Prior to the start of the 2019 ATP season it’s time to look at the seasons that the 2018 year end ATP top 50 put together. This series starts with players ranked #50 in the world up to #40 in the world. A review of the 39-30 ranking spots is here.
50: Robin Haase
Veteran Robin Haase continued his steady ATP caliber career, posting a 24-31 record that featured a pair of 250 level semifinals (Auckland and Umag), and three ATP quarterfinals, most notably at his home tournament in Rotterdam, and the Rogers Cup Masters in Canada. The Dutchman, who has suffered due to his poor mental game, only had one top 10 win on the season, defeating Alexander Zverev in Cincinnati over the Summer. Most notably though in his 7 matches against top 10 players on the season, he won a set or more in 5 them, meaning his game has some upside potential in 2019.
49: Taylor Fritz
The 21 year old American Fritz reached a career high of 47 during the 2018 season, with a 23-20 tour level record. A title or a slam breakthrough still eludes the talented young American but he showed staying power with a pair of 250 level semifinals (Chengdu and Houston) and three more ATP quarterfinals (Basel, Lyon, and Delray Beach). Fritz started and finished the year strong, with a slump in the middle, and in 2019 he’ll be aiming for his first second week showing at a slam, and a maiden ATP title.
48: Dusan Lajovic
Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic has had a late career surge and at 28 finished at a career high ranking of 48 after compiling a 24-24 tour level record in 2018. Lajovic reached a semifinal in Lyon and the quarters in Umag, Kitzbuhel, and Beijing despite reaching no tour level finals and doing little of note in the slams or Masters. His two biggest results of the year were wins over Grigor Dimitrov in Beijing and Juan Maritn Del Potro in Madrid, both in three sets. Lajovic will be aiming for a maiden title in 2019.
47: Damir Dzumhur
Bosnia’s top ATP player reached a career high of 23 during the season and after winning an ATP title in Antalya, on grass, he finished the year with a 25-31 tour level record. He posted his best results at the 250 level, including a semifinal in Cabo and four more quarterfinals. Dzumhur was unable to beat a top 10 player (0-6) and will need to improve his results against better competition if he’s going to finish 2019 in the top 30.
46: Matt Ebden
Australia’s Matt Ebden finished the year inside the top 50 and was ranked as high as #39 during the season. Ebden was 19-22 on the season and scored big wins against John Isner, Dominic Thiem, and David Goffin during the season. He also posted a Masters quarterfinal in Shanghai, and two ATP semis, Den Bosch and Atlanta. Ebden has rebuilt his career and will be aiming to cement himself as an ATP level player on a consistent basis next season.
45: Malek Jaziri
After a 23-23 season Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri finished the year with a career high ranking of #45, the late bloomer (age 34) has never won an ATP title and will be gunning hard to win one in 2019 as the clock is ticking on his career. The talented ball striker upset Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, and Grigor Dimitrov during the season and reached an ATP final in Istanbul, coming up just short of his first title. He also had a semi in Dubai (500 level), and three more ATP level quarterfinals, two in China and Marrakech. Despite not being an elite player, Jaziri’s game is fun to watch and he’s worth checking out when on tv.
44: Joao Sousa
With a 29-27 record and an ATP title in 2018, Sousa remains Portugal’s #1 player and has become a regular part of the ATP top 50. Sousa upset David Goffin and Alexander Zverev during the season, lifted his home title in Estoril, and had two more semifinals in Chengdu and Marrakech. At 29 and going on 30, Sousa’s window for a breakthrough is closing and he needs to make his mark in 2019.
43: Nicolas Jarry
23 year old Nicolas Jarry is Chile’s best ATP player since Fernando Gonzalez and after a 27-22 record on the season he finished the year at 43 (with a career high of 39 during the season). A rising star, Jarry reached a final in Sao Paulo and had three more ATP semifinals, all on clay, Hamburg, Kitzbuhel, and Rio. Jarry won both of his top 10 matches, defeating Marin Cilic in Shanghai and Dominic Thiem in Hamburg, showing his game has tons of potential. Jarry is at his best on clay and will look to post better results at the major clay tournaments next season including Madrid and the French Open.
42: Adrian Mannarino
30 year old Adrian Mannarino nearly broke into the top 20 in 2018 and finished the year at 42 after a 26-30 record. Mannarino is another player who has never won an ATP title as he lost both of his finals chances this year in Moscow and Antalya. Mannarino had one more semi (New York) on the season, but struggled against top competition as he may be running up against his ceiling.
41: Martin Klizan
Former top 30 player Martin Klizan showed signs of returning to his best form, at 29 he posted a 22-9 tour record, after returning from an injury shortened 2017. Klizan lifted the trophy in Kitzbuhel, lost the final in St. Petersburg and had two more quarterfinals on the season, as he rose back into the ATP ranks from the challenger tour. Klizan stunned Dominic Thiem at his home tournament in Kitzbuhel, plus upset Novak Djokovic in Barcelona and will look to upset more top players in 2019.
40: Jeremy Chardy
31 year old Jeremy Chardy went 24-23 on the season, another steady but less than fantastic season for the Frenchman. Chardy lost the only ATP final he played in in Den Bosch this season, and had two more semifinals, in London, and Istanbul. Chardy can be dangerous at times but he rarely rises to the occasion to upset top competition, thus he has a ceiling.