I don’t know about you, but to me, 2013 seemed like it was only about 3 months long. One minute everyone was doing the Harlem Shake and the next, they moved on to something called twerking. It felt like just yesterday that I was writing my 2012 year in review. Weren’t we just talking about Rafael Nadal’s comeback? But here we are, at the end of the 2013, less than 1 month away from the 2014 Australian Open. And Rafa’s knee, much like Miley Cyrus, appears to be alive and well.
These past 12 months can be summed up in 2 words: Rafa, Serena. Both had spectacular seasons and both went into 2013 with question marks. Rafa with his knee and Serena with her age (which, at 32, is considered “over the hill” in tennis years). And yes, let’s not forget that this was the year Andy Murray got the monkey, well, more like Godzilla, off his back by winning Wimbledon.
The Spanish grinder and top 5 ATP pro David Ferrer has been a model of consistency for a number of years. Regardless of the draw, the conditions, the surface, he seems to always be there deep in tournaments. Like David, his shoe, the Lotto Ultra Raptor IV, has also been a model of consistency, as Lotto year after year produces one of the best performing shoes on the market. However, it goes almost unnoticed by most tennis players, even the enthusiasts!
We playtested the latest update to the Lotto Raptor line when it came out at the beginning of the year, and almost our entire team concluded it is one of their favorite shoes on the market. Currently, it’s the choice of four top 10 pros on the ATP and WTA tours. Recent Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli along with top 5 WTA pro Agneiska Radwanska are sporting the women’s version, while Spaniards Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro rock the men’s.
With the 2012 WTA campaign coming to an end, I wanted to post my end of the year Power Rankings. Just like in football and basketball, these don’t exactly follow the official rankings, but are reflective of who I feel is playing the best tennis to close the year and head into 2013. Without further ado, I give you…
2012 Year End WTA Power Rankings
Power Ranking. Name (WTA Ranking)
1. Serena Williams (3)
When she’s at her best, there’s no woman in the world that can beat her, and for the last half of the year she’s been on fire! Since her first round loss at the French Open, she’s 32-1, winning Wimbledon, the Olympics, the US Open, and the year end WTA Championships (among other titles). There’s no question she’s the best in the world as the year comes to a close.
2. Victoria Azarenka (1)
There’s no debate who the second best player in the world is. Vika has dominated the rest of the tour, with a 69-5 record on the year against players that aren’t named Serena. The feisty 23-year-old from Belarus reached two Grand Slam finals this year and won one of them (Australian). Look for her to build on her best year as a pro in 2013.
3. Maria Sharapova (2)
Maria has quietly put together a very nice year, with a 60-11 record and a French Open title to complete her career Grand Slam. She also reached the finals at 7 other major tournaments this year and beat Vika Azarenka twice, the only player other than Serena to do that this year.
4. Na Li (7)
She didn’t perform well at the majors this year, but Na Li has had a nice second half of the year and given the rest of the Top 10 fits. Since the start of the summer hard court season, she’s 6-2 against the rest of the Top 10 outside of the Top 3, and took the title in Cincinnati.
5. Agnieszka Radwanska (4)
The young Pole had an excellent start of the year, and after all is said and done, is finishing the year with 59 match wins, good for 4th best on tour. She’d be higher on the list if Na Li hadn’t beat her three times since August.
6. Sara Errani (6)
The 5’4″ Italian built on her surprise French Open finals appearance and turned in an even bigger surprise semifinal appearance at the US Open. She also took home 4 singles titles and 8 doubles titles this year, along with $3 million in prize money. Not a bad 2012!
7. Angelique Kerber (5)
She’s one of three players to reach the 60 win mark this year, and the only person to beat Serena in the second half of the year. However, she’s struggled for the most part against the best, with a 3-10 against the rest of the Top 10 since the start of Wimbledon. On the bright side, this is the first year the big hitting lefty will finish inside the Top 30.
8. Nadia Petrova (12)
Ever since losing close to Maria Sharapova at the US Open (6-4 in the third), she’s been on a tear, winning two titles and posting a 12-2 record to finish the year. She’s hot and one to watch for at the beginning of 2013.
9. Caroline Wozniacki (10)
She might be better known for being the First Lady of the PGA Tour this year rather than her on-court results, but Woz has quietly closed 2012 with a flurry. Since the US Open, she’s won two titles and reached the finals of the third tournament, and is gaining momentum going into 2013.
10. Marion Bartoli (11)
The French veteran has been streaky all year, but she had two of her best tournaments at the US Open and in Beijing to finish the year. She’s been hovering around the top 10 for years, and continues to be a threat if the best aren’t at the top of their games.
Thanks for reading!