1. Antonin Iglar(87%, 10.07, -0.13)
Iglar is actually a smidgeon older than Mehul in terms of aging, even though he is several months younger. Having said that, he's still the unquestioned king of the hill and it's hard to see that changing in the next year or two.
2. Anil Mehul(87%, 9.86, +0.01)
Anil will start seeing his abilities decline from here on out on an annual basis; his body just can't take the training workload it once could. I do think he'll be able to hold his own until he's at least 31 though, three years from now. Hopefully he's got one more big year in him somewhere in there.
3. Bjorn Benda(82%, 9.65, -0.02)
Benda is now closer to 31 than 30, but his game isn't really showing it. He's done a fantastic job maintaining his serve, and is as effective a player as I've seen anyone be at his age since the incomparable Gorritepe. Most of the Top 10 even still is far beneath him.
4. Girish Girsh(93%, 9.91, +0.11)
It's all about consistency for Girsh as I've mentioned. He's pretty much exactly on par right now with where Mehul was at his peak -- but he hasn't made the most of those skills yet, too often falling short against inferior competition. I'm not as sure as I was a few years ago that he'll ever make it to #1, but for the next 2-3 years he can be right there a couple steps behind Iglar if the Czech legend slips, ready to take advantage. That's if , and only if, he can put his underachieving days behind him. There's also a chance he could be the first Sri Lankan to, if only briefly, break the 10.0 barrier ...
5. Cestmir Marcek(82%, 9.29, -0.14)
Marcek finally returned to reality the last few months. You have to admire the way he stepped up for the year or two prior to that, but you don't win matches with positive feelings and respect. I expect a gradual decline, and most likely it will be Farkas instead who is Iglar's partner for the world-champion Czechs in the WTC by the time this year comes to an end.
6. Pierce Gaskell(86%, 9.7, -0.09)
Still good enough to be a threat, still mismanaged enough not to be a major one.
7. Radek Smitala(86%, 9.15, -0.14)
It was fun while it lasted; Smitala's year or two of fun is basically over now.
8. Thiago Herrera(88%, 9.32, +0.04)
Still the #2 on clay, and still getting a little better past the point where you'd expect it. Herrera may well move up a little more in the coming season.
9. Gustavo Caratti(94%, 9.32, +0.08)
Caratti will go as far as his power can take him, and right now Girsh is the only player ahead of him who isn't on the downswing or about to be. He's looking to restore the glory of Argentine tennis, and should take this push further in the next couple of years.
10. Mugur Kinczllers(92%, 9.25, +0.08)
Kinczllers is the opposite of Caratti -- he's developed a world-class serve and is very good from the baseline as well, but doesn't have as much athleticism to back it up with. His ceiling isn't as high, but he should be able to push upwards also.
11. Milan Farkas(87%, 9.2, --)
Could crash the Top 10 party again; he's been right on the edge of it for a while now. He's the last of a group basically forming the 6-10 or so spots that should be packed close together and very competitive. Further down the ladder, there are finally more talented players chasing them ...
16. Elias Trulsen(93%, 9.54, --)
Trulsen started making some noise last year; he has a good serve and great athleticism. He's spent too much time on doubles and doesn't have the goods at the elite level from the back of the court, but I still have him right now sixth-best player in the world. He definitely has my vote to move into the Top 10 this year. He could even surpass Caratti as the biggest generational threat to Girsh if things go well for him.
17. Tobia Alberti(92%, 9.33, --)
Another very good athlete, though not quite as good, who has developed his skills to the point of being ready to rise up. He doesn't have a ton of time left to do so though ...
18. Theodore Bourdet(96%, 9.19, +0.15)
Didn't improve as much as you'd hope this year; needs to spend more time on his rally game. Having said that, Bourdet's still fairly young and good enough to keep moving upward.
21. Davide Poilblan(94%, 9.21, +0.04)
Disappointing year training and on the court. If he doesn't make a jump this year, it may never happen.
24. Afanasy Bereznity(97%, 9.1, +0.08)
Creeping his way up slowly, but he's not quite ready yet. Overall though, there's an increasingly dangerous group of youngish or coming-into-their-prime players pushing their way up. In a couple years, the competition for Top 10 spots could be a lot stronger.
52. Shreya Ujjaval(99%, 8.99, +0.35)
The serve is lacking, but he should keep moving up. There aren't many better outside of the Top 20 at this point .
72. Prakash Mooljee(99%, 8.77, +0.55)
Right on track with where Girsh was at his age(8.79), and about another year at his physical peak before things get a little more difficult. He should be able to pass about half of the players ahead of him this season, give or take.
NR(J). Ritwik Dudwadkar(60%, 2.45, --)
Just beginning his journey.