Predicted: The men’s top 10 players in 2018

Predicted: The men’s top 10 players in 2018
By Eurosport

01/06/2013 at 14:10Updated

It's always incredibly tough to forecast the ups and downs of tennis players, but sometimes - just sometimes - experts get it just right.

Only time will tell in the case of French newspaper L'Equipe's attempts to predict the men's top 10 in the world rankings for 2018, but we admire them for giving it a go.

According to the prediction, Andy Murray will remain in the top three, but Novak Djokovic will have faded away slightly; meanwhile, Grigor Dimitrov will be the world number one with France's Benoit Paire hot on his heels.

There will also be top 10 places for American Jack Sock, Latvia's mercurial talent Ernests Gulbis and the big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will have left the scene, with Australia's explosive talent Bernard Tomic firmly in the top 10.

To demonstrate how difficult it is to think so far ahead, the men who were in the year-end top 10 back in 2008 but are not now were: Nikolay Davydenko, Andy Roddick, Fernando Gonzalez, David Nalbandian and Tommy Robredo. Quite a list.

So here it is: the men's top 10 in 2018. Do you disagree? Who would you have in your top 10? Post your views and feedback below...

10) Jack Sock

Age: 20

Nationality: American

Current ranking: 118

Profile: The star from Nebraska won the 2011 US Open mixed doubles title and the boys' junior US Open championship in 2010 to confirm his status as a future top-10 player, matching the hype surrounding him.

9) Jerzy Janowicz

Age: 22

Nationality: Polish

Current ranking: 23

Profile: Runner-up in two junior Grand Slam tournaments, the Pole rose to fame after his inspired run to the final of the Paris Masters in 2012 in which he stunned five top 20 players, including Andy Murray.

8) Ernests Gulbis

Age: 24

Nationality: Latvian

Current ranking: 40

Profile: Renowned for his mood swings and inconsistency, the mercurial Gulbis has reached the fourth round of the US Open and the French Open quarter-finals in a career that has already taken in three ATP titles.

7) Bernard Tomic

Age: 20

Nationality: Australian

Current ranking: 61

Profile: Tomic has been in the headlines in the past for having his hunger for the game criticised, but the Australian's talent is undeniable, as demonstrated by his run to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 2011 and two junior Grand Slam titles.

6) Kei Nishikori

Age: 23

Nationality: Japanese

Current ranking: 15

Profile: Nishikori became the first Japanese player in 75 years to reach the French Open fourth round at Roland Garros this year, having qualified for his first ATP main draw event in Los Angeles at the age of just 17. His rise up the rankings has been very steady.

5) Novak Djokovic

Age: 26

Nationality: Serbian

Current ranking: 1

Profile: This ranking predicts a gradual decline for the current world number one, who has already cemented his status as one of the greats of the game with six Grand Slam titles to his name. How long will he remain at the top of the men's game? Maybe not until 2018.

4) Milos Raonic

Age: 22

Nationality: Canadian

Current ranking: 16

Profile: Boasting one of the strongest serves on the men's tour, in 2012 Raonic served more aces per match and won a higher percentage of service games than any other player. He has reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and won his first title at the SAP Open in 2011.

3) Andy Murray

Age: 26

Nationality: British

Current ranking: 2

Profile: Like Djokovic, Murray is predicted to slip slightly in five years' time, but the Scot has already established himself firmly in the world's top four with the 2012 US Open title to his name to go with an Olympic singles gold and five runners-up spots in Grand Slams. How many more can he win? He's still only 26.

2) Benoit Paire

Age: 24

Nationality: French

Current ranking: 26

Profile: Having already made eight appearances at Grand Slam level, Paire has reached the third round at the French Open and Wimbledon whilst showcasing his hugely impressive array of strokes on the ATP circuit since turning pro back in 2007. Is expected to make a sharp rise up the rankings.

1) Grigor Dimitrov

Age: 22

Nationality: Bulgarian

Current ranking: 28

Profile: The prodigiously talented Bulgarian has everything required to be the world's best. He is already the most successful Bulgarian male tennis player and enjoyed a hugely successful junior career in which he topped the world rankings and won the singles titles at the 2008 US Open and Wimbledon championships.

0
0