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Tennis News • Ricky’s Picks For The Four Men’s Singles Grand Slam Champions In 2020

By Ricky Dimon

Amazingly enough, the 2020 tennis season is almost here–which means it is time to make predictions for the year’s four Grand Slams. Will the Big 3 continue to dominate the majors, or is a changing of the guard in store?

Ricky makes his picks for the champions and, depending on the draws, runner-ups.

Australian Open – Rafael Nadal. Aside from he French Open, the Aussie should be Nadal’s best Grand Slam. It’s actually his worst. He has won it “only” once (2009) and his winning percentage of 82 percent is tied with Wimbledon for his lowest of the four majors. But there is no reason why Nadal cannot complete the double-career Grand Slam. This event comes on the heels of the offseason (albeit a short one), meaning Nadal should be healthy. It’s also played on a higher-bouncing hard court than the U.S. Open. Moreover, the world No. 1 finally ended in season in outstanding form–going 2-1 at the Nitto ATP Finals and then leading Spain to the Davis Cup title. All signs point to major success in Melbourne for the 2019 finalist.

Runner-up (if on opposite side of the draw) – Alexander Zverev

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French Open – Rafael Nadal. There’s not much to say about this. The only question is: how many more of these will Nadal win? One is probably the smart answer, and even two or three is not out of the question. Dominic Thiem is knocking on the door, but he has not come close in either of his two final appearances vs. the current world No. 1. Although both Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka have lifted the trophy within the past five years, Nadal was a shadow of his real self in 2015 and he withdrew midway through the 2016 tournament. Unless the Spaniard gets hit with the injury bug, which basically never happens on clay, he should roll at Roland Garros…again.

Runner-up (if on opposite side) – Dominic Thiem

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Wimbledon – Roger Federer. Does Federer have one more left in him? Ummm…. Weren’t we asking this same question back in 2013 and 2014? Well, the Swiss has won three since then (two Aussies and one Wimby). Sure, being 38 years old is different from early to mid-30s; but even at 37 he came within one point–twice–of lifting the trophy at the All-England Club for the ninth time in his career. It is true that Federer will be inconsistent given his age, as we saw at the Nitto ATP Finals (crushed Djokovic, lost to both Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas). But he doesn’t exactly have to be consistent in order to win in SW19. He can sleepwalk through three or four matches before finding his ‘A’ game toward the end of the fortnight. On grass, Federer can still get it done.

Runner-up (if on opposite side) – Stefanos Tsitsipas

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U.S. Open – Novak Djokovic. Djokovic was the best player in the world through three Grand Slams in 2019, winning the Australian and Wimbledon while reaching the semifinals of the French. The Serb wore out down the stretch, perhaps both mentally and physically. If he goes into the 2020 USO with no slam titles for the season, motivation won’t be an issue. In 2018, Djokovic failed to win the AO (and RG, of course) and then triumphed back-to-back at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. If he starts slow in 2020, which is possible given his arm/shoulder problems toward the end of this past year, Djokovic will likely come on strong in the second half. A fourth title in New York City would not be surprising.

Runner-up (if on opposite side) – Denis Shapovalov

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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