Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tennis Stocks 2016

Tennis Stocks 2015
Tennis Stocks 2014

This is the third edition of tennis stocks. One of the series that I do ranks the best countries in tennis based on singles ranking points earned by players from each country ranked inside the top 140. Each country is ranked by the sum of ATP singles ranking points earned by each by each of those players. Then what I do once a year is project five years into the future. If I could buy stocks on each tennis country, would I buy hold or sell on them for the next five years. This is the third year that I'm doing this, so pretty soon we will get to see if I made the right decisions a couple years ago.

I'm going to go through each country represented in the top 140 of the ATP singles rankings in order of their rankings as countries according to my formula. I'll start with the best country and make my way down. This will be a good way to know five years from now whether a country has improved or not.

1. Spain - SELL - I have sold on Spain the last two years and it's an easy choice to do it again this year. Up to now, Spain's fall has been slower than expected. They have remained No. 1 in the world with the only change being how much they lead by. France is very close and could take the No. 1 ranking away from Spain by the end of the year. It could all come down to one match between Monfils and Nadal in the O2 Arena. This post is about predicting five years from now, though, and Spain isn't getting any younger. Of the 13 Spaniards in the top 140, eight of them are in their 30's and only one players in the top 200 is under 25 years old. Nicola Kuhn and Juame Munar are the only Spanish juniors with much promise, but neither of them will come close to replacing the depth of talent that Spain has had over the last eight years.

2. Serbia - SELL - I bought on Serbia two years ago, but not last year. There is plenty of talent on its way from Serbia, but replacing Djokovic is a big task. The last group of talented teenagers has produced few results so far. Miomir Kecmanovic is the next Serbian hope, but he won't realize all of his talent in five years. Right now Serbia is held at the No. 2 spot almost entirely by one player. In five years, Djokovic won't be nearly as dominant, but he will be joined by a much larger group of players to support him: Dusan Lajovic, Filip Krajinovic, Nikola Milojevic, Laslo Djere, Miki Jankovic, Pedja Krstin, and Miomir Kecmanovic. Still, to remain in the top 2, a country has to have a lot more depth than that or one player that is dominant.

3. France - SELL - France isn't nearly as old as Spain, but for the third year in a row, I'm selling on France. The recent rise of Lucas Pouille and Quinten Halys has given hope to France, but seven players in the top 70 players are over 30. France will always be one of the best tennis countries, but it won't be quite this good in five years.

4. United States - BUY - I bought on the United States the last two years and they moved up in the rankings both times, so I'll buy again. John Isner, Rajeev Ram, and Sam Querrey are the only Americans that may not be as good in five years. Otherwise, the Americans will be very strong. Between Taylor Fritz, Jared Donaldson, Frances Tiafoe, Ernesto Escobedo, Reilly Opelka, Deiton Baughman, Michael Mmoh, Tommy Paul, Ulises Blanch, Stefan Kozlov, and Noah Rubin, someone is going to have to break through if not a handful of them. The future of American tennis has become very bright in the last couple of years and the talent is already being realized.

5. Great Briatin - SELL - I bought on Great Britain when they were No. 16, which was an easy decision. However, buying when they are already No. 5 would be foolish. There isn't much room to improve at this point for Great Britain, which is a tribute to what Andy Murray has done in the last 12 months. Five years from now, Great Britain might still be in the top 10, but certainly not the top 5.

6. Switzerland - SELL - There is nowhere to go but down for Switzerland. Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka won't be the same in five years and there is nobody to replace them. This one is the easiest one on the list.

7. Argentina - Hold - The future isn't great for Argentina, but staying inside the top 10 is certainly feasible. Under 24 years old, there isn't much talent in Argentina right now. Santiago Rodriguez Fa Taverno has shown some promise, but he will likely never compete for big titles. However, the talent that has put Argentina at No. 7 on this list is young enough that staying at No. 7 won't be too hard. In fact, if not for injuries, Argentina would likely be higher on this list. Federico Delbonis, Guido Pella, Diego Schwartzman, and Juan Martin Del Potro will still be around in five years and maybe Pedro Cachin can get into the top 100 one day. Argentina will dip in the rankings eventually, but it will be more than five years from now.

8. Japan - Hold - I bought on Japan when they were No. 12 and sold when they were No. 7. Yoshihito Nishioka, Taro Daniel, Akira Santillan and Kei Nishikori will be the face of Japanese tennis in five years. Beyond that, it is hard to predict much about Japan. Nishikori is one of the best players in the game already, so there isn't a lot of room to improve for him, but when Djokovic and Murray get out of the way, he could become the world No. 1. If we guessed who the world No. 1 would be in five years, Nishikori would have to get some serious consideration.

9. Canada - BUY - This one is easy. Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil will still be around in five years and they will be joined by Felix Auger Aliassame, Dennis Shapovalov, Alejandro Tabilo and Benjamin Sigouin. And there are many others who could potentially reach the top 100 in five years. From top to bottom, Canada can only get better. They will very likely be in the top three in five years.

10. Germany - BUY - Germany was a sell at No. 6 two years ago, but I bought last year when they were No. 13. Now the future of Alexander Zverev looks even brighter. He is already the German No. 1 at only 19 years old. He doesn't have much of a supporting cast, so I'm betting on just one player, but that's how good he is. Rudolf Molleker was listed in my Top 20 Under 20, but he is still only 15, so five years from now he will still be very young.

11. Croatia - HOLD
12. Czech Republic - SELL
13. Australia - BUY
14. Russia - BUY
15. Austria - BUY
16. Italy - HOLD
17. Belgium - BUY
18. Slovakia - SELL
19. Brazil - HOLD
20. Ukraine - SELL
21. Portugal - HOLD
22. Uruguay - SELL
23. Bulgaria - BUY
24. Netherlands - BUY
25. Cyprus - SELL
26. Luxembourg - SELL
27. South Africa - SELL
28. Tunisia - SELL
29. Chinese Taipei - SELL
30. Israel - SELL
31. Bosnia & Herzegovina - BUY
32. Dominican Republic - SELL
33. Lithuania - BUY
34. Kazakhstan - HOLD
35. Moldova - SELL
36. Georgia - BUY
37. Latvia - SELL
38. Uzbekistan - BUY
39. Colombia - BUY
40. Korea - BUY