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5 tennis players who suffered a downfall in 2016

All of these players have endured struggles with form and injury this year which has made them drop significantly in the rankings.

Editor's Pick 12 Dec 2016, 10:28 IST
SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 11:  Kevin Anderson of Republic of South Africa returns a shot to Gael Monfils of France  during second round of ATP Shanghai Rolex Masters 2016 on Day 3 at Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on October 11, 2016 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Kevin Lee/Getty Images)
The tall South African has dropped as low as 67th in the ATP rankings this year after reaching the Top 10 last year

The 2016 tennis season has come to an end with 2017 not very far away. This year saw many significant moments in tennis history like Novak Djokovic’s completion of a career slam, Andy Murray becoming the first British player to be World No.1, and Serena Williams breaking Steffi Graf’s record for the highest number of weeks at the top of the rankings for any player, just to name a few. But it also saw the high profile ‘fall’ of Novak Djokovic from No. 1 to No. 2; not really a downfall by anyone’s standards but the Serb’s himself.

This year saw the rise and resurgence of many players including Milos Raonic, Juan Martin Del Potro, Caroline Wozniacki, and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

However, 2016 also saw the downfall of a number of players who gave a number of promising performances in 2015. Here are a list of five such players.

#5. Kevin Anderson

The 6ft 8in tall South African produced a number of promising performances last year that included almost defeating Novak Djokovic in the fourth round of the Wimbledon and beating Andy Murray in the fourth round of the US Open to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final. The latter victory resulted in Anderson entering the Top 10 for the very first time in his career, thus becoming the first South African male player since Wayne Ferreira and the first South African tennis player since Amanda Coetzer to be ranked in the Top 10.

After a promising 2015, expectations were high for Anderson in 2016. However, he began poorly by retiring hurt in his first round match at the Australian Open due to a shoulder injury. This was his first opening round exit at a Grand Slam since the 2012 US Open His injury struggles continued as he had to retire once again at the Delray Beach Open and a string of poor performances were to follow.

Anderson was knocked out in the first round of the Madrid Open before exiting the Rome Masters in the second round. He ended his clay-court season with a first round exit at the French Open. His lackluster performances continued in the grass-court season with an opening round exit at the Queen’s Club Championships which was followed by a quarter-final exit at the Aegon Open where he was the top seed. His woes at Grand Slams continued as he was knocked out in the first round of Wimbledon to Denis Istomin.

Anderson’s only positive of the year came in the Rogers Cup where he reached the quarter-finals before losing to Stan Wawrinka. He finally won his first Grand Slam match of the year at the US Open before being knocked out in the third round by eventual quarter-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Anderson had a disappointing outing throughout most of the tournaments that followed. This has caused his rankings to fall down to 67th, his worst ranking since 6th September 2010.

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