Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Rankings predictions for 2016 USA men & 21Unders

For the second year in a row, I've invited some folks to come up with rankings predictions for American men, young men, and women in the coming year. My thanks to everyone who participated! Today it's the menfolk, tomorrow, the womenfolk.

Participants:

Jonathan Kelley, Parsa, Romain Azema, Lang, and Kevin Craig. I'm the only one who also included the projected final ranking for the men (but not the 21 & under guys).

Let's play.

Predicting 2016's top 10 ATP Americans  




Jonathan
Parsa
Lang
Romain
Kevin
Isner (12)
Isner
Sock
Sock
Isner
Sock (18)
Sock
Isner
Isner
Sock
Johnson (24)
Johnson
Johnson
Johnson
Johnson
Young (40)
Querrey
Querrey
Querrey
Young
Querrey (45)
Fritz
Young
Kudla
Kudla
Fritz (72)
Young
Fritz
Fritz
Querrey
Kudla (85)
Kudla
Kudla
Donaldson
Harrison
Krajicek (99)
Donaldson
Donaldson
Young
Ram
Tiafoe (108)
Krajicek
Smyczek
Harrison
Fritz
Donaldson (111)
Tiafoe
Tiafoe
Smyczek
Krajicek
Analysis:
If we assign one point for each 10th place prediction up to 10 points for each #1 prediction, we get:

1. John Isner -- 48 points
By a hair, the reigning top American beat out the up and coming Sock in our prognosticators' polls.

2. Jack Sock -- 47 points
Jack and John shared all the #1 and #2 picks.

3. Steve Johnson -- 40 points
The only unanimous choice: all five of us think he'll repeat as the #3-ranked American.

4. Sam Querrey -- 32 points
Despite a down 2014 and 2015, there's plenty of believe that ol' Sam still has lots of game in him.

5. Donald Young -- 28 points
DY looked to be hitting his stride at the US Open. But can he carry the momentum into 2016?

6. Denis Kudla -- 24 points
A breakthrough year for the Virginian saw him have incredible grass court results. Now he needs to back it up on other surfaces.

7. Taylor Fritz -- 23 points
Our voters are anxious for the 18-year-old to continue his enormous fall. He's the last player all 5 predict will be a top-10er.

8. Jared Donaldson -- 11 points
He'll be playing a lot more ATP events, so it will be fun to see how the Rhode Islander holds up against better competition.

9 (tied). Austin Krajicek & Ryan Harrison -- 6 points
2015 saw Krajicek break into the Top 100 for the first time, while Harrison got close but couldn't get back in. Our pollsters are definitely torn on how they'll compete next year.

Others receiving votes: Frances Tiafoe (3 points), Tim Smyczek (3 points), Rajeev Ram (3 points)

Predicting 2016's top 10 ATP Americans  



 
Jonathan
Parsa
Lang
Romain
Kevin
Fritz
Fritz
Fritz
Fritz
Fritz
Tiafoe
Donaldson
Donaldon
Donaldson
Donaldson
Donaldson
Tiafoe
Tiafoe
Tiafoe
Tiafoe
Paul
Rubin
Paul
Rubin
Rubin
Rubin
Paul
Rubin
Paul
Paul
Kozlov
Baughman
Escobedo
Kozlov
McDonald
Escobedo
Kozlov
Baughman
Mmoh
Kozlov
Baughman
Mmoh
Kozlov
Escobedo
Mmoh
Opelka
McDonald
Mmoh
McDonald
Baughman
Mmoh
Escobedo
Opelka
Baughman
Escobedo

Analysis:
1. Taylor Fritz -- 50 points
2. Jared Donaldson -- 44 points
3. Frances Tiafoe -- 41 points
Almost unanimity on the Big 3. The only difference is yours truly, who thinks Big Foe can sneak ahead of JD.

4. Noah Rubin -- 33 points
5. Tommy Paul -- 32 points
We're pretty certain the 2014 Junior Wimbledon winner and 2015 Junior French Open winner will finish 4 & 5. Rubin got one more 4th place vote than Tommy.

6. Stefan Kozlov -- 21 points
Most expecting 6th or 7th place.

7. Deiton Baughman -- 15 points
He impressed at the Futures level in 2015. Time for him to make the next step?

8. Ernesto Escobedo -- 14 points
So. Much. Power.

9. Michael Mmoh -- 13 points
The last unanimous pick.

10. Mackenzie McDonald -- 9 points
The only college guy on this list. Such a great ball striker.

Also receiving votes: Reilly Opelka (3)

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