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Discussion Starter #1
Now that the year is over, who do you think were the most improved and most declined players of 2020?

As I'd done once before for 2018, I took the year-end Elo ratings from UTS, and compared them with the year-end ratings for 2020 taking the difference between the year-end rating in 2020 vs. 2019.

Here is what I got for most improved players in the first table below.
Not surprisingly, Sinner is at the very top, with a whopping 197-point jump. It's also not surprising to see Rublev, Pospisil in there.


Year-end Elo Rating
RankTop 20 most improved players of 202020192020Difference
1Jannik Sinner1,7921,989197
2Ugo Humbert1,8592,002143
3Alejandro Davidovich Fokina1,7511,881130
4Andrey Rublev2,0712,182111
5Marcos Giron1,7121,823111
6Vasek Pospisil1,8871,987100
7Norbert Gombos1,7391,83798
8Casper Ruud1,8701,96191
9Thiago Monteiro1,7311,81281
10Tommy Paul1,7871,86780
11Cem Ilkel1,5711,64675
12Dimitar Kuzmanov1,5871,65972
13Pablo Carreno Busta2,0082,07466
14Daniel Evans1,8981,96365
15Pedro Sousa1,6101,67363
16Lorenzo Sonego1,8501,91161
17Stefano Travaglia1,7391,79960
18Soon Woo Kwon1,7631,82259
19Alexander Zverev2,1242,18056
20Lloyd George Muirhead Harris1,8211,87655



And the most declined players of 2020 list is in the table that follows.
Notable names are Basilashvili (personal problems), Fognini, Goffin, Isner... and Nadal (who declined from a very high score, so likely not a serious concern).
FYI: Cilic and Berrettini are not far behind.

Year-end Elo Rating
RankTop 20 most declined players of 202020192020Difference
1Nikoloz Basilashvili1,9591,842-117
2Joao Sousa1,8791,763-116
3Albert Ramos1,9491,844-105
4Leonardo Mayer1,8771,788-89
5Pablo Andujar1,8611,776-85
6Fabio Fognini2,0221,949-73
7Damir Dzumhur1,8301,759-71
8Benoit Paire1,9381,869-69
9Hugo Dellien1,7631,696-67
10David Goffin2,0782,012-66
11Jozef Kovalik1,7051,639-66
12Guido Pella1,9661,901-65
13John Isner2,0341,971-63
14Kevin Anderson2,1422,081-61
15Taro Daniel1,8241,763-61
16Kamil Majchrzak1,7601,702-58
17Mohamed Safwat1,6901,634-56
18Kei Nishikori2,1152,060-55
19Yasutaka Uchiyama1,7581,703-55
20Rafael Nadal2,4282,375-53


Do you think I missed anyone?
 

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Edmund
 

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Pospisil had the best year of his career almost completely out of nowhere at the age of 30. Would definitely have finished in the top 30 had there been a full season and it's too bad for him there wasn't as he probably would have won his first title somewhere along the way.
 

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cilic? He didn't seem to play well in post-covid period
Cilic has been declining since he choked away a 2 set lead against Pella at Wimbledon 2018.
 
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Very dissapointing year for Dzumhur and Nikoloz

Happy for Alex and Domi!
 

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The most improved player for me is an Italian. But it's not Jannik Sinner, it's Lorenzo Musetti.

No doubt, Sinner's offensive game will get him far. The depth, power and constancy of his ground strokes are impressive and he is already comfortable at the net for his age. But I have never seen him play a slice and I'm not sure about the variety and creativity of this game. When Zverev, Felix and Sinner meet Tsitsipas, Shapalapov and Musetti, I know who I'll be rooting for.
 

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Cilic started his decline before 2020, but he certainly continued it this year.

If 2021 isn't an improvement, I can see retirement looming.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Did you skip last year cos I only see 2018?
I did skip last year. But I do have the data to reproduce them. Here are last year's tables.

Most improved in 2019:

Year-end Elo Rating
RankTop 20 most improved players of 201920182019Difference
1Juan Ignacio Londero1,5391,857318
2Christian Garin1,6251,918293
3Hubert Hurkacz1,6791,937258
4Jordan Thompson1,6571,880223
5Matteo Berrettini1,8622,075213
6Felix Auger Aliassime1,7441,950206
7Andrey Rublev1,8792,071192
8Norbert Gombos1,5551,739184
9Reilly Opelka1,7331,913180
10Alexei Popyrin1,6641,826162
11Stefano Travaglia1,5821,739157
12Stefanos Tsitsipas2,0262,175149
13Daniil Medvedev2,0472,193146
14Filip Krajinovic1,8491,987138
15Lloyd George Muirhead Harris1,6831,821138
16Radu Albot1,7901,918128
17Miomir Kecmanovic1,7421,869127
18Alex De Minaur1,9252,050125
19Denis Shapovalov1,9512,066115
20Dominik Koepfer1,6961,809113

Most declined in 2019:

Year-end Elo Rating
RankTop 20 most declined players of 201920182019Difference
1Ernests Gulbis1,9281,796-132
2Martin Klizan1,9631,840-123
3Malek Jaziri1,8441,727-117
4Marco Cecchinato1,8821,770-112
5Pedro Sousa1,7201,610-110
6Borna Coric2,0791,972-107
7Karen Khachanov2,1262,027-99
8Matthew Ebden1,8691,775-94
9Marin Cilic2,1362,044-92
10Jozef Kovalik1,7931,705-88
11Andy Murray2,2702,186-84
12Elias Ymer1,7151,631-84
13Mischa Zverev1,8251,749-76
14Thiago Monteiro1,8061,731-75
15Alexander Zverev2,1972,124-73
16Gilles Simon1,9581,894-64
17Dusan Lajovic1,9201,857-63
18Kyle Edmund2,0241,964-60
19Kei Nishikori2,1732,115-58
20Damir Dzumhur1,8881,830-58
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The most improved player for me is an Italian. But it's not Jannik Sinner, it's Lorenzo Musetti.

No doubt, Sinner's offensive game will get him far. The depth, power and constancy of his ground strokes are impressive and he is already comfortable at the net for his age. But I have never seen him play a slice and I'm not sure about the variety and creativity of this game. When Zverev, Felix and Sinner meet Tsitsipas, Shapalapov and Musetti, I know who I'll be rooting for.
Good choice, but I should've mentioned at the start that I'm only counting players who were active on the pro tour in 2019.
 

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I feel like Albot is missing
 

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Rublev and Sinner definitely stand out as most improved players this year.
Yep. Although I think it's not quite fair to include Sinner, since his trajectory is nothing but natural. Rublev, however, was sort of stagnating up until a year or so ago because of injuries and other issues. I still think that he's pretty overrated around these parts of the tennis universe, but there's no denying that at least his mental game has been upped a few notches.

As for declining players, Cilic's collapse is quite astounding. Basilashvili's slightly less, simply because his base level is not comparable, but still worthy of an honorable mention.
 
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Yep. Although I think it's not quite fair to include Sinner, since his trajectory is nothing but natural. Rublev, however, was sort of stagnating up until a year or so ago because of injuries and other issues. I still think that he's pretty overrated around these parts of the tennis universe, but there's no denying that at least his mental game has been upped a few notches.

As for declining players, Cilic's collapse is quite astounding. Basilashvili's slightly less, simply because his base level is not comparable, but still worthy of an honorable mention.
Yeah, I get where you're coming from. No way did I think Rublev would qualify for the year end finals this year (same goes for Diego) plus adding a lot of titles this year as well. Sinner's jump is less surprising. I expect him to be in the top 20 next year.
 
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