It was a steady season in 2019 for Basilashvili with quarter-final efforts at Doha, Dubai, Budapest and Metz. He defended his title in Hamburg and achieved a career-high ranking of 16 with a semi-final at Lyon.
Basilashvili will need to continue to evolve his game if he is to remain in the top 30 in 2020. My thoughts for Nikoloz are hard-hitting, baseliner, one-dimensional and boring.
Hard-hitting: Nikoloz seems to know only one way to hit the ball, and that is as hard as he possibly can.
Baseliner: He prefers to play on the baseline and try to dominate from there.
One-dimensional: Basilashvili seems to know only know one way, and that is to hit hard from the baseline. His game lacks variety.
Boring: The combination of being a baseliner and one-dimensional make him quite dull to watch.
Likes: When he is having a good day can belt winners, past opponents.
Dislikes: Never seems to find a way to beat the very best. He can bully lesser opponents with his hard-hitting style but often comes up short against those ranked lower than him.
Areas for improvement: As a baseliner, his volley is unsurprisingly weak. He could evolve his game with the use of slice and different speeds on his shots and develop a drop shot. It’s this lack of variation that the top players expose. His homework is to watch the best all-court attacking player of the modern era on YouTube.