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Old
11-18-2012, 03:34 PM
  #951
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Stepanek isn't a journeyman, nor is anyone else in the top 50. He has only been ranked lower than 70 for a few weeks of the last ten years. I have no opinion on whether he should retire (although I wish Troicki had after achieving the same thing in 2010), but his recent and successful partnership with Paes has given him the incentive to hang around the tour, so he might just keep playing singles as long as he can and only officially retire once he is done with doubles.

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11-18-2012, 03:47 PM
  #952
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Originally Posted by kihei View Post
Wouldn't it be the perfect time for Radek to retire? Among other perks, he will not have to buy a drink in the Czech Republic again. He's a 34 year old (in a week and a half) journeyman, and it is never going to get any better than this.
He should only retire when he's ready to. I thought he played really well today and he's going to enjoy this match for the rest of his life.

What pisses me off is Almagro not going hard after a lot of shots. I know he's not a strong indoor player and he doesn't have to dive around and skin his knees but give it a bit more effort.

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11-18-2012, 05:01 PM
  #953
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Stepanek isn't a journeyman, nor is anyone else in the top 50. He has only been ranked lower than 70 for a few weeks of the last ten years.
Over-generalizations are always dangerous, but the above one is particularly nonsensical.

Journeyman:

Quote:
Google Dictionary: A worker or sports player who is reliable but not outstanding.
Quote:
Free Online Dictionary: an experienced and competent but undistinguished worker.
Quote:
Merriam Webster Dictionary: an experienced reliable worker, athlete, or performer especially as distinguished from one who is brilliant or colorful
In Radek's case, all the above shoes fit rather snugly.

Whatever he once was, at 34 and in his 17th year on the tour, Stepanek is certainly a journeyman now, what with one title in the last three years and a 24/25 record this year. Christmas came early for him, though he certainly earned his win today.

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He should only retire when he's ready to. I thought he played really well today and he's going to enjoy this match for the rest of his life.

What pisses me off is Almagro not going hard after a lot of shots. I know he's not a strong indoor player and he doesn't have to dive around and skin his knees but give it a bit more effort.
He seemed tight as a drum. His normally reliable footwork was sometimes way off, he often wasn't doing anything but keeping the ball in play, and it seemed like his brain was frozen. I don't think he was thinking very clearly a lot of time. It's unfortunate because he will have to carry that match with him a long time; fairly or not, it will be seen by many as a career-defining moment, though in all the wrong ways for Almagro.


Last edited by kihei: 11-18-2012 at 05:10 PM.
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Old
11-18-2012, 05:42 PM
  #954
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Originally Posted by kihei View Post
Over-generalizations are always dangerous, but the above one is particularly nonsensical.

Journeyman:


Whatever he once was, at 34 and in his 17th year on the tour, Stepanek is certainly a journeyman now, what with one title in the last three years and a 24/25 record this year.
Only in tennis could anyone consider the soon to be 31st best player a journeyman. A journeyman is someone like Michael Russell, not a former top 10 player, career fixture on the main tour, and a guy who just won a 500 title a little over a year ago, something several of the players ranked above him have never done. Was Haas a journeyman a few months ago?

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11-18-2012, 09:57 PM
  #955
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Only in tennis could anyone consider the soon to be 31st best player a journeyman. A journeyman is someone like Michael Russell, not a former top 10 player, career fixture on the main tour, and a guy who just won a 500 title a little over a year ago, something several of the players ranked above him have never done. Was Haas a journeyman a few months ago?
Oh, you and your silly face palms. You give the impression sometimes that you would be at a loss to express yourself if you couldn't use icons.

You must have some very, super special German/Finnish/English definition of journeymen, because I am going to stick with the one in the dictionary that I have already quoted from three different sources. To whit:

Is Stepanek reliable but not outstanding? Is he experienced and competent but undistinguished? (He didn't beat God, he beat Almagro). Is he reliable, but not brilliant nor colourful? I would say yes to all the above. There is nothing dishonourable about being a journeyman; it is not the same as being a tomato can. It basically means you are a competent professional tennis player, long serving, but not especially gifted. Stepanek is an honest worker that does his best and who is normally absolutely delighted to get to the round of sixteen in a big tournament. He is by the very definition of the term a bloody journeyman.

Haas has had a great year, but basically it is a great journeyman's year at this stage of his career.

Journeymen in the top fifty seems to surprise you? I would argue that we just had one such player briefly in the top ten: Monaco.

Here's some other players whom I would throw into the mix in your sacred Top Fifty:

Kohlschreiber
Youzhny
Seppi
Melzer
Chardy
Baghdatis
Anderson
Troicki
Lopez
Andujar
Istomin
Nieminen
Ramos

Unlike Haas, most of these guys were never ever really somebodies to begin with. They fit the definition of journeyman to a tee. They may win a small tournament or two in their career but, basically, they travel around a lot (like, er, people who journey to keep up), play a whole bunch of tournaments, pull the odd upset, but they are usually cannon fodder in the 1000 tournaments and Grand Slams after the second or third round. They are the worker ants of tennis. Good for them, but that's all they are.


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11-18-2012, 11:16 PM
  #956
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Is Stepanek reliable but not outstanding? Is he experienced and competent but undistinguished? (He didn't beat God, he beat Almagro). Is he reliable, but not brilliant nor colourful? I would say yes to all the above. There is nothing dishonourable about being a journeyman; it is not the same as being a tomato can. It basically means you are a competent professional tennis player, long serving, but not especially gifted. Stepanek is an honest worker that does his best and who is normally absolutely delighted to get to the round of sixteen in a big tournament. He is by the very definition of the term a bloody journeyman.

Haas has had a great year, but basically it is a great journeyman's year at this stage of his career.

Journeymen in the top fifty seems to surprise you? I would argue that we just had one such player briefly in the top ten: Monaco.

Well it's really semantics at this point, but it all depends on how long your view is. You could easily argue Ferrer is "undistinguished, reliable but not outstanding or colorful." For me, anyone who doesn't have to play challengers is definitely not a journeyman. A journeyman isn't someone who was once at the top of the sport but has declined either - ruling out Hewitt even - it's someone who was always a mediocre player. You're basically saying 95% or more of tennis professionals are journeymen, which makes it a pointless distinction to begin with.

Quote:
Here's some other players whom I would throw into the mix in your sacred Top Fifty:

Kohlschreiber
Youzhny
Seppi
Melzer
Chardy
Baghdatis
Anderson
Troicki
Lopez
Andujar
Istomin
Nieminen
Ramos

Unlike Haas, most of these guys were never ever really somebodies to begin with. They fit the definition of journeyman to a tee. They may win a small tournament or two in their career but, basically, they travel around a lot (like, er, people who journey to keep up), play a whole bunch of tournaments, pull the odd upset, but they are usually cannon fodder in the 1000 tournaments and Grand Slams after the second or third round. They are the worker ants of tennis. Good for them, but that's all they are.
They're really not the worker ants of tennis though. They're steady or good professionals who get decent sponsorship money and make a good profit. Many of those guys played less events than Tipsarevic, but I don't see you rushing to add him to their ranks. Like I said above, if somebody needs to routinely reach the fourth round of a slam or better - and do it in the recent past - not to be considered a journeyman, you probably have too loose a definition of the term.

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11-19-2012, 12:36 AM
  #957
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Originally Posted by Deficient Mode View Post
Well it's really semantics at this point, but it all depends on how long your view is.
Or narrow. Or arbitrary.

Quote:
You could easily argue Ferrer is "undistinguished, reliable but not outstanding or colorful."
You might argue that. I doubt any sane person would.

Quote:
For me, anyone who doesn't have to play challengers is definitely not a journeyman. A journeyman isn't someone who was once at the top of the sport but has declined either - ruling out Hewitt even - it's someone who was always a mediocre player.
Sounds pretty arbitrary to me, like your definition of the term is only based on what you say it is, rather than any denotation of the term that is out there. I would also make something of a distinction among tomato cans, mediocrities and journeymen.

Quote:
You're basically saying 95% or more of tennis professionals are journeymen, which makes it a pointless distinction to begin with.
See above. Though I do think that a high percentage of performers in any professional sport are indeed the equivalent of tomato cans, mediocrities and journeymen.

Quote:
They're really not the worker ants of tennis though. They're steady or good professionals who get decent sponsorship money and make a good profit.
Sure they are. That also sounds like a pretty good definition of journeymen to me. Many of these guys do keep playing because it is a good living. They either never were or have long stopped being contenders.

Quote:
Many of those guys played less events than Tipsarevic, but I don't see you rushing to add him to their ranks. Like I said above, if somebody needs to routinely reach the fourth round of a slam or better - and do it in the recent past - not to be considered a journeyman, you probably have too loose a definition of the term.
As usual, you are putting works in my mouth that I didn't state in a lame attempt to try to make a point that you can't seem to support any other way. Think it over. You are now referring to the top 16 players in the world. Outside of Monaco, how many of them did I list? Short answer: zero. In other words, they were not among my examples of journeymen. Most of the guys I listed might make the fourth round of a slam, but not on anything approaching a regular basis (take recent top tenner Monaco, for example: he has been to the fourth round in a Slam a total of four times in his long not especially distinguished, but certainly reliably competent, much travelled journeyman career).


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11-19-2012, 01:20 AM
  #958
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No one is putting words into your mouth. The Tipsarevic example was obviously meant to illustrate how ridiculous it is to consider the number of events played - how much they "journey."

My definition isn't arbitrary at all. It's based on the conviction that "journeyman" implies a degree of apprenticeship - that one has not mastered the craft - and even bricolage totally unfitting to be used to designate "workers" in the top 5% or better among their peers - full-time professionals including those playing Challengers and Futures - just because they aren't a factor in Slam events. Go start a thread on the main board claiming that the player you consider to be the 20th best in the NHL - like Kohlschreiber on the ATP - is a journeyman and see what kind of responses you get.

Frankly, it's ignorant simply to classify most of the people outside the top 10 with varying degrees of insults from "journeyman" to "tomato can" to still worse just because they don't challenge the top players in big events. The tour doesn't revolve around performance against 4, 10, or however many players you like.

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11-19-2012, 02:04 AM
  #959
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No one is putting words into your mouth. The Tipsarevic example was obviously meant to illustrate how ridiculous it is to consider the number of events played - how much they "journey."
Like it or not, journeymen do tend to play a lot of tournaments. That's maximizes points and profits. That's one means of survival.

Quote:
My definition isn't arbitrary at all. It's based on the conviction that "journeyman" implies a degree of apprenticeship - that one has not mastered the craft - and even bricolage totally unfitting to be used to designate "workers" in the top 5% or better among their peers - full-time professionals including those playing Challengers and Futures - just because they aren't a factor in Slam events.
Not arbitrary but based on conviction. Find me a definition, then, that mentions apprentices. You won't find one. What you are going to find is something like this:
Quote:
An experienced and competent but undistinguished worker (the Free Dictionary).
or
Quote:
an experienced reliable worker, athlete, or performer especially as distinguished from one who is brilliant or colorful
That's what the word means and that's how I am using it. The rest of that part of your comment I can't decipher.

Quote:
Go start a thread on the main board claiming that the player you consider to be the 20th best in the NHL - like Kohlschreiber on the ATP - is a journeyman and see what kind of responses you get.
Silly example. Let me just point out the obvious: there are a hell of a lot more professional hockey players than tennis players.

Quote:
Frankly, it's ignorant simply to classify most of the people outside the top 10 with varying degrees of insults from "journeyman" to "tomato can" to still worse just because they don't challenge the top players in big events. The tour doesn't revolve around performance against 4, 10, or however many players you like.
I think I named 14 players in the top 50, so you are overgeneralizing once again. Plus, the definition has nothing to do with who I like. I respect many journeymen, including many of the ones that I've already mentioned, starting with Monaco.

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11-19-2012, 06:36 AM
  #960
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Here is a special photo from yesterday, 1980 winners together with 2012 winners


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11-19-2012, 11:10 AM
  #961
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Like it or not, journeymen do tend to play a lot of tournaments. That's maximizes points and profits. That's one means of survival.
Means of survival? Don't be daft. Like I've said, those "journeymen" you named live cushy lives, especially compared to most professional tennis players. The fact that they play more events (or not, again compared to Tipsarevic) has nothing to do with surviving:the top guys too would play just as much if they weren't going deep in most events; if their bodies could handle playing that many matches. Everyone tries to make as much money as they can.

A dictionary definition doesn't support your argument any more than it refutes it. I consider many of those guys to be "brilliant" and "colorful" players - like Youzhny - and many of them - like Chardy and Melzer - aren't reliable and consistent players at all. Like I said, one could make Ferrer fit those criteria if one had an even stricter notion of what is "distinguished" than you do. I don't think he is especially brilliant or colorful.

The word "journeyman" and its equivalents in other languages originally applied to craftsmen. That's where the aspect of apprenticeship comes in.

Quote:
Silly example. Let me just point out the obvious: there are a hell of a lot more professional hockey players than tennis players.
More that you know about and pay attention to. But go ahead and ask if the 100th best player is a journeyman then. That's on average the third or fourth best player on an NHL team.

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11-19-2012, 11:11 AM
  #962
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Here is a special photo from yesterday, 1980 winners together with 2012 winners

Rosol

Is that a... smile on Lendl's face?

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11-19-2012, 11:48 AM
  #963
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11-19-2012, 12:27 PM
  #964
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Honestly, I could watch that over and over again...

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11-19-2012, 08:08 PM
  #965
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More that you know about and pay attention to. But go ahead and ask if the 100th best player is a journeyman then. That's on average the third or fourth best player on an NHL team.
This is the only interesting bit. Tennis players don't really break down much into categories. Sure, you could claim that a particular player is good indoors or a clay court specialist, but to be among the ultra elite these days, tennis players pretty much have to be generalists. In that respect, they have more in common with marathon runners (or bowlers, for that matter) in that their ranking is very hierarchical. The creamiest of the cream is at the top and then it gradually dilutes as one works one's way down.

That isn't how it works in hockey, or any other team sport. In those sports, there are specialists, rather than generalists. In a hockey team, for instance, there are goalies, forwards and defensemen; in baseball, outfielders, infielders, pitchers and catchers, and so on with the other team sports. Even these categories can be broken down further--pitchers can be starters, long relievers, set up men, closers, for instance. The 20th best player in tennis might be roughly comparable to the 20th best marathoner or 20th best badminton player, but he most certainly isn't going to be comparable to the best hockey players or baseball players because the hierarchy doesn't work that way in those sports.

Quote:
The word "journeyman" and its equivalents in other languages originally applied to craftsmen. That's where the aspect of apprenticeship comes in.
A reference would be helpful...Just curious.


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11-20-2012, 09:44 AM
  #966
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Don't know if it already has been posted here, but I don't think so:

Federer not invited for (Abu Dhabi) Mubadala World Tennis Championship

They said, Roger Federer is not good enough for this event.
It's true, unlike Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, he never won it, but I'm not sure if Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Janko Tipsarevic have won it either.

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Federe...icolo7064.html

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11-20-2012, 10:31 AM
  #967
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Don't know if it already has been posted here, but I don't think so:

Federer not invited for (Abu Dhabi) Mubadala World Tennis Championship

They said, Roger Federer is not good enough for this event.
It's true, unlike Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, he never won it, but I'm not sure if Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Janko Tipsarevic have won it either.

http://www.tennisworldusa.org/Federe...icolo7064.html
Wow. Janko over Roger. Should do wonders for Tipsarevic's ego, despite the fact that he is zero for six against Roger.

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11-20-2012, 01:49 PM
  #968
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Notice how that was released 3 days after Federer released his whole schedule for 2013 - in which he significantly scaled back, and neither Doha nor Abu Dhabi nor any other AO warmup was listed? Either this is just their reaction to his schedule ("you don't get to quit, we're firing you") or this was a long time coming due to Federer's split from IMG, who manage the tournament. Either way, this quote is pure bs:

Quote:
“But the celebration of champions and the youth of the ATP, which we have in spades here with arguably the six hottest young players in the game, was our aim from the outset. These guys have more Grand Slam victories ahead of them rather than behind them.”
Ferrer, Berdych, Tipsarevic young? Nadal with more Slam victories ahead of him than behind him? Yeah, okay. Glad my three favorite top ten players aren't taking part in this ****** exhibition.


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11-21-2012, 02:54 AM
  #969
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Not every day I see a set between the 1281st and 633rd players in the world, Manegin and Bury respectively. In the nine games of Manegin's 7-6 win that I saw, only one point went beyond four strokes. Maybe four points went four strokes, and roughly a half dozen made it to three. Neither had any luck at all returning the other's not especially powerful serve. The match was played on an indoor court in front of what looked like zero spectators. Quite a different glimpse into the game.


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11-23-2012, 07:06 PM
  #970
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Filpulla, if you are out there, any thoughts on the year or the next one coming up. I miss your end of your rankings.

Here's a game to play if people get bored before the new season begins. Pick five players from the top fifty whom you think will move up next year and five players whom you think will drop lower:

Going Down

(2) Roger Federer: Murray finally passes him
(12) Juan Monaco: A year that will be tough to repeat
(21) Tommy Haas: The renaissance comes to an end
(23) Andreas Seppi: Another year that may be tough to equal
(35) Julien Benneteau: Made the most of a good year, getting older

Going Up

(7) Juan Martin Del Potro: I think he will pass Berdych
(19) Kei Nishikori: I just like his game; is improving on all surfaces
(34) Marcel Granollers: sort of a streaky player, but maybe on the rise next year
(46) David Goffin: all the indicators suggest he is making nice, steady progress
(48) Grigor Dmitrov: looks to me ready to put a really decent year together.

Not sure about Raonic and not sure that Janowicz isn't getting a little ahead of himself either, so I didn't include them.

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11-24-2012, 12:46 AM
  #971
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Those are good or plausible choices. I'd only contend Haas and Granollers. Haas has little to defend between now and Roland Garros - somewhere in the vicinity of 200 points - so I think he'll keep climbing in the short term if he stays healthy (always a big if for him). Granollers I don't see getting any higher than the top 20 - as he did this year - unless he wins Valencia again. He just isn't that good.

Going up:
Raonic
Wawrinka
Querrey
Janowicz (He has almost the full season to get a foothold on the main tour)
Matosevic (Ever so slightly)

Going down:
Tipsarevic
Isner
Verdasco
Istomin
Davydenko (sadly)

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11-24-2012, 01:06 AM
  #972
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Originally Posted by Deficient Mode View Post
Those are good or plausible choices. I'd only contend Haas and Granollers. Haas has little to defend between now and Roland Garros - somewhere in the vicinity of 200 points - so I think he'll keep climbing in the short term if he stays healthy (always a big if for him). Granollers I don't see getting any higher than the top 20 - as he did this year - unless he wins Valencia again. He just isn't that good.

Going up:
Raonic
Wawrinka
Querrey
Janowicz (He has almost the full season to get a foothold on the main tour)
Matosevic (Ever so slightly)

Going down:
Tipsarevic
Isner
Verdasco
Istomin
Davydenko (sadly)
I gave a thought to all of those, and the one that I most reluctantly left off my list was Janowicz. So I'm hoping I'm wrong there.

I don't see Granollers as going higher than, say, 20 to 25, I just think he will move upward from 34. That being said, I don't think I'm quite as willing as you to dismiss his ability to improve as a player. I still don't like him, but I think his game is a little bit better than I originally gave him credit for.

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11-24-2012, 12:12 PM
  #973
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The other thing to take into consideration about Granollers is that he might begin to devote more energy to doubles, where the most notable strength of his game - his net play - makes a bigger impact. He played 70 doubles matches in 2012 as opposed to 49 in 2011.

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11-26-2012, 01:09 AM
  #974
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Oooo this should be fun:

Goin' up
Raonic (IMO he ends the year in the top 10)
JMDP
Querrey
Nishikori
Monfils (maybe a coaching change will get him back on track)

Goin' down
Tipsarevic
Almagro
Haas
Fish
Beneteau


Last edited by Cruiser008: 11-26-2012 at 01:21 AM.
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11-26-2012, 01:35 AM
  #975
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Oooo this should be fun:

Goin' up
Raonic (IMO he ends the year in the top 10)
JMDP
Querrey
Nishikori
Monfils (maybe a coaching change will get him back on track)

Goin' down
Tipsarevic
Almagro
Haas
Fish
Beneteau
Monfils, of course. Completely escaped my mind.

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