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10sBalls Shares Ricky’s “Dear Santa” • 2019 ATP Men’s Tennis Wish List

By Ricky Dimon

 

Christmas is here, the 2019 tennis season is near, i’s time to offer up my wish list for the upcoming year.

 

Dear Santa,

 

If you can make the following happen, that would be outstanding:

 

I want the top players in the world to stay healthy for an entire season. Other than Roger Federer inevitably skipping the clay-court swing, I want all of them to play a full 10 months… well, 10 and a half if they can all compete in the Nitto ATP Finals. That means Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Murray, and Stan Wawrinka. All of ’em. Please don’t get hurt!

 

I want all eight of the ATP Finals qualifiers to still be healthy enough to actually play the tournament–and play the entire tournament. That means no alternates before the tournament; no alternates during the tournament. This may be our last chance to have Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Del Potro, and (this would be overly wishful thinking) Murray at the O2 Arena at the same time.

 

The O2 Arena…. That brings me to the next one. I want the ATP to announce in March that the year-end championship will stay in London through 2025. London is the BEST!

 

I want John Isner to win a five-set match in all four different forms: in a super-tiebreaker at 6-6 in the fifth set at the Australian Open; in a marathon, played-out fifth set at the French Open (8-6 or longer); in a standard tiebreaker at 12-12 in the fifth set at Wimbledon; and in a standard tiebreaker at 6-6 in the fifth set at the U.S. Open.

 

I want Grigor Dimitrov to stop stinking. He’s good for the game when he’s playing well.

 

I want the French flair to have one last hurrah. You know…good (and healthy) seasons for Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

 

I want Dominic Thiem to win a Major  Slam title. There are really just two players in history who I have proclaimed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread after the very first time I ever saw them play: Ernests Gulbis and Dominic Thiem. My Gulbis guarantee as a future world No. 1 did not exactly work out so well. Thiem, who I’ve always said will win multiple majors–including one on something other than clay, still has time. But he needs to pick up the pace sooner rather than later. (And speaking of Gubis, I hope he can at least make it back to the top 30 in 2019).

 

I want a youngster from North America to have a Stefanos Tsitsipas-like breakthrough (preferably Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, or Felix Auger-Aliassime).

 

I want Bob Bryan to come back and the Bryan Brothers to go out on top.

 

I want Nick Kyrgios to want to be good.

 

I want Mohamed Lahyani to keep making headlines…just not enough to get permanently suspended…

 

I want Miami to be awesome. Crandon Park was epic, and moving away from Key Biscayne is scary. Will the tournament still be as good? I’ll find out in March….

 

I want the Davis Cup to be awesome. We’ll find out in November….

 

From a personal standpoint, I want to make it to three of the four slams.

 

I want to attend at least one tournament that I’ve never been to before.

 

I want to witness in person at least one match that the tennis world generally agrees is a “Match of the Year” candidate.

 

I want to get better; better at writing, better at asking question in press conferences…. It’s not only the players who can improve!

On that note–lastly, I hope to make some better predictions than I did in 2018… That shouldn’t be too hard to do!

 

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

Editor’s Note • We love Ricky’s wish list. We are on the same page about Gulbis and Thiem and Mohamed Lahyani. He deserves his big chair! Best umpire of last dozen years. By a country mile!

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