milos Raonic (Canada)|
|5||Novak Djokovic (Serbia)|
|6||Kei Nishikori (Japan)|
|7||Bernard Tomic (Australia)|
|8||Ernests Gulbis (Latvia)|
|9||Jerzy Janowicz (Poland)|
|10||Jack Sock (USA)|
Only two players in this list (Dimitrov and Sock) have held a Top 10 ranking at some point in 2018 and, after Sock’s woeful start to the season, Dimitrov is the only person in this list who is currently in the Top 10, sitting at No. 5 in the rankings. The good news for me is that I only have a target of 2/10 to beat, which should be doable! So here goes my attempt at predicting the Top 10 in 2023, in reverse order.
10. Borna Ćorić (Croatia)
[Ranking: No.40 / DOB: 14th November 1996]
The star from Zagreb won the 2014 ATP Star of Tomorrow award and the boys’ junior US Open championship in 2013. In addition, Coric has already notched eight Top 10 victories in his young career.
9. Denis Shapovalov (Canda)
[Ranking: No.25 / DOB: 15th April 1999]
Winner of the Wimbledon boys’ title in 2016, the Canadian rose to fame after an inspired run to the semi-finals of the 2017 Rogers Cup as a wildcard, where he beat both Juan Martin Del Potro and Rafael Nadal.
8. Diego Schwartzman (Argentina)
[Ranking: No.12 / DOB: 16th August 1992]
Renowned for being the shortest ATP player near the top of the game (at present) and his deadly return game, the Argentinian has already reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and the US Open quarter-finals as well as winning his first ATP500 title in Rio this year.
7. Hyeon Chung (South Korea)
[Ranking: No.19 / DOB: 19th May 1996]
Chung does have injury concerns surrounding him having retired in his semi-final match against Roger Federer at this year’s Australian Open and withdrawn from the ongoing French Open with an ankle injury. However, the South Korean’s talent is undeniable, as demonstrated by winning the inaugural NextGen ATP Finals last year in addition to beating both Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic at a Grand Slam this year.
6. Kyle Edmund (GB)
[Ranking: No.17 / DOB: 8th January 1995]
As a Brit it would be hard for me not to include a British player in this list, just like L’Équipe felt obliged to include a Frenchman in their list. However, my prediction seems a lot more realistic! After a promising junior career, Edmund has endured a steady rise up the rankings and after a run to the Australian Open semi-finals (where he beat Kevin Anderson and Grigor Dimitrov) and a strong clay court campaign in 2018, there appears to hope for the future of British tennis after Andy Murray retires.
5. Pablo Carreño Busta (Spain)
[Ranking: No.11 / DOB: 12th July 1991]
The Spaniard who made his debut into the Top 10 last September on the back of a quarter-final appearance at the French Open and a semi-final appearance at the US Open, has had a steady 2018 so far sitting just outside the Top 10 in the Race to London. Whilst he currently struggles against Top 10 players, this is likely to change by 2023.
4. Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria)
[Ranking: No.5 / DOB: 16th May 1991]
The extremely talented Bulgarian has everything required to remain in the Top 10 in five years time. Already the most successful player from his nation, Dimitrov finally started to live up to the hype from his hugely successful junior career by winning the Cincinnati Masters and ATP Finals last year.
3. Dominic Thiem (Austria)
[Ranking: No.8 / DOB: 3rd September 1993]
Boasting one of the best work ethics on the tour, Thiem is the first male player born in the 1990s to win 10 ATP titles. The clay-court specialist is a future French Open champion in the making, having handed the “King of Clay” Rafael Nadal his last two defeats on the dirt.
2. Juan Martín del Potro (Argentina)
[Ranking: No.6 / DOB: 23rd September 1988]
Despite winning his first major title at the 2009 US Open, a series of wrist injuries have prevented the Argentinian from adding to this tally (although he has won two Olympics medals since). However, Del Potro seems to have finally overcome his injury woes for good winning his first Masters title at Indian Wells this year. His low tennis mileage (the ongoing French Open is only his 34th Grand Slam main draw – much less than other top players who have been professional since 2005) will turn out to be a blessing in disguise in terms of lengthening his time within the Top 10.
1. Alexander Zverev (Germany)
[Ranking: No.3 / DOB: 20th April 1997]
Having already won three Masters titles when he has just turned 21 years old, the German is definitely has what it takes to be the next new World No.1. Despite struggling in Grand Slams he seems to have turned a new leaf at this French Open, having gained confidence from scoring his first Top 50 best-of-five set wins in February (against Nick Kyrgios) and April (against David Ferrer). Expect Zverev to be dominant in the ATP Tour in 2023.
To summarise, this is my predicted Top 10 for the ATP Tour in 2023…
|Vithun’s 2023 ATP Top 10 predictions|
|1||Alexander Zverev (Germany)|
|2||Juan Martín Del Potro (Argentina)|
|3||Dominic Thiem (Austria)|
|4||Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria)|
|5||Pablo Carreño Busta (Spain)|
|6||Kyle Edmund (GB)|
|7||Hyeon Chung (South Korea)|
|8||Diego Schwartzman (Argentina)|
|9||Denis Shapovalov (Canada)|
|10||Borna Ćorić (Croatia)|
It remains to be seen whether I will be praised as an expert or dragged for these predictions come 2023. Whilst it is very unlikely I will be completely right, I hope I beat L’Équipe’s 2/10 score at least!
Do you agree or disagree? Who do you predict to be in the Top 10 in 2023? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!