Our 2018 ATP World Tour Season year in review concludes players in the 21-50 ranking slots with a look at players ranked between 29 and 21. In this group are some European tennis talents and Canada’s rising star Denis Shapovalov. You can check out our year in review for rankings 50-40 and 39-30 as well.
29: Gael Monfils
Former top 10 player Gael Monfils posted a 29-20 record in 2018 that included a title in Doha, a final in Antwerp, and two more semifinals on the season. Monfils also posted top 10 wins against Dominic Thiem, Marin Cilic, and John Isner but was a non-factor at the slams and Masters series events. If he can stay healthy, Monfils remains a big talent, but his physical talents are likely to decline with age and he’s at a precarious point in his career.
28: Fernando Verdasco
Another veteran former top 10 player who is well north of 30 and slowing down. Verdasco posted a 33-28 record that included a final on clay in Rio and three ATP semifinals. He was a complete non-factor in the slams and Masters though, despite upset wins against Grigor Dimitrov (twice), and Dominic Thiem on the season. Verdasco has a blistering forehand but a fall from the top 30 seems probable at this point.
27: Denis Shapovalov
The 19 year old Canadian reached a career high ranking of 23 on the season, and despite failing to win his first ATP title, he cracked the top 30 thanks to a 35-28 record on the season. Shapovalov was consistent without being spectacular, despite a lack of top 10 wins he reached three semifinals on the season. Shapovalov has a great shot to reach the top 20 by winning his first title and finally taking a top 10 scalp.
26: Richard Gasquet
Former top 10 player Gasquet continues to struggle to stay fit and has already pulled out of the 2019 Australian Open. Gasquet posted a 35-23 record in 2018 with two top 10 wins and a title on grass in Den Bosch. Gasquet also reached two more finals and three more semifinals as he was a solid player against lesser competition. With age a factor, Gasquet will try to remain a contender in 2019.
25: Hyeon Chung
The best player that South Korea has ever produced, the 22 year old Chung broke into the top 20 in 2018 and will be seeking his first ATP title in the upcoming season. Chung upset both Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev at the Australian Open to reach the semifinals and he had one other semifinal (Munich) on the season along with a pair of Masters quarterfinals in Indian Wells and Miami. Chung wasn’t as consistent as some of the other next-gen talents but at his best he can play top 10 level tennis and compete with the best players on tour. Consistency will be his focus in 2019.
24: Roberto Bautista Agut
The veteran Bautista Agut was solid again in 2018 with a pair of titles (Dubai and Auckland) and a 33-20 record,he also reached a final and two more semifinals on the season and will aim to return to the top 20 in 2019. His biggest challenge was against elite players, as he failed to beat a top 10 player in 2018.
23: Pablo Carreno Busta
The third Spanish player in this rankings group, PCB failed to return to his career high of #10 but did post a solid 31-22 record that included 4 semifinals, most notably at the Miami Masters. PCB was 2-5 against top 10 players in 2018 and if he’s going to crack the top 20 in 2019 he’ll need to add to his career title haul of 3.
22: David Goffin
Belgian #1 Goffin was 28-16 on the season but lacking a title, his ranking continued to be off it’s career high of #7. Goffin had a pair of wins over Juan Martin Del Potro and also defeated Kevin Anderson. His best results were 4 semifinals, including a semifinal in Cincinnati. Goffin is consistent but his lack of firepower continues to undermine his ability to reach an elite ranking.
21: Nikoloz Basilashvili
A rising star on tour, Basilashvili won his first two titles and reached a career high ranking of 21, with an overall 29-28 record. Basil upset Juan Martin Del Potro to win Beijing and also won the Hamburg 500 on clay, with 4 more quarterfinals he showed he’s now an ATP caliber player, and will look to break into the top 20 in 2019.