A look back at our 2015 Top 10 American men predictions

Before the 2015 season got underway, a six-team panel made its predictions for the Top 10 American men according to the year-end rankings. The year is finally over, so now it’s time to take a look back and rank the contestants.

2015 American rankings

1. John Isner
2. Jack Sock
3. Steve Johnson
4. Donald Young
5. Sam Querrey
6. Denis Kudla
7. Rajeev Ram
8. Austin Krajicek
9. Tim Smyczek
10. Ryan Harrison
11. Bjorn Fratangelo
12. Dennis Novikov
13. Jared Donaldson
14. Taylor Fritz
15. Frances Tiafoe
16. Alexander Sarkissian
17. Mitchell Krueger
18. Connor Smith
19. Tennys Sandgren
20. Tommy Paul

Scoring system: One point deducted (or one strike against you) per number of ranking spots off for each player you predicted to finish in the top 10. For example, if you had Isner second (he finished first) you would got one point off; if you had Smyczek fifth (he finished 9th) you would get four points off. For players not picked in the top 10 who finished in the top 10, you are deducted points as if you had them ranked 11th. For example, if you did not have Krajicek in the top 10 you would get three points off (he finished 8th); if you did not have Harrison in the top 10 you would get one point off (he finished 10th). Tiebreaker is number of exactly-correct predictions made.

Ben Rothenberg (New York Times): 49 points off, 9/10 in Top 10

Ben repeated as champion with another dominant performance, once again nailing nine of the Top 10 finishers. His only blemish was Klahn, who fell off the map due to injury. Ben also topped the field with four exactly correct picks.

1. John Isner (correct)
2. Sam Querrey (-3)
3. Steve Johnson (correct)
4. Donald Young (correct)
5. Jack Sock (-3)
6. Denis Kudla (correct)
7. Ryan Harrison (-3)
8. Tim Smyczek (-1)
9. Bradley Klahn (-33)
10. Rajeev Ram (-3)

did not have Krajicek (-3)

Ricky Dimon (The Grandstand): 56 points off, 8/10 in Top 10

It was a two-man race, as Ricky’s story is similar—but not similar enough—to that of Ben. Just as in Ben’s Top 10, Ricky’s ninth guy (Jenkins) disappeared due to physical problems. He had eight of the Top 10 as opposed to nine and only Isner was exact. But he came within one on Sock, Johnson, and Young.

1. John Isner (correct)
2. Sam Querrey (-3)
3. Jack Sock (-1)
4. Steve Johnson (-1)
5. Donald Young (-1)
6. Tim Smyczek (-3)
7. Ryan Harrison (-3)
8. Denis Kudla (-2)
9. Jarmere Jenkins (-32)
10. Jared Donaldson (-3)

did not have Ram (-4) and Krajicek (-3)

Josh Meiseles (ATP Tour): 85 points off, 7/10 in Top 10

There was Ben, then there was Ricky, and then there was everyone else. You knew Josh was going for an all-or-nothing situation when he had the younger Harrison returning from hip surgery to finish 10th. He also had Kozlov in the Top 10. But without a doubt, Josh’s worst move was leaving out Sock.

1. John Isner (correct)
2. Steve Johnson (-1)
3. Donald Young (-1)
4. Sam Querrey (-1)
5. Jared Donaldson (-8)
6. Denis Kudla (correct)
7. Tim Smyczek (-2)
8. Stefan Kozlov (-21)
9. Austin Krajicek (-1)
10. Christian Harrison (-36)

did not have Sock (-9), Ram (-4), and R. Harrison (-1)

Joey Hanf (The Tennis Nerds): 87 points off, 7/10 in Top 10

Josh’s picks were salvaged by the fact that he had only one of the three disasters (Klahn, Jenkins, and Christian Harrison) in his Top 10. The remaining three contestants all had two. Joey put Klahn at eighth and Jenkins two spots below. Like Josh, Joey got only seven of 10 (they both missed Ram and Harrison and Joey whiffed on Krajicek, too).

1 John Isner (correct)
2. Sam Querrey (-3)
3. Steve Johnson (correct)
4. Donald Young (correct)
5. Denis Kudla (-1)
6. Tim Smyczek (-3)
7. Jack Sock (-5)
8. Bradley Klahn (-34)
9. Bjorn Fratangelo (-2)
10. Jarmere Jenkins (-31)

did not have Ram (-4), Krajicek (-3), and Harrison (-1)

Romi Cvitkovic (Tennis View Magazine): 88 points off, 8/10 in Top 10

Romi’s picks were arguably better than Joey’s—which isn’t saying a lot. She got eight out of 10 by having Krajicek at No. 9. But she moved Klahn all the way up to sixth, which doomed her predictions.

1. John Isner (correct)
2. Sam Querrey (-4)
3. Jack Sock (-1)
4. Steve Johnson (-1)
5. Tim Smyczek (-4)
6. Bradley Klahn (-36)
7. Donald Young (-3)
8. Denis Kudla (-2)
9. Austin Krajicek (-1)
10. Jarmere Jenkins (-31)

did not have Ram (-4) and Harrison (-1)

Steen Kirby (Tennis Atlantic): 98 points off, 7/10 in Top 10

Steen was by far the worst, even though he started off extremely well. He correctly predicted that Querrey would slide, so he was no worse than one spot off on his top four players. Even through No. 6 he was the best in this field of contestants. But then it all blew up in his face, with Klahn, Jenkins, and Sandgren among those rounding out his list.

1. John Isner (correct)
2. Steve Johnson (-1)
3. Jack Sock (-1)
4. Sam Querrey (-1)
5. Tim Smyczek (-4)
6. Denis Kudla (correct)
7. Bradley Klahn (-35)
8. Jarmere Jenkins (-33)
9. Rajeev Ram (-2)
10. Tennys Sandgren (-10)

did not have Young (-7), Krajicek (-3), and Harrison (-1)

11 Comments on A look back at our 2015 Top 10 American men predictions

  1. Hope Isner cracks top 10 and stays there but I see an 11-20 again then again maybe next year is the year considering how he played this year.

  2. Also what’s with Jenkins I know he did well in that team tennis thing with gabashvili but I thought he’s an average college player how come u and many others put him on your list? Also thought the Christian not ryan thing was pretty hilarious. I would say next years year end top 10 should have fritz tiafoe and maybe kozlov in there unless they get injured of course. Also tommy Paul and maybe Reilly Opelka but that might be a longshot. Also if Harrison keeps up this amazing form (yes that’s sarcasm) I easily seen out of the top 10 Americans especially because he has points to defend at beginning of next year with happy valley challenger.

    • Also Noah Rubin could be there and possibly Mackenzie McDonald cuz both those guys r playing pretty well right now on the challenger circuit. Rubins chances at American top 10 should be helped by Australian open wildcard especially if he can win a match or two with the right draw and stuff. He did get the usta wildcard for the aus open right?

    • Fritz is really good and so is Tiafoe and Paul and Kozlov and Rubin is solid too. Also Donaldson is awesome and Reilly Opelka is 6 foot 10 and should be a beast later on so I don’t know about all of them sucking. Also jack sock is a boss and Steve johnson is good as well. I could see sock and many of these young guys in top 10 if not top 20 in the future.

  3. This whole discussion of “top Americans on the ATP Tour” is really sad, as many of you have pointed out in the past….maybe the new USTA training center in Fla will turn things around….there’s got to be another McEnroe or Agassi out there!

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