Our review of the individual 2018 ATP seasons for the year end top 50 rolls on with a look at the 11-15 ranking spots. In this group are a crop of rising talents including British #1 Kyle Edmund and Davis Cup champion Borna Coric. You can check out our look at the 16-20 ranked players here.
15: Stefanos Tsitsipas
A rising star from a country not known for tennis talent, Greek #1 Stefanos Tsitsipas reached a career high in 2018 and won his first career title in Stockholm after losing two previous finals on the season (Rogers Cup, and Barcelona). Tsitsipas reached two more ATP semifinals, and was only a bit of letdown in the Grand Slams, where best of 5 sets did not seem to suit him as well. Tsitsipas was a remarkable 46-27 overall, and 6-10 against top 10 players, one of the best records for the young guns on the season. Tsitsipas had two wins each against Kevin Anderson and Dominic Thiem, he also defeated Alexander Zverev and handed Novak Djokovic a rare loss. Tsitsipas also won the Next Gen Finals. Expect Tsitsipas to reach the top 10 in 2019 and perhaps stay there.
14: Kyle Edmund
Edmund claimed his first and only career title in 2018, and with it a career high ranking of 14 as he claimed the British #1 mantle from a banged up Andy Murray, taking on the hopes of a nation on his shoulders. Edmund reached the final in Marrakech and won Antwerp, with two Masters quarterfinals, a semi in Beijing, and most notably, a semifinal at the Australian Open, his best marks in 2018. Edmund was somewhat lucky in draws to avoid drawing elite players, just two of his 36 wins on the season came against top 10 players (Dimitrov and Goffin), and overall he went 36-21 on the season. 2019 will be a pivotal moment for the direction of this 23 year old’s career.
13: Fabio Fognini
A 31 year old veteran who had a resurgent 2018, Fognini claimed three titles (Cabo, Bastad, and Sao Paulo), along with a final in Chengdu, as he was effective on both clay and hard courts. With four more semifinals and a solid 46-22 overall, Fognini moved closer to reaching his potential as a player and will aim for the top 10 in 2019. He beat Juan Martin Del Potro and Dominic Thiem to go 2-3 against the top 10 in 2018.
12: Borna Coric
Coric added a title in Halle to his trophy case, and with it a career high #12 ranking. The Croatian rising star went 40-20 as a 22 year old, and perhaps most notably helped his country win the final (regular) edition of the Davis Cup to cap of the year. Coric wasn’t as effective as other young guns at the 250 level but he was a big stage player, reaching the final in Shanghai and the semis in Indian Wells. In line with that big stage player title, Coric went 6-8 against the top 10, with two wins against Roger Federer, and a win against Juan Martin Del Potro and Alexander Zverev most notably. Coric could make a big move into the top 5 next year if he can vulture points (and titles) at the 250 and 500 level to go with strong Masters and Slam results.
11: Karen Khachanov
With 3 titles and a 46-22 record, the 22 year old Russian Khachanov finished just outside of the top 10 with a career high #11 ranking. Khachanov’s best result of the season came at the very end, as he stunned Novak Djokovic to win the Paris Masters. He also won 250 tournaments in Moscow at home, and in Marseille, with a semi at the Rogers Cup his other notable result. A big hitter, Khachanov came alive in Paris defeating four top 10 players (Isner, Zverev, Thiem, and Djokovic), prior to that he was 1-10 against top 10 players on the season. If Khachanov can maintain his Paris form he’ll finish 2019 in the top 10, but his game is a bit boom or bust and a fall from the top 20 is also possible.