Hello there bloggies!

So we’ve covered the action on the ladies’ tour. Now let’s take a peek at the men’s side over on the ATP, where things have gotten a bit wacky with a not necessarily as dominant as usual Big Four.

1) Everybody hurts…sometimes!

The injury bug is running rampant on the men’s tour. Seven out of the top ten players pulled out of Cincinnati!? Holy crap! Djokovic, Wawrinka, and Nishikori: All out for the rest of the year #Gasp.

Number two Andy Murray hasn’t played since Wimbledon with a bum hip. Though thankfully, it does look like he will be competing at the US Open in New York. But who knows what state his game will be in?

What is happening gentlemen? Rest up those bodies…can’t wait to see you back on tour well and recovered.

2) Federer and Nadal rush in to fill the void

With the absence of so many top players, that means that someone not named Djokovic or Murray would be able to win Slams and Masters tourneys. Right? Some fresh blood?

Of course not!! Not with two of the best players of all-time, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, still playing and playing magnificently. Each took home their favorite tournaments in spectacular fashion: Rafa in Paris and Roger at Wimbledon.

Hell, Rafa and Roger are currently facing off in a sprint to the number one ranking…yet again. Rafa reclaimed the top spot last week. But their (and Andy’s) performance in New York and how often they play in the fall will determine who holds onto the number one ranking. Either way, what  a feat by both Federer and Nadal to be in this position.

3) But wait…new faces? New faces in the champion’s circle? For reals?

That being said, we are seeing pushes from young(er) faces on the ATP side. Sascha Zverev has won two Masters events by beating Djokovic and Federer in the finals. Domi Thiem beat Rafa on clay, the only man to do such a thing this year. Grigor Dimitrov went and won the Masters even in Cincinnati this past week.

Now, can one of these guys or another young ATP face make the ultimate push in a Slam. Thiem and Dimitrov have made Slam semi-finals. At some point, someone else has to make that push. Right?

4) Oh yes, I really want Krygios to be consistently good

Nick Krygios is one of the most decisive players on the tour. Some people love him, and others hate him (cough…ESPN commentators…cough {just laughs folks}). I think I’m falling for the unpredictable Aussie.

His talent is undeniable, which was on full display in his destruction of Nadal in Cincinnati this past week. The shots he can pull out of you know where are just straight up ridic. RIDIC. I mean that SABR return. So good! He keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Plus, he hits with fans during practice and has such a cute relationship with his Mum. +2 points. 

I just hope he can keep that body healthy and stay focused during a Slam and season.

5) Can Sascha Zverev do something at a Slam

The most impressive rise this year on the ATP side is clearly Zverev. He’s beaten the best players and won some of the biggest non-Slam tournaments. That being said, the success at the Slams hasn’t been there. He lost early at the French Open after winning the preceding Masters tourney, and his best Slam performance is a 4th round at Wimbledon. Will Zverev be able to handle the pressure and physicality of a Slam? Can he jump that last hurdle? Or will that have to wait until next season? He is just 20 y’all. Time to work on things, especially the body training side.

6) Can Thiem do anything off clay courts

Now, it is not news that I am a massive Domi Thiem fan. I don’t particularly know why, but I thoroughly enjoy his shot making and admire his work ethic.

But I am getting scared. Is Domi a clay court specialist? This season Thiem was clearly one of the top 3 clay court players on the ATP tour. Thiem’s results off the red clay though have been inconsistent at best. Some solid performances, some complete busts. Domi takes massive cuts at the ball and is a physical specimen. Will he be able to adapt his game to these faster surfaces? Selfishly, I hope so!!

7) Are we primed for potential craziness at the US Open

On the eve of the US Open, things are a bit up in the air. Usually on the ATP side, you can largely move the top seeds into the second week. I’m not so sure this time. There are loads of question marks and unproven characters.

But the massive question of this tournament: will we get the Nadal vs. Federer matchup for season supremacy?

Here’s my hot-take: I HOPE NOT!

Now, I know these two have been the two best players this year and played a brilliant 5th set in the Aussie Open Finals (tbh, the first 4 sets were definitely meh). The ATP is begging for a new champion to take on these all-time greats. The next-generation of players needs to take this opportunity and run. I just hope someone can mentally strengthen themselves to battle through the Open. But who can do it? Zverev, Thiem, or Dimitrov? Or someone outside of the box a la Cilic?

The ATP’s summer has been filled with brilliant performances from two all-time greats and some amazing young(er) talent. I’m positively thrilled for the US Open. What a treat for a little unpredictability on the men’s side 🙂

What stood out to you this summer on the ATP side? Let me know in the comments below or on twitter @DrFsThoughts.

Enjoy the tennis!

-Dr. F

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