The Coronavirus pandemic hit the world hard in 2020, causing the cancellation and postponement of several events. Tennis was among the many sectors that saw plenty of turmoil and suspense in this period, as the iconic Wimbledon Championships saw its first cancellation since the Second World War. Many other notable tennis tournaments also saw cancellations throughout the year, causing panic concerning what the future holds for the beloved sport. While there’s no denying that the pandemic has dealt tennis a hard blow, players and other stakeholders stay hopeful. It would be interesting to see how the world’s top tennis players will emerge from this global quandary. Are household names such as Djokovic and Nadal still going to top the charts, or will youngsters like Tsitsipalas and Sinner take the world by storm?
Not only have the effects of COVID-19 played havoc on professional tennis but also disrupted all gambling activities. People who used to win big from tennis wagers are now sick with apprehension about their lucrative hobby. Even so, as you try to decipher the Coronavirus disease, it’s crucial to brush up on your wagering abilities. Click here for a complete guide to tennis betting rules that can come in handy and ensure that your betting skills are as good as ever. Moreover, keeping tabs on how players are faring during this period will also guarantee considerable leverage when gambling. This article explores five tennis players worth watching in 2021 to provide a glimpse as to where you should place your money this year.
1. Novak Djokovic
2020 has been a somewhat shaky year for Novak Djokovic. The Siberian tennis top dog was off to a great start in 2020 after claiming the inaugural ATP Cup early in the year. He continued with his excellent run in the opening months of the curtailed season. The 17-time Grand Slam champion went on to win several tournaments including, the Australian Open, Dubai Open, Cincinnati Masters, and Italian Open. While Novak began 2020 on a spectacular note, he struggled to keep a cool head during the rest of the year. Novak Djokovic lost to Raphael Nadal in the final of the French Open.
The Serb also suffered another defeat against Dominic Thiem in the ATP Finals. Things didn’t get any less grueling after Novak contracted Coronavirus during an exhibition tournament he hosted in vain. Despite the hurdles, the man best known for breaking the Nadal-Federer era is still the favorite in 2021. Moreover, after getting disqualified from the 2020 US Open, Djokovic looks to put up a spirited fight for the top flight this season.
2. Daniil Medvedev
Daniil is among the few players who were able to turn things around in 2020. Having had a difficult season, he was able to turn the tables and end the year on a high note. The Russian went into the Rolex Paris Masters with only three wins but was determined to give everyone a run for their money. Medvedev took down Diego Schwartzman and Milos Raonic to qualify for a final clash with Alexander Zverev. In the showdown, Daniil was able to come from behind to clinch the victory in the tie-breaker. The Paris Masters champion took his winning form to the ATP Finals in London a couple of days later, where he dispatched Zverev once again in the first fixture.
Medvedev then met world number one Novak Djokovic in his next match, destroying the Siberian star in only two sets. The Russian sensation made his way to the final after defeating Diego Schwartzman in straight sets and coming from behind to secure a victory against Rafael Nadal. In the final clash, Medvedev once again showcased his unwavering spirit. The 24-year-old managed to come from behind to take home his first ATP Finals title. Daniil looks to extend his winning form into 2021 as he hopes to defend his most prestigious title yet.
3. Andrey Rublev
2020 was seemingly a great year for Russian tennis players, as Andrey Rublev is yet another player to look out for in 2021. The Russian youngster had a breakout season in 2020, winning an impressive five titles in total. Andrey was off to a great start in 2020, putting his name in the history books as the first ATP player to win the first two tournaments since 2004. He won his first tournament in Doha without defeat and another one shortly after in Adelaide. Andrey showcased sheer strength and determination throughout the entire season, clinching more trophies at Hamburg, St Petersburg, and Vienna.
The 23-year-old ended the season with the most wins alongside world number one Novak Djokovic. Coming off his best season yet, Andrey doesn’t have any plans of slowing down as he looks to bag another incredible season under his belt.
4. Victoria Azarenka
After a rocky couple of years outside the world of tennis, things seem to be finally looking up for Victoria Azarenka. The former WTA world number one exhibited an excellent performance after the Coronavirus hiatus, reaching her first Grand Slam final since 2013. Victoria was able to bounce back from a 12-month losing streak, winning her first title since 2016. In the US Open, the 31-year-old maintained her impressive form, defeating Elise Mertens and Iga Swiatek to proceed to the semifinals.
At the semis, Azarenka put up a spirited fight and came out on top against the iconic Serena Williams. Although she lost to Naomi Osaka in the final, her performance shows that she has a lot more girt to bring in 2021.
5. Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka had a great season in 2020. With many calling her the new Serena Williams, Naomi looks to become the undisputed queen of tennis. The 23-year-old has all the ingredients to produce an award-winning performance in 2021. Naomi’s efforts to clinch the Western & Southern Open in 2020 were cut off due to injury, denying her a third career Grand Slam. Even so, the Japanese powerhouse was able to bounce back from her hamstring injury. Osaka worked her way up to the finals of the 2020 US Open, where she was able to defeat Victoria Azarenka. Naomi looks to continue with her fiery performance as she eyes the top flight in 2021.
Having had a rough year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many players in the world of professional tennis are looking forward to bouncing back in 2021. Nevertheless, the players listed above are likely to produce the best performances in the coming season.