It's always fun to discus who the most and underrated players in tennis are. And the unique thing about the conversation it is impossible to agree. If everyone thinks that a player is underrated, then they are overrating that player. For many people the definition of overrated and underrated vary. For this post, I defined overrated and underrated based on expectations for 2014. Players that are expected (by fans and analysts) to do too much are overrated, while players whose expectations are too low are underrated. With that, here are the four most overrated and underrated tennis players going into the 2014 tennis season.
1. Stanislas Wawrinka- It is easy to overrate a guy who has his biggest results on the biggest stages in the game. The tennis world stopped during Wawrinka's incredible matches against Djokovic to see him play in two of the best matches of the year. However, when Wawrinka lost four-of-five matches to players with an average ranking of 92, nobody noticed. Wawrinka did have an incredible 2013 season, but staying in the top eight in the world for 2014 is far from a guarantee.
2. Jerzy Janowicz- Once again his ranking is balancing on one leg. If he doesn't have another huge result before Wimbledon, he could drop out of the top 40. Janowicz's incredible runs in Paris and Wimbledon have been the only times a lot of fans have gotten to see him (aside from his awesome tirade in Melbourne). Take away his two amazing results in the last 48 months and he wouldn't even be noteworthy. Consistency is the key to the top 10 and he lacks that severely. I expect him to improve in 2014, but the top 10 finish that many are predicting is very unlikely.
3. Andy Murray- Murray will always be overrated since he won Wimbledon, so I should probably just get used to it. However, the expectations for Murray in 2014 are just absurd. People don't realize just how bad of a 2013 season he had. Yes, he won Miami, Wimbledon and reached the final in Melbourne, but outside of those three tournaments, it was another poor season. Poor may be a harsh word for someone who finished the season ranked No. 4 in the world, but fans always want to put him as part of the Big Four and by Djokovic and Nadal's standards, it was a poor season. In 2014, Murray is going to lay an egg on clay, while fail to put together consecutive good results on hard courts. His longest winning streak in 2014 will be less than 15.
4. Grigor Dimitrov- BabyFed will likely crack the top 10 eventually, but not this year. His win over an injured Djokovic set the expectations unrealistically high for the Bulgarian. I want him to do well just like everyone else, but the results aren't going to come immediately. It's going to take time.
1. Roger Federer- He is the greatest of all time, so he can't possibly be overrated, and he is quite underrated. One of the downsides of being the greatest of all time is that every match he plays is watched. He can't sneak an early round loss past anyone. Anytime he loses, there are headlines. Federer actually did have a decent 2013 season compared to what most people think, and there are a lot of reasons to think 2014 will be even better. Way too many people are predicting that Federer won't finish in the top 10 or won't win a title. He still is Roger Federer. He might not win a grand slam, but that doesn't mean he isn't good enough to qualify for London. There is no way BabyFed or his countryman Wawrinka will outperform him in 2014.
3. Sam Querrey- No doubt it was a disappointing year for the United States' No. 2 player. Dropping out of the top 40 for the second time since he broke through was not one of his goals for the season, but that doesn't mean he is doomed in 2014. A lot of pressure is off Querrey right now, because the expectations are so low. Querrey hasn't played a match since Beijing so it will be a long off season for him to get prepared. Expect a resurgent 2014 season for the American No. 2.
4. Ryan Harrison- This is probably a surprising player to see on the list. For so long, Harrison had been so overrated. Then his 2013 season proved once and for all that he will never meet the hype surrounding him. However, what this has done is put the expectations incredibly low for one of the most competitive players on tour. He still is just 21-years old and has a career-high ranking of 43. While I don't expect him to return to his career-high ranking, it won't be such a struggle to for Harrison to stay in the top 100. With how low expectations are for Harrison, he should have no problem surpassing them.