Davis Cup Final at the end of November means that tennis season is definitely over. December is time for rest and preparations for another season for players. For me, recreational tennis player and enthusiastic tennis fan, December is time for relax and guessing the future. Who will win most tournaments next year, who will take home Wimbledon trophy, who become next number one? All these questions have a lot of possible answers. And as I am not shy to share my opinions, here are my Bold Tennis Predictions for 2018.
Look back at 2017
Before I start to predict (or better guess) future, let’s look back. 2017 was unusual in many ways. With Murray, Djokovic, Wawrinka taking early rest due to injuries, this year was almost all about Nadal and Federer. Their rivalry was revived once again. Roger Federer won 7 ATP tournaments altogether, 2 grand slams included. The same number of grand slam trophies were won by Rafael Nadal. He won “just” 6 ATP tournaments (GS included), but year end number 1 position puts him at the same level as Roger Federer. Dimitrov win against Goffin at ATP Finals gave new energy and hope to everyone who wants new blood at the top of the tennis world.
Season 2017 in women tennis was absolute opposite to men’s season. Nothing was for sure. No name of the winner was guaranteed. We had 4 different winners of Grand Slam events (Serena Williams, Ostapenko, Muguruza, Stephens) with another lady winning WTA Finals (Wozniacki). WTA Ranking had five different number one placeholder during a year (Kerber, Serena Williams, Pliskova, Muguruza, Halep). 43 different players won at least one of 59 WTA tournaments. Almost every player out of top 100 could win anything.
Bold tennis predictions for 2018
Next year will be quite different. We will see couple returns of dominant players (Djokovic, Murray, Wawrinka, Nishikori, Serena Williams) who took rest because of different reasons last season. Djokovic will have the new coach, Radek Stepanek, who never gives up. On another hand, Murray and Wawrinka will return to the courts without coaches, who showed them a way to the top. Magnus Norman and Ivan Lendl left and their place has to be filled. Young stars like Dimitrov and Zverev hope that this year will be their and Federer and Nadal did not say the last word. Everything is open on ATP tour, the same way as it was open last season at WTA. The year 2018 will not be just about Nadal and Federer.
In WTA we are still waiting for the dominant lady. Someone who will keep winning Slams and be holding number one position for a longer period of time. There are a lot of contenders, but we will definitely see also some favorite downfalls. Cibulkova or Kerber disappointing 2017 campaign after 2016 success can be an example. Karolina Pliskova and Kerber are changing coaches. Everybody expects Serena Williams to return at the same point during the season. Garcia and Wozniacki would like to continue in successful results from October 2017. Guessing the winners of Ladies tournaments is definitely much harder than Men’s.
Grand Slam Winners 2018
Australian Open 2018
I can not forget the semifinal between Nadal and Dimitrov and following Federer and Nadal final in 2017. Performance of both rested players was amazing. This year Djokovic, Murray, and Wawrinka will be in the same situation. Rested and hungry for success. All three with new coaches. Then I never underestimate healthy Federer and healthy Nadal. They always play at high level in Australia. Dimitrov also knows that his time is now. I am sure, that we will see more than perfect tennis in Melbourne. Each of six players mentioned can win Australian Open 2018. Pick of mine is Novak Djokovic. His choice of coach is absolutely superb. Radek Stepanek will give him more energy than anyone else. Djokovic will repeat Federer comeback from last year. Believe me.
My winner pick for Australian Open 2018: DJOKOVIC
You can say any name from WTA Top 20 and you will either get at least semifinalist or big disappointment in round one. It is hard to guess the winner before January WTA tournaments are played, but it will not be much easier then. Currently, I see Garcia and Wozniacki as big favorites, but it is always hard to repeat October performance in January. Therefore my winner prediction is Karolina Pliskova. She will be rested, she has new coach Tomas Krupa, who made Barbora Strycova number 16 of ranking. She likes courts in Australia and it is time for her to win something big.
My winner pick for Australian Open 2018: PLISKOVA Karolina
French Open 2018
It is harder to predict distant future. Men’s draw of French open is the exception. There is only one king of clay. Healthy Rafael Nadal is unbeatable on clay. Even slightly injured Rafael Nadal is unbeatable on clay (as reference see his only match at ATP Finals 2017 against Goffin. On hard court, on one leg, Nadal made it to the third set). Easy choice.
My winner pick for French Open 2018: NADAL
I believe in Angelique Kerber. She can play perfect defensive tennis. On clay, she can return every stroke she receives. She will need time to get used to her new coach, but in May everything will be o.k. for her.
My winner pick for French Open 2018: KERBER
Federer probably skips clay season and will restart his season on grass. He will be perfectly rested and craving for another big win. Andy Murray always aims high in Wimbledon. And even without Lendl, I can not underestimate him. Djokovic and Dimitrov are another two big names playing big at Wimbledon courts. When I close eyes, I see 5 sets final match between Federer and Dimitrov. Fed and “baby” Fed. What a headline. And Dimitrov makes it.
My winner pick for Wimbledon 2018: DIMITROV
I have no doubts. Last year she was not 100 percent prepared when she came to Wimbledon. Petra Kvitova won Wimbledon two times already and year 2018 will be a great chance for the hattrick. She likes a grass tennis more than anybody and she knows how to play on grass. The win in 2017 would have been a miracle, but win in 2018 is a just perfect match.
My winner pick for Wimbledon 2018: KVITOVA
US Open 2018
Now I am trying to make tennis predictions about September 2018. Crazy, but I will give it a try. A lot of players will be tired, some of them injured. I will pick one who will have enough strength even at the end of the season. Djokovic, with great motivator Stepanek next to him, will be all in for his second grand slam title in 2018.
My winner pick for US Open 2018: DJOKOVIC
Maria Sharapova is almost forgotten. Nobody counts her among top tennis players again. But she can play and she definitely will win something big in 2018. New York seems like perfect fit for her. The last big victory.
My winner pick for US Open 2018: SHARAPOVA
Number one in rankings
We will start 2018 with Nadal and Halep as number one in respective rankings.
Nadal will keep his number one position until March tournaments on hard courts in the USA. Miami and Indian Wells bring new number one. One and only Roger Federer. His reign will last until August when comeback of Novak Djokovic will be rewarded with the return to number one position.
We will see a ruthless fight for number one between ladies. Halep will keep her place just till Australian Open when Karolina Pliskova took over the number one position. However, shortly after Gabine Muguruza will take it thanks to the performance in spring. She will keep it until summer when Karolina Pliskova reclaims it again.
My picks for number one position:
NADAL to FEDERER to DJOKOVIC
HALEP to PLISKOVA to MUGURUZA to PLISKOVA
Season 2018 will bring some unexpected and some expected retirements.
G.O.A.T Roger Federer will say goodbye to the tennis world at the end of the season. Even with the lighter schedule, he realizes he can not compete with younger players. He is not built for losses with players he easily beat two years ago. He gives it last try at ATP Finals 2018 and then he finishes his pro career.
Rafael Nadal will not retire, but he will reduce his schedule to a minimum. From the year 2019, he will play just clay tournaments. His knees will give him hard time during spring and summer hardcourt tournaments and he will not risk serious injuries anymore. The King of clay will compete just on clay.
Maria Sharapova will win US Open 2018 and leave the tennis world at the top. She returned in 2017 just because of one big success. To prove the world she is a good tennis player. No motivation left brings this decision.
Word of the tennis season 2018
Roger Federer returned after four months in 2017 and won Australian Open. Then he skipped the clay season 2017 and won Wimbledon. Novak Djokovic will come back in January after 4 months and will win Australian Open 2018. The REST will be the magic word in tennis in 2018. All players will schedule their program more carefully. Nobody from top players would risk injuries due to hard schedule and many games played in short periods of time. Everybody would pick tournaments very carefully with enough time to rest between them.
Comeback of tennis season 2018
Reading my tennis predictions for Grand Slam winners of 2018, you basically know who I think as “comeback” person of the tennis season.
Novak Djokovic will win two Grand Slams and a few ATP Tournaments, he reclaims number one position ranking and will be definitely the tennis player of 2018.
Most successful brand of season 2018
Wilson was the most successful brand in the year 2017. Wilson rackets won most ATP and WTA tournaments this season, what is quite unusual.
Season 2018 will be different in men tennis. Head players Djokovic and Murray are returning, which means that we will see the battle of three again between Wilson, Head, and Babolat on ATP tournaments. I would guess that HEAD will take most ATP tournament wins in 2018, but the difference between Wilson and Babolat will be really small.
WTA tournaments are in majority won either by Wilson or Babolat. And that will not change. WILSON will probably keep his position of the most winning brand, but with just small margin.
Looking forward to 2018
That is all of my tennis predictions for 2018. I know I did not try to pick Davis Cup and Fed Cup winners, I did not touch ATP and WTA finals. Well, I did not dare. Even with figuring out who will win Grand Slams I was considering and reconsidering a lot of names for a long time. Now all was written and I am very curious how good I am at predicting the tennis season 2018. I will revisit my tennis predictions regularly to see if I got something right. And you can check how good my predictions were HERE. If you think I am absolutely off with my picks, write yours to the comments section.