Looking back at L’Équipe’s 2013 top 10 predictions: did Roger Federer feature?
Back in 2013 French daily L’Équipe gazed into their crystal ball and predicted how the ATP top 10 would look in five years’ time.
Novak Djokovic was No 1 at the time, but did Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal make their list back in 2013? Let’s see how their predictions have fared so far.
10. Jack Sock
2013 ranking: 118
Current ranking: 11
The 25-year-old American has justified his inclusion as he has been hovering around the world top 10 rankings since the latter half of 2017. Since 2013 he has won three singles titles, including the Paris Masters in 2017, and also reached the ATP World Tour Finals last year.
However, he is yet to crack it in Grand Slams as his best performances are fourth-round appearances at the French Open and US Open.
9. Jerzy Janowicz
2013 ranking: 23
Current ranking: 160
Back in 2013, the 22-year-old Janowicz was considered one of the rising stars as he reached the Paris Masters final the year before while he was also became the first Pole to reach the semi-final of a Grand Slam after he made it into the last four at Wimbledon.
He reached a career-high of 14 in August 2013, but nearly five years down the line he is yet to win an ATP singles title and have slipped outside the world top 150.
Injuries have not been kind to him as he had back problems in 2014, a foot injury in 2015 and a knee injury in 2016.
8. Ernests Gulbis
2013 ranking: 40
Current ranking: 190
The Latvian shot to fame when he reached the 2008 French Open semi-final and in 2010 he won his first title, the Delray Beach Open, when he beat Ivo Karlovic in the final.
By the end of 2013 he had four ATP singles trophies to his name and rose to a career-high 27 that year.
It looked like L’Équipe was onto a good one as Gulbis as in 2014 he won another two titles, beat Roger Federer en route to the semi-finals of the French Open and entered the ATP top 10 for the first time in his career.
But that was as good as it got for him as his form took a massive downward turn, which has resulted in him nearly dropping out of the world 200.
7. Bernard Tomic
2013 ranking: 61
Current ranking: 181
Where does one start with Tomic? He had the world at his feet as in 2010 he reached the quarter-final of Wimbledon as a 17-year-old. By January 2013 he had secured his first ATP title by winning the Apia International in Sydney.
Injuries and poor form the following year meant he slipped down the rankings, but he bounced back in 2015 as he successfully defended his Claro Open title in Colombia and he reached a career-high 17th after finishing runner-up at the Mexican Open.
But by then he was already well-known for controversies on and off the court and by 2017 he was in freefall in terms of the world rankings as the off-the-field misdemeanours started to take its toll.
He was never shy of admitting he wasn’t passionate about tennis and in 2018 he had to go through qualifying for the Australian Open after organisers opted against giving him a wildcard. He failed to make it and afterwards again made it clear he doesn’t like the sport.
After an unsuccessful stint in Australia’s I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here, he claimed he was ready to turn his tennis career around, but he has a long road ahead of him.
6. Kei Nishikori
2013 ranking: 15
Current ranking: 33
Nishikori was just 18 when he won his first singles title at Delray Beach in 2008 and when the list was made he had bagged another two titles, both 500 Series ones.
He was certainly on the road to fulfilling his potential as he won another four titles in 2014, reached his first ATP 1000 final – losing to Rafael Nadal in the Madrid Open – and finished runner-up to Marin Cilic at the US Open.
By 2015 he had climbed to a career-high fourth in the world rankings and he won his 11th title in February 2016 while he reached another six finals over the next 12 months, but then injuries took its toll and he slipped out of the world top 20.
He was forced to miss the 2018 Australian Open and is only just making his way back from injury.
5. Novak Djokovic
2013 ranking: 1
Current ranking: 12
When the list was released, Djokovic was top of the rankings with six Grand Slam titles to his name and the French paper felt he would slip down as age got the better of him.
The Serb won another six majors after 2013 and despite turning 31 later this year, he would probably still have been in the mix for the No 1 ranking was it not for the serious long-term elbow injury he suffered in 2017.
4. Milos Raonic
2013 ranking: 16
Current ranking: 25
The Canadian had three titles to his name by mid-2013 and three years later he would reach a career-high of third in the world on the back of a runner-up spots at the Indian Wells Masters and Wimbledon.
Hamstring injuries took its toll in 2017 and he missed the bulk of the season, including the US Open, which resulted in him dropping outside the top 20.
His return to action in 2018 so far has been steady, but unspectacular.
3. Andy Murray
2013 ranking: 2
Current ranking: 29
Back in 2013, Murray had two Grand Slam titles (2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon) and an Olympic singles gold medal to his name, but 2016 was undoubtedly his best year in tennis as he won a second Wimbledon title, three Masters 1000 trophies and successfully defended his Olympic gold medal. He finished the year top of the rankings.
However, 2017 proved to be a difficult one as he failed to defend his Wimbledon title with his French Open semi-final appearance his best Grand Slam performance of the year.
He also missed the US Open due to injury and it was a similar story at the 2018 Australian Open as he underwent hip surgery. He is set to make his comeback at the grass-court season, but don’t expect miracles from him straightaway.
2. Benoit Paire
2013 ranking: 26
Current ranking: 47
The Frenchman was a bit of a left-field prediction as back in 2013 he was already 24 years old, without a singles title to his name and his best showings in the majors were a couple of third-round exits.
Four years down the line and Paire has won one title, 2015 Swedish Open, and has two fourth-round Grand Slam appearances.
1. Grigor Dimitrov
2013 ranking: 28
Current ranking: 4
When L’Équipe ran their story, the 22-year-old was yet to win an ATP singles title and he had reached the third round of Grand Slam only once in his career.
By the end of 2014 he had won four titles and reached the semi-final of Wimbledon and in 2017 he took his game to the next level as he took his trophy tally to eight, which included his glorious win at the ATP World Tour finals, and also reached a career-high of third in the world.
Many expected him to kick on in 2018 and a few even made him an underdog to win the Australian Open, but he fell flat and so far this year he is yet to find his rhythm.
However, he is not to be written off as he may yet get his major breakthrough this year and, who knows, he could well end up as the world No 1.
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