ATP 2016 Year in Review: 16-20

This offseason, Last Word On Tennis will be looking back at the seasons of the top 50 players on each tour. This installment includes the ATP 2016 players ranked 16-20.

ATP 2016 Year in Review: 16-20

16. Roger Federer

High Points:

In all honesty, it’s been a season to forget for the Swiss superstar. That said, despite being struck down by injury Federer managed to reach the semifinals of the Australian Open where he lost in four sets to the eventual champion, Novak Djokovic. However, it was on the grass of Wimbledon where the 17-time Grand Slam winner produced his greatest moment of 2016. Rolling back the years, Federer produced stunning tennis to come from two sets down and defeat Marin Čilić in the quarterfinals.

Low Points:

Most of the low points have been off the court rather than on it for Federer. He had to undergo surgery for the first time in his career in February. This was after he tweaked his knee when running a bath for his children. Before he could find his feet again, Federer had to pull out of the French Open, this time due to an issue with his back. And despite a good showing at Wimbledon, he decided to end his season early to focus on recovering from an injured knee. Consequently he has dropped out of the top ten for the first time since 2001.

Other Highlights:

By defeating Marin Čilić, Federer reached a record-equalling 11th semifinal and produced an 84th win at SW19. The Swiss shares this impressive feat with Jimmy Connors. He also became the oldest Wimbledon semifinalist since 39-year-old Ken Rosewall in 1974.

17. Grigor Dimitrov

High Points:

Despite a late resurgence at the end of the summer, Grigor Dimitrov has endured a nightmarish 2016. Trying to pick out his high points is a test in itself, but his greatest achievement was reaching his third career Masters semifinal in Cincinnati. The Bulgarian can also boast a win over Andy Murray after he defeated the then-World #2 in Miami.

Low Points:

Where to start? He failed to make it past round four of a Grand Slam and only made it past the last 16 of two Masters 1000 events. Moreover, a poor start to 2016 saw him drop to a three-year low of #35 in the world rankings. When his form didn’t pick up, the Bulgarian found himself unseeded at Wimbledon; it was the first time he hadn’t been seeded in a Grand Slam since 2013. On top of all of this he sacked his coach prior to SW19, although none of this was his lowest point. That came in the final of Istanbul where, after serving for the match, Dimitrov buckled and had a full scale meltdown. After smashing three rackets and being warned by the umpire, Dimitrov automatically forfeited the match to Diego Schwartzman [1].

 

Other Highlights:

Apart from reaching the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup and the final of Beijing, there wasn’t much for Dimitrov to shout about in the rest of 2016.

18. Richard Gasquet

High Points:

The Frenchman had a decent first half of the year. He missed out on the Australian Open due to injury, but he won a fourth title in Montpelier. He also made his first ever French Open quarterfinal, defeating Nick Kyrgios and Kei Nishikori on his way to the last eight.

Low Points:

Injury significantly affected Gasquet’s season as it resulted in him missing both the Australian Open and the Olympics. Similarly, the Frenchman was forced to retire from his fourth round match at Wimbledon against his fellow countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga due to injury. His other low points include a first round exit at the US Open and his failure to make it past the last 16 of a Masters 1000 event.

Other Highlights:

Gasquet also found success later in the year in Antwerp where he defeated Diego Schwartzman to win the title.

 

19. John Isner

High Points:

The big American might not have set the world on fire in 2016, but he certainly had some highlights. He reached his third Masters final in Paris by defeating the likes of David Ferrer, Jack Sock, and Marin Čilić. Unfortunately for Isner he lost to an inspired Andy Murray in the final. Isner managed to regain the American #1 spot, which he previously lost to Steve Johnson, to ensure he finished as the top player in his country for the fifth year in a row.

Low Points:

There were a couple of particular low points for Isner during the season. The first was losing his American #1 ranking to Steve Johnson. It was the first time in three years that Isner wasn’t the USA’s top player. The other low point came when the American found himself on the losing end of a marathon match at Wimbledon. Unlike his historic contest against Nicolas Mahut in 2010, Isner lost 19-17 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a four hour thriller.

Other Highlights:

Isner also discovered the winning touch in doubles, winning his second Masters title with Jack Sock in Shanghai.

20. Ivo Karlovic

High Points:

It was a historic year for the big-serving Croat as he became the oldest man in 37 years (at 37 years old) to win an ATP Tour title. The big moment came when Karlovic defeated Gilles Muller in the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in three sets. He also added a second title when he overcame Feliciano Lopez to win in Los Cabos.

 

Low Points:

Although there were plenty of positives for Karlovic in 2016, there were also some disappointments. He never made it past the first round at five of the seven Masters events he played. Similarly, the 39-year-old crashed out of the Australian Open in the first round to Federico Delbonis. And although he is a former quarterfinalist, Karlovic lost to #123 Lukas Lacko in the second round of Wimbledon.

Other Highlights:

Karlovic made the fourth round of the US Open for the first time before succumbing to defeat by Andy Murray. He also equalled his best performance at the French Open by once again reaching the third round. The Croat is also the oldest player in the year end ATP top 100.

Other ATP Year in Reviews:
1-5
11-15

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