Five players to follow on the 2013 ATP World Tour

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With the new season less than a fortnight away, tennis expert Sean Calvert selects five players to keep an eye out for on this year's men's tour..

Jerzy Janowicz

The likeable Pole burst onto the scene at the Paris Masters in November, reaching the final as a qualifier before eventually losing to David Ferrer in the championship match. Janowicz was a 1000 shot pre-tournament, having never previously made the main draw at any Masters 1000 event. The 6'8" 22-year-old's huge serve, powerful ground strokes and deft touch will make him a match for most in the new year if he can repeat his Bercy form where he took down Andy Murray, Marin Cilic, Janko Tipsarevic and Gilles Simon. Now ranked at number 26 in the world, having started 2012 at number 221, Janowicz will be seeded in Melbourne where a run to the quarter finals is a definite possibility given a favourable draw. He could also go well at Wimbledon, where he defeated Ernests Gulbis in 2012 before losing to Florian Mayer.

 

David Goffin

The startlingly young-looking Belgian caused a stir at Roland Garros in 2012 by reaching the fourth round as a lucky loser before succumbing to his idol Roger Federer in four sets. Although the remainder of the season was largely disappointing for the 22-year-old after that Paris run he looks likely to end 2013 inside the top-25 if he can become more consistent. Effective on all surfaces, Goffin needs to improve his serve in order to trouble the top players, but his ball striking is excellent and he has the right sort of temperament too. It will be fascinating to watch his progress in 2013.

 

Grigor Dimitrov

The darling of many a tennis pundit and hailed as the new Roger Federer for the last few years, Dimitrov has failed to live up to the hype so far in his young career and while hardly a make or break year, 2013 could prove be a pivotal one for the Bulgarian. The 21-year-old ended 2012 at a career high of number 48 in the world rankings after good showings at Miami, Queen's, Bastad, Gstaad, and Basel, but it was interspersed with a US swing where he failed to win a single match. Dimitrov left the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy a few weeks ago and has teamed up with the Swedish team of Magnus Norman, Nicklas Kulti and Mikael Tillstrom, with the latter set to travel with Dimitrov to Australia in the new year. A top-25 spot is a realistic goal for him in 2013 and perhaps the Swedes will help him realise that ambition.

 

Andrey Kuznetsov

The 21-year-old Russian ended his 2012 campaign at a ranking of number 78 after notching three Challenger titles back-to-back on clay in the autumn. It's the first time that Kuznetsov has finished the year ranked inside the top-100 and it will be interesting to see if he can crack the top-50 in 2013. Coached by his father, Alexander, Andrey plies his trade almost exclusively on clay, on which surface he scored a win over Marcos Baghdatis last year. He has it all to prove against the top players at the moment, with only a handful of wins over those ranked inside the top-100, but he's a talent and definitely one to keep an eye on in 2013.

 

Ze Zhang

The 6'2" Chinese number one has every chance of making history in 2013, as he attempts to become the first male player from mainland China to crack the top-100. With Li Na's recent successes in the women's game it surely won't be long before a male player of genuine quality comes through and Zhang showed a few signs in 2012 that he could be the one to do it. His win over Richard Gasquet in Beijing in the autumn was the best result of his career by far and he ended the campaign just outside the top-150 in the world. He is another young player who seems to have the right temperament and I would fancy him to achieve his top-100 ambition in 2013.

 

(Source: Betfair)

 

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