The year 2019 ended with many ups and downs. Roger Federer could not add to his Grand Slam tally even while coming so near but his 2 great rivals Rafa and Novak won 2 Slams each. On the other hand the new players in their early 20s made a very strong impact. We analyse the why the season 2020 could be a watershed year as far as Men’s tennis is concerned.
Federer’s Slam Record In Danger?
When Pete Sampras retired after winning 14 slams it was widely believed that no male player ever could surpass that milestone. Less than 7 years later 1 Swiss sensation by the name of Roger Federer won his 15th slam and was looking good for many. Federer has since then raised his tally to 20 and now seems that time may not be on his side to add any more slams.
However the record of 20 is now far from safe. Federer’s nemesis for many years Rafael Nadal is already breathing down his neck at 19 slams. Nadal is as good on clay as he was at his peak. He has won 3 French Open titles in succession now and no person would dare to not consider him favourite at least till he is fit. On the other hand he also looks be a great on hard courts especially at the US Open. If Rafa repeats his twin slam success of 2019 and Roger is not able to win a Slam in 2020, we could well have a revised Grand Slam leader board in Men’s tennis.
A New Grand Slam Champion Rises
The last 3 years have seen only the Big 3 get the Slam glory. Since 2006 except Federer, Nadal and Djokovic only Murray, Wawrinka, Del Potro and Cilic have won slams. The year 2019 saw Daniil Medvedev reach the US Open final and almost threaten to take the crown from Nadal’s jaws. Dominic Thiem also reached his 2nd successive French Open final and was able to take a set of Rafa Nadal.
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In 2020 we may see a new Slam champion that could perhaps open gates for the so called NextGen to win slams. The 4 favorites to create history are Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Thiem could be the man who achieves an almost impossible feat of defeating Rafa Nadal in the Roland Garrros finals. The Greek star Tsitsipas defeated all of the Big 3 in 2019 and would try hard to do so in the Grand Slams next year.
A New World Number 1
In the last 800 plus weeks the Big 3 players have had solid hold on Number 1 rankings with Andy Murray breaking in for 41 weeks. In 2020 it is believed there could be a change at the top. Thiem, Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Zverev are ranked 4, 5, 6 and 7 in the world respectively.
With all of them having very less points to defend compared to the Top 2 rankers Nadal and Djokovic we could see a new World Number 1 in the year 2020. Even there could be a chance of someone among them finishing the 2020 as World Number, which could truly mark as change of guard in Men’s tennis.