My 2017 Top 10: Is It Novak Djokovic Or Andy Murray, And Can They Hold Off The Next Wave?

With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal “playing out the string”, and the young guns still a year or so away from taking over, the 2017 No. 1 race is going to come down to the current Top 2: Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.

So how will it look at the very end? Here’s my Top 10:

10. Juan Martin Del Potro

Very unfortunate that he’s missing Australia, but I think if he can stay healthy he can put together enough of a run to finish Top 10, maybe even win a Slam!

9. Stan Wawrinka
The opportunity is there for another Slam title this year, I just don’t see it, though. He’s losing his consistency and that’ll catch up to him in the end.

8. Rafael Nadal
I think he’s still a force on clay, but he’s just not a big threat on the hardcourts anymore. Hope I’m wrong.

7. Alexander Zverev
The next in line for No. 1 makes his big move. Maybe a couple of Slam semifinals? Maybe more?

6. Dominic Thiem
Has to adapt better to surfaces other than clay, and will have a big chunk of points to defend in Paris.

5. Roger Federer
With no points to defend after Wimbledon, I think even at 36 he can do some damage. Will need some good draws early on to help his situation and confidence off injury.

4. Kei Nishikori
He can play with the Big Boys, but he’s got to start winning the bigger events.

3. Milos Raonic
I think 2017 could be the year he wins a Slam, heck, maybe two. And if he wins two he might very well finish on top.

2. Novak Djokovic
Pound-for-pound, he’s the best player on the planet. I just don’t know if he really has the motivation and the dedication now to get back there.

1. Andy Murray
As long as he keeps Ivan Lendl on board it will mean good things. He might not win multiple majors in 2017, but I think he’ll win just enough and hold on to No. 1 in the end.

Others to watch for:
Nick Kyrgios – I think he breaks the Top 10 but can’t stay there.
Marin Cilic – Capable of winning another Slam.
Gael Monfils – I don’t think he’ll duplicate his 2016 season, but he’s still a threat.
Tomas Berdych – Finally falls out of Top 10.
Lucas Pouille – Wimbledon and US Open quarterfinals were no fluke.
Grigor Dimitrov – Back on track after a poor first half of 2016?
Karen Khachanov – Only 20, he won Chengdu last year and has 3 Top 30 wins to his name.
Daniil Medvedev – Like Khachanov, he’s also a 20-year-old, 6-foot-6 Russian who packs a punch.
Jack Sock – Favorite to finish as top American, but needs more consistency.
David Goffin – Needs a big Grand Slam result to crack that Top 10.

Like last year, I think this is another season with Murray-Djokovic dueling for No. 1. But I do think we could see some surprising Grand Slam winners because neither Murray nor Djokovic are unbeatable. And we could see them as early as Melbourne in a few weeks. So there’s a lot of opportunity because I think there’s a decent chance we could see four different Slam winners this year (last year we had 3).

I’m talking guys like Raonic, Zverev, Cilic and later in the year maybe in New York, Del Po. Or maybe a Kyrgios. With no real dominant player(s), I could see any of them winning Slams this season.

I also think this is the last year the Big 4 hold No. 1. After that…??? Raonic, Zverev, Khachanov, Thiem, Kyrgios?

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January 06, 2017

U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Michigan

For Mexicans, Trump has been a nightmare waiting to happen and the weakness in the Mexican Peso is reflecting that. But the slide might just be beginning and another 20% to 40% drop isn’t out of the cards if Trump goes through with his plans of renegotiating NAFTA. Just look at the following chart to see the big drop Trump caused on the Mexican Peso. Companies are already bailing out on their plans to move production to Mexico. Ford just announced that they were cancelling a $1.4 billion investment in a Mexican manufacturing plant in San Luis Potosi and instead they will be expanding one of their American plants and in the process create 700 jobs. As more of these announcements are made expect significant strength on the USD dollar for the short to medium term. We don’t recommend investors to take a bull position in the DB USD Bull ETF (NYSEARCA:UUP) as the index might retrace a little. Rather we recommend investors to short the Mexican Peso (USD/MXN SPOT FX) on any sign of strength with a tight stop at the $19.70 level which represents the high before the election.

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It all started with NAFTA

Ever since NAFTA was signed, the Mexican economy has been increasingly dependent on the USA. American manufacturers have found in Mexico a safe haven to invest on a country close to home and with much less strict regulations than China. In Mexico, there’s no need for joint ventures like China constantly forces American companies to take. But the problem is that there are almost no Mexican multinationals and that puts the Mexican economy at the mercy of American policies.

Most companies in Mexico are large American and European multinationals. And like Trump has correctly said, most of these multinational companies have seen Mexico as the perfect place to export their products into the American market tariff free thanks to NAFTA. Mexican exports to the USA were valued at $316.4 for 2015 according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Mexico is the third largest US trading partner and the second largest market for American goods behind Canada. US exports to Mexico were $236 billion in 2015. That’s compared to the $123 billion American companies export to China.

Companies have been moving to Mexico from China

Thanks to the one child policy in China, as older workers keep retiring, grandkids are refusing to work for less. The middle class is booming in China and since 2013 wages in Mexico are cheaper than China. When you combine uncertainty in China, conflict in the South China sea, significant entry barriers for foreign companies, corruption, rising wages and risk of assets being confiscated, American companies found in Mexico a safe haven close to home to install their operations. Not to mention also that logistics and transportation costs are more expensive in China as well.

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Source: Atlas with Data from the Boston Consulting Group

A long term fall in the Mexican Peso

The Mexican peso has been on a long term fall depreciating 17% during 2016. With recent events the Mexican peso is on the verge of a panic. Thanks to the constant depreciation of the peso foreign investors have had a negative return on their investments on government bonds. Currently about $100 billion of Mexican government debt is being hold by foreigners and they should be on the verge of throwing out the towel. At some point and very quickly foreign investor can give up on having negative returns and dump their bonds altogether creating a death spiral.

Already the government announced a 20% hike to gas prices which has caused nationwide protests, interstate highway blockages, outages, looting and more than 250 arrests. Today the Central Bank of Mexico sold $1 billion us dollars to prevent the slide from continuing and it has also increased interest rates five times during 2016.

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Conclusion:

With so much uncertainty going around Trump’s policies, Mexico heading into election year in 2018, corruptions scandals involving high officials almost on a daily basis, expectation for the lowest amount of foreign investment since 2013 and the risk of a capital flight we believe investors should take a short position on the Mexican Peso and if they wish to hedge their position they should consider taking a short position on (UUP) for the same amount of dollars. The Mexican peso should stay relatively flat on any dollar weakness and significantly weaken on any further dollar strength. And if the dollar stays flat the Mexican Peso (Pending:MXNS) should continue to get weaker. As mentioned at the beginning, set a tight stop on the 19.70 area. (No lower than $19.50.)

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.