Who L'Equipe predicted would be in the world's top ten for 2018 four years ago

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In 2013 French newspaper L'Equipe bravely predicted who the top ten male players in the world would be in 2018.

So with 2017 rapidly coming to an end, what better time to check how close they were?

Given the incredible longevity and resurgence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal this year, you probably won't be surprised to learn the French publication were way off the mark.

In fairness they did predict Britain's Andy Murray would still be in the top three which, had he not missed most of the year through injury, would still be the case.

However the current top two of Nadal and Federer were nowhere to be seen.

The other 'big four' member, Novak Djokovic, was expected to drop down to fifth; meanwhile, recently crowned ATP finals champion Grigor Dimitrov took the top spot with France's Benoit Paire hot on his heels.

There were also 10 places for American Jack Sock, Latvia's mercurial talent Ernests Gulbis and the big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic.

Only two of their predicted top-10 (Dimitrov and Sock) have actually made it into the top-10 for the start of 2018. Injuries have played a big part in Djokovic, Murray, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic’s absence from the list, however. After all, how were they supposed to predict that?

Day Eight - Nitto ATP World Tour Finals

L'Equipe's predicted top ten for 2018

1. Dimitrov

2. Paire

3. Murray

4. Raonic

5. Djokovic

6. Nishikori

7. Tomic

8. Gulbis

9. Janowicz

10. Sock

The actual rankings for the start of 2018

1. Nadal

2. Federer

3. Dimitrov

4. Zverev

5. Thiem

6. Cilic

7. Goffin

8. Sock

9. Wawrinka

10. Carreno Busta


12. Djokovic

16. Murray

22. Nishikori

24. Raonic

41. Paire

121. Janowicz

143. Tomic

201. Gulbis

Day Six: The Championships - Wimbledon 2017

Clearly their decisions on Benoit Paire being world No. 2, Jerzy Janowicz, Bernard Tomic and Ernests Gulbis all cracking the top-10, was not the wisest thing in hindsight with all of them struggling to make it at the top level.

Currently Rafael Nadal has the famous No.1 position in the world, and both he and Roger Federer are both very far apart from the rest of the field.

When the Australian Open comes round, Federer will look to knock Nadal of that top spot, by retaining the title he so dramatically won 11 months ago.

Rafael Nadal
Andy Murray
Novak Djokovic
Roger Federer
ATP World Tour Finals

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