Written by: Michael Emmett
***Michael Emmett is the Director of Tennis Operations at all Mayfair clubs. He is a certified Tennis Canada Coach 3 with a Journalism degree from the University of Texas. Michael spent several years working in sports television at TSN and Sportsnet. Michael is a former National champion who finished his last year of junior tennis ranked #1 in Canada. Michael has coached several National champions when he worked for the All-Canadian Academy at the National Tennis Centre at York University in the early 90s. Michael spent 2 years traveling the world playing the ATP tour satellite circuit as a member of the Molson National Team in 1985 and ’86.***
1. Rafael Nadal will win his 9th French Open and improve his record to 66-1 at Roland Garros. His only loss came in 2009 to Robin Soderling in the 4th round.
2. Roger Federer will NOT get to the Final of any Grand Slam in 2014. In fact, he will only make it to ONE semi-final in his final year on the ATP tour.
3. Serena Williams will NOT win all four major championships. But she will put a stranglehold on the #1 ranking. Serena will lose some matches but show the world she’s well on her way to the top of the all-time Grand Slam Mountain.
4. Milos Raonic will NOT end the year in the top 8 of the ATP rankings. He will hover in the 10-14 spot for at least one more season.
5. Raonic will, however, make it to his first ever Grand Slam quarter final and lose in four sets to one of the big guns ranked inside the top 5. With movement still a major issue, Milos will struggle to beat a top-5 player in a best-of-five format on an outdoor court.
6. The best result in terms of Canadians will come from Eugenie Bouchard, look for her to win her first ever WTA tour event and crack the top-15 in the year end rankings.
7. The newcomer of the year in 2013 on the WTA Tour will also be the only Canadian to reach a Grand Slam semi-final in 2014.
8. Daniel Nestor will find his game again with new/old partner Nenad Zimonjic and make it to another Grand Slam final.
9. Nestor and Vasek Pospisil will win the doubles match against their Japanese opponents in Davis Cup first round action in February to give the Canadians an insurmountable lead.
10. Canada will beat Japan in the first round of the Davis Cup and go down in round two to an undetermined opponent.
11. Novak Djokovic, currently #2 in the world, with a new head coach on the pay-roll in Boris Becker, will have a dominant year and regain the #1 ranking.
12. Novak’s incredible 24-0 run to end the 2013 season will be a prelude of better things to come in 2014. In two of those 24 straight wins, since his loss to Nadal in the US Open Final, he hammered Nadal convincingly with identical 6-3,6-4 scores in Beijing and London. Look for Djokovic to have a season similar to the year he had in 2011.
13. The rivalry between Rafa and Novak will gain more momentum in 2014 and take over as the greatest rivalry in the sports history – yes, even greater than Navratilova and Evert! Every match these guys play is an instant classic.
14. If these superstars (Djokovic and Nadal) play in the 2014 French Final, and there is no reason to believe they won’t, I expect that the 54-shot rally, the greatest rally of all-time, in the Final of the 2013 US Open (a championship record) to be obliterated. A 60-shot rally between these two amazing athletes is definitely in the cards. And there is no better place to see this spectacle than on the slow red clay courts at Roland Garros.
15. Victoria Azarenka will NOT win the Australian Open in the early part of 2014. Azarenka has two slams to her name – both in Melbourne. In 2014, Azarenka will struggle with her serve and go winless in the majors.
16. Juan Martin Del Potro – a legitimate threat to the game’s top players – will NOT win a major in 2014 but the Argentinean will shock the tennis world with a monster win over Nadal in one of the Grand Slams.
17. Andy Murray, the 2013 Wimbledon champion, will NOT repeat in his favorite tournament. In fact, after back surgery, and a lackluster final four months of the season, Murray will lose his grip on a top-3 ranking.
18. Li Na, a one-time Grand Slam champion will make it to multiple finals in the 2014 majors but unfortunately come up a bit short.
19. Li will end the year ranked #2 behind Serena Williams, comfortably ahead of Azarenka and Maria Sharapova.
20. Sharapova with more injury troubles in 2013 will NOT have a stellar year in 2014. She will no longer be a major factor in the Grand Slams and will have to fight tooth and nail to maintain a top-5 ranking.
21. Vasek Pospisil will continue his extraordinary play – remember, at the end of the 2013 season, he was within a few points of upsetting 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer on a world-wide stage in Switzerland – and climb into the top-20 in the world rankings.
22. Pospisil will have multiple wins over top-10 opponents in 2014.
23. The one-handed backhand will continue make waves in the Men’s game – guys like Dimitrov, Almagro, Kohlschreiber, Federer, Haas, Youzhny, Robredo, Wawrinka and Gasquet will demonstrate the lost art of the most beautiful shot in the game.
24. American tennis will continue to struggle, aside from Serena & Sloane Stephens, no other player will crack the top-10 at any point of the 2014 season.
25. Stan Wawrinka, arguably the surprise player of 2013 on the Men’s side, will finish the year with a better ranking than countryman Roger Federer. Wawrinka definitely owns the title as the best player on the tour without a major.
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