A look back at our 2016 Top 10 American men predictions

Before the 2016 season got underway, a six-team panel made its predictions for the Top 10 American men according to the year-end rankings. Another long year is over, so now it’s time to take a look back and rank the contestants.

2016 American rankings

1. John Isner
2. Jack Sock
3. Sam Querrey
4. Steve Johnson
5. Taylor Fritz
6. Donald Young
7. Ryan Harrison
8. Jared Donaldson
9. Frances Tiafoe
10. Bjorn Fratangelo
11. Stefan Kozlov
12. Rajeev Ram
13. Denis Kudla
14. Tim Smyczek
15. Ernesto Escobedo
16. Dennis Novikov
17. Tennys Sandgren
18. Michael Mmoh
19. Noah Rubin
20. Alexander Sarkissian
21. Reilly Opelka
22. Mitchell Krueger
23. Sekou Bangoura
24. Brian Baker
25. Austin Krajicek

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 Donaldson fifth (he finished eighth) you would get three 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 Tiafoe in the top 10 you would get two points off (he finished ninth); if you did not have Fratangelo in the top 10 you would get one point off (he finished 10th). Tiebreaker is number of exactly-correct predictions made.

1) Ricky Dimon (The Grandstand): 27 points off, 8/10 in Top 10

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

did not have Tiafoe (-2) and Fratangelo (-1)

Ricky’s only poor pick relative to the rest of the competition was Smyczek at No. 6. The 2013 winner of this competition nailed Harrison right on the number, whereas four others missed Harrison altogether. The only Top 10ers Ricky left out finished ninth (Tiafoe) and 10th (Fratangelo).

2) Matt Cronin (Tennis Reporters): 29 points off, 8/10 in Top 10

1. Jack Sock (-1)
2. John Isner (-1)
3. Steve Johnson (-1)
4. Denis Kudla (-9)
5. Sam Querrey (-2)
6. Donald Young (correct)
7. Jared Donaldson (-1)
8. Taylor Fritz (-3)
9. Tim Smyczek (-5)
10. Frances Tiafoe (-1)

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

Matt would have tied Ricky for first place (but would still have lost on the tiebreaker of exactly correct picks) if he had put Isner at No. 1. Instead, he was the only one who did not have the big guy in the top spot. Matt was mostly doomed by picking Kudla to finish fourth.

3) Joey Hanf (The Tennis Nerds): 33 points off, 8/10 in Top 10

1. John Isner (correct)
2. Steve Johnson (-2)
3. Jack Sock (-1)
4. Donald Young (-2)
5. Denis Kudla (-8)
6. Sam Querrey (-3)
7. Taylor Fritz (-2)
8. Tim Smyczek (-6)
9. Bjorn Fratangelo (-1)
10. Jared Donaldson (-2)

did not have Harrison (-4) and Tiafoe (-2)

Not unlike many others, Joey fell victim to holding both Kudla and Smyczek in too-high esteem. He was also hurt by being two off on Johnson (although that was close to right on the money) and three off on Querrey. Having Fratangelo in the Top 10 could not quite save him.

4) Ben Rothenberg (New York Times): 35 points off, 7/10 in Top 10

1. John Isner (correct)
2. Jack Sock (correct)
3. Steve Johnson (-1)
4. Sam Querrey (-1)
5. Taylor Fritz (correct)
6. Donald Young (correct)
7. Denis Kudla (-6)
8. Jared Donaldson (correct)
9. Tim Smyczek (-5)
10. Austin Krajicek (-15)

did not have Harris0n (-4), Tiafoe (-2), and Fratangelo (-1)

The defending champion of this competition, Ben started strong with the Isner-Sock double and led the field in exact picks–also nailing Fritz, Young, and Donaldson. But deciding to put Krajicek in the 10th and final spot sealed his unfortunate fate. Leaving out Harrison also hurt.


5) Jared Pine (The Second Serb)
: 38 points off, 8/10 in Top 10

1. John Isner (correct)
2. Jack Sock (correct)
3. Steve Johnson (-1)
4. Donald Young (-2)
5. Sam Querrey (-2)
6. Denis Kudla (-7)
7. Jared Donaldson (-1)
8. Ryan Harrison (-1)
9. Austin Krajicek (-16)
10. Bjorn Fratangelo (correct)

did not have Fritz (-6) and Tiafoe (-2)
Jared successfully placed Isner and Sock in the top two spots and bookended his picks with a bullseye on Fratangelo at No. 10. In between, however, he was way off on Kudla and–like Ben–lost all hope by putting Krajicek in his Top 10. Leaving out Fritz altogether also crippled Jared’s otherwise pretty-good predictions.

6) Steen Kirby (Tennis Atlantic): 51 points off, 7/10 in Top 10

1. John Isner (correct)
2. Jack Sock (correct)
3. Steve Johnson (-1)
4. Denis Kudla (-9)
5. Sam Querrey (-2)
6. Donald Young (correct)
7. Austin Krajicek (-18)
8. Jared Donaldson (correct)
9. Tim Smyczek (-5)
10. Frances Tiafoe (-1)

did not have Fritz (-6), Harrison (-4), and Fratangelo (-1)

Being right on target with Young at No. 6 and Donaldson at No. 8 to go along with the more expected picks of Isner at No. 1 and Sock at No. 2 could not dig Steen out of last place. Kudla at No. 4 and Krajicek at No. 7 were absolute killers. Throwing Smyczek in there hurt, as well. Steen also whiffed on Fritz and Harrison.


15 Comments on A look back at our 2016 Top 10 American men predictions

  1. 1) Isner
    2) Sock
    3) Johnson
    4) Young
    5) Querrey
    6) Kudla
    7) Fritz
    8) Donaldson
    9) Krajicek
    10) Smyczek
    Those were mine. I remember almost putting Harrison or Tiafoe in the last spot but didn’t. Don’t think I did so hot on this lol. Especially with krajicek in there.

  2. 1) Isner (correct)
    2) Sock (correct)
    3) Johnson (-1)
    4) Young (-2)
    5) Querrey (-2)
    6) Kudla (-7)
    7) Fritz (-2)
    8) Donaldson (correct)
    9) Krajicek (-16)
    10) Smyczek (-4)
    Yep Krajicek killed me. Surprised I got Donaldson right though. 34 points off for me. Screw you Krajicek lol. Didn’t expect him to fall off the rails like he did this season. I think he had injuries or something. His form just dipped tremendously. 2015 he made the Tokyo quarters for crying out loud now he can barely reach a challenger quarterfinal.

    • Oh wait forgot to add guys in I didn’t have. Didn’t have Tiafoe (-2) didn’t have Harrison (-4) didn’t have fratangelo (-1). So I was actually 41 points off for me.

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