How will tennis’ top two fair in 2016?

Tennis in 2015 was dominated by two people in the men's and women's game – Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams – but will they be able to do the same in 2016?

The fact is that if both remain fit and hungry mentally for more success they are unlikely to face too many challenges.

The 2015 stats for both players are remarkable:

The 28-year-old Djokovic won three out of the four grand slams on offer to take his career tally to 10 singles titles. His only slam loss was at the French Open where Stan Wawrinka denied him winning a calendar grand slam when the Swiss player triumphed over the Serb in the final at Roland Garros; the last person to do that was Rod Laver in 1969. 

He went on to win another eight tournaments including the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

The only players to beat the Serbian were Roger Federer at the Dubai Tennis Championships and Cincinnati Masters, Andy Murray at the Canadian Open and Wawrinka at the French Open. 

The 34-year-old Williams also dominated women's tennis in 2015 much like Djokovic did in the men's. She won three of the four grand slams on offer to take her haul to 21 titles in singles. She surprisingly lost in the US Open semi-finals to Roberta Vinci in three sets to be denied a calendar grand slam.  The last person to accomplish that feat was Steffi Graf in 1988.

She also won the Miami Open and Cincinnati Masters but ended her season in October due to injuries, she was forced to pull out of a few tournaments throughout the years suffering from niggles.

Her losses were to Belinda Bencic at the Canadian Open, Petra Kvitová at the Madrid Open while she withdrew through injury from the Indian Wells Masters, Italian Open and Swedish Open. 

How will they fare in 2016?

For Djokovic nothing, much will change if he remains fit, after all, he is in his absolute prime as a tennis player at the age of 28-years-old. He should carry on winning grand slam titles for the next few years and will certainly be targeting his first French Open in 2016.

His biggest challenger of late has been Swiss legend Roger Federer, who beat him twice in 2015 and faced him in two grand slam finals, but at the age of 34-years-old one would expect the world number three to become less of a factor to the Serb.

World number two Andy Murray has only beaten Djokovic once in ten meetings of late and that is unlikely to change. The likes of Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal, Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer and Kei Nishikori are all unlikely to trouble Djokovic even when he is not playing his best. 

All things point to Djokovic continuing to dominate next year.

For Williams, it’s tough to work out what she will do in 2016 because firstly she is 34-years-old and would be expected to slow down a bit physically. Secondly, she has very little more to prove in her career other than winning that calendar year Grand Slam.

With Serena 2016 will depend on how she feels mentally about focusing on the big events and importantly on how she is feeling physically because a super fit Williams will simply not lose to anyone whether she is playing well or slightly off form.

Here closest challengers come 2016 will be world number two Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Maria Sharapova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitová.

In a nutshell, success for Williams in 2016 will depend on her alone and on how hungry she is for more success.

How do you think the two world number ones will fair in 2016?

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