Consistent #1: Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain)
Roberto is ranked 12 in the world and has consistently been a top 20 player for the last 5 seasons. Aged 31, Roberto has a wealth of experience on court and has shown his ability to fans all across the world at several tournaments. RBA has won 9 titles in his career with all of these coming in the last six years. Seven of these titles are from 2016-2019 alone, with trophies coming from all three surfaces. His best tournaments to date have been a Semi-Final at Wimbledon 2019, Quarter-Final at the Australian Open 2019, or the final he made in Shanghai (ATP 1000) in 2016 where he beat Novak Djokovic along the way.
Roberto’s amazing consistency can be shown both in his results and playing style. From 2015-2017, Roberto managed to make 10 consecutive third round (or better) performances at grand slams in a row, a truly impressive record especially when 7/10 of these were 4th round.
Roberto hits extremely flat which is a little bit different from other Spaniards, however he is incredibly consistent and solid on both wings. The depth he manages to hit shot by shot alongside passing shots that are hit to perfection make him a really interesting and respectable player to watch. Being able to play on all surfaces and having a playing style that allows him to be at 100% each week is why Roberto is one of the most consistent players on tour.
Most Consistent #2: Gilles Simon (France)
Gilles Simon is a veteran of the ATP tour; now aged 35 and still a top player in his own right. Gilles has had a career high ranking of 6 in 2009 and was a consistent Top 20 player for most years in his career, however he has now dropped down in the rankings and sits out 54. Simon has shown impeccable consistency throughout his career; he has found success on all surfaces winning 14 singles titles. 2017 was Gilles’ first year that he had not finished inside the world’s top 50 since 2005 (12 years!), but then followed this up by winning 2 of his 14 titles in 2018 to surge his way back up rankings. Gilles ended 2018 ranked at 30 in the world and was ranked between 25-60 all through 2019.
Gilles has been to the 4th round of every grand slam and progressed into the quarter-finals twice in his career (AO 2009 & Wimbledon 2015). To give him even more credit, he is one of a small number of players who can say they have beaten Roger, Rafa, Novak and Andy at least once in their careers.
Gilles Simon’s playing style ‘stands out’ from most of his peers. He likes to counter-punch and gives his opponents little pace to work with. I believe he is so consistent not only because of his playing style but also what he has achieved throughout his career. Everytime he has shown a slight fall in his rankings, he has been able to pull together a good sequence of results again to get his ranking back where it should be. Not many players can do this, especially for a long career that Gilles has had, which is why he deserves to be respected and appreciated.
Most erratic #1: Denis Shapovalov (Canada)
Denis Shapovalov is aged 21 and ranked 16 in the current rankings. His game style is BIG with a powerful first serve and lefty forehand, but sometimes has struggled with consistency. When I watch Denis I find the match is always on his racquet. What I mean by that is the match will usually be determined by how he plays and not his opponent. You will see solid constructed points and amazing defensive passing shot winners, but this will be followed up by unforced errors. Denis always seems to struggle for shot selection and where the ‘line’ is in attacking or just getting the ball in the court.
Denis started of 2020 at the ATP Cup where he was playing some of the best tennis in his life. He had wins over Alex Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, whilst also having tough (but good) loses to Alex de Minaur and Novak Djokovic in 3 sets. He looked like he was going into the Australian Open and 2020 in some good form. His win/loss record from the AO till the suspension of the tour (late Feb) was 1 win and 4 losses. This was disappointing for Denis as again he is lacking consistency in each tournament he plays in, when fans maybe thought he was turning a corner. I believe Denis is always going to be an erratic player on the ATP tour due to the nature of his playing style. I feel like Shapovalov’s team should still be encouraging this aggressive/exciting tennis as I don’t think ‘reigning it in’ will work either, but it will be about finding more good days than bad days.
Most erratic #2: Fernando Verdasco (Spain)
Fernando Verdasco is a veteran of the ATP tour now aged at 36. He is ranked at 52 but had a career high ranking of 7 in 2009 where he made the ATP Tour Finals for the first and only time. Fernando has struggled for consistency throughout the duration of his career and his results have either been; playing like a top 10 player or playing like someone ranked 500 in the world. Most people will already know how Fernando plays, he has a big lefty game like Denis but probably more of an ‘all court player’ with him finding success on all surfaces as well as doubles.
Fernando has won 7 singles career titles but only 1 in the last 6 years. This is whilst he has still been a solid Top 50 player, but has struggled to find a run of playing well and winning matches at the same tournament. A good example of this is looking at his results from Jan 2019 to Feb 2020. Only six times he has managed to win 2 matches or more at the same tournament; Eastbourne, Wimbledon, Australian Open 19’ & 20’, Rome and Madrid. 3x Grand Slams,
2x Masters 1000 and 1x ATP 250. In most of his career Fernando Verdasco is finding more success at the bigger, more difficult tournaments. His results at slams and masters events are impressive, but results in ATP 250’s are his biggest opportunity for titles and his recent record hasn’t been satisfactory for his ability on court.