Our year end review for the 2020 season on the ATP Tour concludes with a look at the players who finished the year ranked 6-10.
Italy’s top player Berrettini struggled in 2020 with injuries, and benefited from the ATP’s coronavirus rankings freeze to stay in the top 10 at year’s end. His brief season finished with just a 9-6 record, and he advanced to the quarterfinals of a tournament just once, at home in Rome. His 6 losses largely came against unheralded players including Daniel Altmaier and Marcos Giron to close out the season. Though it wasn’t an official ATP event, Berrettini did find success in the UTS exhibition where he beat Tsitsipas to be crowned champion. Berrettini’s goal in 2021 will be to return to form and stay healthy after a groin injury cost him opportunities in 2020.
Argentina’s top player Schwartzman reached a career high of #8 during the 2020 season with a 25-15 record which included finals in Cordoba, Rome (lost to Djokovic), and Cologne. Schwartzman was denied an ATP title but did beat Dominic Thiem to reach the semifinals at Roland Garros (lost to Nadal), and his Rome result included wins against Rafael Nadal and Denis Shapovalov. Schwartzman will need to improve his hard court results if he’s going to maintain or exceed his current rankings, though the bulk of his ranking points will likely continue to come from clay.
Rublev was 41-10 on the season, he started and finished strong to end the year at a career high ranking of #8. Rublev began the year winning 11 straight matches including titles in Doha and Adelaide, that streak came to an end with a loss to Alexander Zverev in Australia. He beat Berrettini to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open, and also reached the quarterfinals at the French Open after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas to win Hamburg.
His 4th and 5th ATP titles on the season came in St. Petersburg, a home tournament, and Vienna respectively. Rublev went on an 11th match winning streak at the end of the season including a win against Dominic Thiem, a feat he repeated at the ATP finals shortly thereafter. Presuming the 2021 features a full calendar, a move into the top 5, with better results in the Grand Slams, is on deck for Rublev.
Serious allegations of domestic violence undermined all of the positives of Zverev’s 2020 and he enters the 2021 season under a cloud of trouble, with a debate ongoing about how the ATP should handle the matter. On the court, the German was 28-11 with three ATP finals (two of which ended in titles in Cologne, a home tournament for him), and a Grand Slam final at the US Open. Zverev’s final at the US Open, and semifinal to start the season at the Australian Open were both career best results for him in those prestigious tournaments, but twice he came up short against Dominic Thiem.
Zverev has previously struggled in the Grand Slams, but was able to reach the second week in all three that were played in 2020 as he gutted out wins against the likes of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Pablo Carreno Busta over best of 5. To make further strides in 2021 on the court, Zverev will need to improve against his fellow top 10 players, he was just 3-6 on the season against those players, with his best win coming against Rafael Nadal at the Paris Masters, a favorable indoor hard court surface for his game.
Tsitsipas put together a great 2020 campaign going 29-14 with one ATP title (Marseille) and two more finals in Hamburg and Dubai. The Grand Slams were not as impressive overall for Tsitsipas, his best result was the semifinals of the French Open (lost to Novak Djokovic), but he lost to Milos Raonic and Borna Coric in the third round of the Australian and US Open’s respectively. Tsitsipas also didn’t secure a top 5 win during the shortened season (0-4) and suffered some surprising losses, including losses to the lesser known Ugo Humbert in Paris and Aljaz Bedene in Rotterdam. Greece’s #1 player will be looking to have a more consistent 2021 and make his move into the top 5.