The Tennis Menu’s 2021 predictions

news Nov 27, 2020

By The Tennis Menu Staff

After the most bizarre of year’s we hope to get back to some normalcy in the tennis world in 2021, so in our year end review show, The Tennis Menu’s experts of Marc Sophoulis, Shane Liyanage, Joel Fruci and Val Febbo have given their predictions for what will happen in 2021 on the WTA and ATP.

Here they are:

Marc Sophoulis

I’ve got two players that I’ve really liked throughout the course of the year, and I feel like they’re in the prime of their careers.

One of those is Jennifer Brady, she had a breakout year this year and she has the weapons and game to hurt a lot of players with the big serve and the big forehand.

The second one is close to me, Aryna Sabalenka. Jason Stacey, the fitness trainer is someone who I’ve worked with for a long time and he’s been working with Aryna. He always said that it’s a work in progress but it’s great to see the results she’s getting.

Aryna Sabalenka finished the year with consecutive titles in Ostrava and Linz

She’s in the top 10, won the last two titles of the year and hits a really big ball, she can only get better and that’s the scary thing, she can only get better from where she’s at. She’s playing some pretty remarkable tennis so I think those two of her and Brady are gonna have pretty decent seasons in 2021.

ATP - Dominic Thiem, I think by the way he played this year, he’s in this age bracket now when he’s hitting his absolute peak. We talk about being between 27 and 32 or 33-years-old being the male peak period, and that’s where he is.

He’s up there with the Big Three and I think now it’s the Big Four and I think Daniil Medvedev is ready to become part of that group as well, but Dominic Thiem is a couple of years ahead of that he’s got years of experience playing against those big players for a little bit longer and I feel like he’s ready to win one or maybe two slams next year.

I think he’s good enough to do it and good enough to do it for the next four or five years.

Shane Liyanage

For me I think Naomi Osaka, she’s already a star but I think she takes it to the next level and start stamping her foot as the best player on the WTA.

Obviously I’m a bit biased, I’d love to see Ons (Jabeur) to crack in and do a bit better, and in terms of a surprise Leylah Fernandez, watch this young Canadian play she is very talented.

Dominic Thiem is primed for a magnificent 2021

ATP - Dominic Thiem, we are going to see him threaten for that No.1. I think at three of the four Slams he will be one of the favourites. He’s got a little bit of work to do to get his level up on the grass, but I think he can do it. He’s the one for me that’s going to set the bar next year.

Joel Fruci

This one is very much a watch this space, but I look at someone like an Eline Svitolina and really think that she is hitting what should be the peak of her career being in her mid 20’s or thereabouts.

She has been around for a while now and been hovering in the top 10 for a little bit but hasn’t really done too much damage. So if I’m in her camp I’m really looking for her to make her mark on the WTA next year.

Can Elina Svitolina finally break through for a major?

ATP - I think we’re going to have another new Slam winner next year and the two names that I’ll throw in the ring, Daniil Medvedev but also Stefanos Tsitsipas.

I think he (Tsitsipas) is capable, I know we’ve spoken a little bit about him potentially being a little bit behind and having some things to work on, which is absolutely true.

But I see enough in his game to believe that he is more than capable of winning a Slam as early as next year and the two that I’m probably eyeing off are Wimbledon and the US Open.

Val Febbo

My prediction for next year is that Ash Barty will win another Slam. She’s primed, only 24 and she has got a massive buffer in the WTA rankings. We can’t forget what she did in 2019 to set herself up for 2020 that wasn’t to be, but 2021 for Ash Barty will be a year of prosper.

ATP - I have two for next year, I think Federer is going to win Wimbledon, and after Wimbledon 2021 Daniil Medvedev will be your World No.1.

What will we see from Roger Federer and Daniil Medvedev in 2021?

He has got barely any points to defend compared to his competitors, and he’s closing in. He is only 4,000 points behind Djokovic and if he has a good start to the year next year he is primed.

The courts at Indian Wells and Miami will suit him, then you’ve got the Australian Open and if he can somehow resurrect his form on the clay he is going to be very tough to beat.

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