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Old 01-09-2016, 06:29 PM   #235
Brian Swartz
Pro Starter
Join Date: May 2006
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1. Antonin Iglar(92%, 10.25, +0.1)

Well that's a little scary ... Iglar's put in enough work to improve his baseline game a bit more lately. I would have said he's at his peak but apparently not quite yet. Bad news for everybody else, but I don't see how he can do much more than he's already doing.

2. Anil Mehul(92%, 9.87, -0.02)

Mehul's at the point where he's just trying to maintain his level. Despite the miniscule negative number here I think he's still getting just a hair better, but will probably begin the earliest stages of decline by the end of the year.

3. Bjorn Benda(86%, 9.81, -0.09)

For the first time we can see significant erosion in the abilites of the German former champion. I think he's still #1 on clay for another year, but after that things will probably go south for him more quickly.

4. Perry Hogue(83%, 9.47, -0.11)

Hogue outperformed his skills for the first half of this year, but he's reached the point where all the mental toughness in the world doesn't seem to be enough anymore. I expect a significant slide in '53 ... but I've underestimated him multiple times before.

5. David Alvarez(84%, 9.46, -0.17)

That's just an ugly eval there. It's been nice knowing ya, Mr. Alvarez. There are too many who have surpassed him on clay now. It wouldn't surprise if he fell out of the Tour Finals field completely.

6. Pierce Gaskell(91%, 9.73, +0.06)

Gaskell still has some life in him to be sure, although he seemed to lose focus the second half of the year. It's a travesty though if he finishes the next year lower than 4th. He's too good to be kept down any longer. This should be his best season.

7. Cestmir Marcek(87%, 9.52, -0.02)

Still fighting hard to hang on to what he's got. With Hogue and Alvarez potentially crashing, he could be relevant for at least another year.

8. Perry Mockler(90%, 9.33, ??)

Mockler snuck up on me this year. He had some good moments but I'm still not all that impressed with him. We'll see if he can hang around, but it's hard to see him moving up much.

9. Thiago Herrera(93%, 9.28, ??)

He's got the focus and strength to be a force on clay, but not the rally technique or speed to diversify. I don't see Thiago pushing his way up the charts the way Alvarez did.

10. Roger Federer(92%, 8.81, ??)

Federer has a fine serve, but frankly it's an insult to the current state of the tour that he's in the Top 10.

11. Girsh Girsh(97%, 9.75, +0.21)

There are no more legitimate excuses now; after a good training off-season Girsh should be an equal to Gaskell this year and better than anyone else outside the Top 3. If he's not pushing close to a Top 5 spot by the end of the year, it'll be a major disappointment.

12. Marcel Bahana(94%, 9.74, -0.14)

Yikes. It seems the time for him to get his act together has come and passed. Bahana can still be a factor, but doesn't appear to care enough to make it happen.

1828. Prakash Mooljee(91%, 7.27, +1.05)

A long way to climb, but off to a fine start.

2324. Anil Manohar(60%, 6.14, -0.08)

The end is visible from here.

There will probably be a couple of more surprises this year. Radek Smitala and Olav Birkeland cracked the Top 20 and may push higher; perhaps one of the youngsters will make a push. Italy's Mugur Kinczllers(23, 96%, 9.16) could make things interesting if he continues to improve but doesn't have the mental strength to really scare anyone. France's Davide Poilblan(22, ranked 21st) isn't quite ready yet, and neither seem to be any of the others. The depth at the top continues to weaken, which should open the door some for Girsh to rise. In fact, though it's some way off, I'm ready to make a bold prediction:

I'm calling Girish Girsh to be Sri Lanka's first #1 singles player. I think that sometime around 3 years from now, he will be the one who eventually takes the mantle from Antonin Iglar whenever his time comes to an end. I could be wrong, but I don't see anyone challenging in time to prevent this. Time will tell.
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