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!
The end of the WTA season is looming, with the year end championships coming at the end of the month in Turkey. Let’s take a look at what’s happened since the US Open in the women’s game…
–Victoria Azarenka once again proved she (along with Serena Williams) are in a class by themselves over the rest of the tour, cruising through the draw to win the China Open without dropping a set. In fact, no set was closer than 6-4, including her win over world #2 Maria Sharapova in the final, 6-3 6-1. She’s won 15 of her last 16 matches (not counting her w/o in Tokyo) with her only loss coming in the US Open final against Serena, 7-5 in the third.
-Former world #3 Nadia Petrova got hot in Japan, taking down three top 10 players en route to her winning the Tokyo Open, her second WTA title of the year. This marks the first time that Petrova has beaten three top 10 players in the same tournament in her career. The rejuvenated 30-year-old Petrova has bigger visions after winning this title. “There are a few players who have won Grand Slams after 30, and I feel like I don’t want to walk away from tennis without accomplishing the same.”
-18-year-old Laura Robson is using the confidence she gained from winning the mixed doubles silver medal at the Olympics with Andy Murray to continue to vault up the rankings. She has won 10 of her last 13 matches going back to the US Open (including two top 10 wins at the Open) and is currently at a career high ranking of 56 in the world. Look for the youngster to keep improving and crack the top 20 real soon.
Stay tuned for more WTA blogs…Thanks for reading!