Comparative analysis of Top 10 players and their performance at big tournaments in 2011


This blog likes to give its faithful readers an opportunity to contribute and show their take on women’s tennis, so here’s Omair‘s analysis of our year-end Top 10 players and their 2011 results at Grand Slams, Premier tournaments and the WTA Championships. Have a look at what the numbers suggest.

Just to note, in the following tables CW is Caroline Wozniacki, PK is Petra Kvitova, VA is Victoria Azarenka, MS is Maria Sharapova, LN is Li Na, SS is Samantha Stosur, VZ is Vera Zvonareva, AR is Agnieszka Radwanska, MB is Marion Bartoli and AP is Andrea Petkovic.


The win-loss record is in itself self-explanatory, showing who has been the most dominant player – Petra Kvitova. Please also note the number of wins by a player against Top 5 players, especially for Top 5 players.


Kvitova is not the leader only in the percentage of wins over fellow season-ending Top 10 players, but is also the leader in yearly win-loss record overall.


Maria Sharapova has the  most match wins at Grand Slams, being in the semifinals of French Open (losing to eventual champion) and final of Wimbledon (losing to eventual champion), followed by Caroline Wozniacki who has two semifinal showings but both times was beaten by the runner-up, while at the other two was beaten by players who got beaten in the very next rounds. Most consistent at Grand Slams was Andrea Petkovic, who reached the quarterfinals at three Grand Slams, falling short of two wins at Wimbledon to complete the set of quarterfinals. Of all the Top 10 players only Li Na managed to be in more than one Grand Slam final.


At the WTA Championships, Petra Kvitova proved too good for all the players, winning all five of her matches and hence the tournament, showing that she is the best of Top 8. She also defeated world No.1 Wozniacki and US Open champion Samantha Stosur.


Victoria Azarenka was the most consistent in the Premier Mandatory category of events, as is obvious from the results above. No player other than Azarenka, Sharapova and Petkovic ended up in semifinals or above of two Premier Mandatory events.


Three Top 10 players ended up playing all the five events, world No.1 Wozniacki being one of them. The most consistent here was Sharapova, winning two titles and having a quarterfinal appearance at one, followed by Stosur who had two finals and two quarterfinals. Woznicki did win one title of this cadre but failed to advance to finals of the other four, ending up with semifinal appearance in only one event of the remaining four tourneys she played.


Having a look at the Premiers played, it becomes evident that only Kvitova had wise planning of events not letting her overplay and she ended up with a title and a runner-up showing in the two events she played. Wozniacki played six events and won three of them, with runner-up showings in two of them. Only Wozniacki was able to win two Mandatory events, of others, Petkovic, Azarenka and Sharapova did not win a title in this category, while all the rest have at least one title and one semifinal or runner-up appearance.

Kvitova has been the player of year with the highest match winning percentage of the elite 10, plus titles in every mandatory category other than the Premier 5 category where she has one semifinal appearance. She has one Grand Slam (Wimbledon), year-end Championships, Premier Mandatory (Madrid) and Premier (Paris) titles in her bag and not forgetting the two International-level titles she won this season as well.

Omair, thank you for this detailed and insightful analysis, I think it’s outstanding, and gives a great perspective into the very top of current women’s tennis. What do others think? (photo: © Neal Trousdale)


  1. A very specific analysis indeed, it shows that it is all very even in tennis and nobody managed to really dominate.

    Maria, who has scored the most wins at slam has never actually won a slam. Haha, typical WTA 😛

    Also,Marija, there is a mistake in your article. You wrote that Vika has not won a premier mandatory which is wrong because the chart shows she won Miami.

  2. Marine, Sharapova has won a Slam, only not this year. But I think you wanted to say that. 😉

    Mistake – corrected!

  3. tehere’s no doubt that petra was the number one player this year! wta’s system of points is wrong! and marine..jajajaj also

  4. Wow – great work!! Love the stats.

    I know that many people will vote for Petra as player of the year but……..

    Caroline Wozniacki did something that is very difficult to accomplish with the WTA ranking system. She scored more ranking points than any other player for the second year in a row.

    No player has been more overall consistent than Caroline in both 2010 and again in 2011.

    Perhaps Petra and Caroline could be named co-players of the year.

  5. A very interesting analysis… it definitely proves that Kvitova has been the player of the year although it shows that no-one has dominated and that there is a lot up for grabs next year in the rankings. In particular, Kvitova’s performances at Premier Mandatory and Premier 5 tournaments were particularly weak apart from Madrid and Tokyo although Kvitova has said she struggles in the US with the heat and humidity so it will be interesting to see if she can improve her performances there next year.

    I expect Zvonareva and Li to fall out of the top 10 soon and Petkovic to continue rising upwards. I am surprised looking at how consistent her results were in 2011, especially in the second half of the season.

  6. premier events (no premier mandatory or premier 5) are small events..sharapova said on facebook one time that sometimes she likes to play these small tournaments like stanford..

  7. Great Analysis! I didn’t realize that Kvitova only played two premiere level events. That makes it even more interesting to see how well she will do next year when she most likely gets to play a lot more of those.

    She definitely has the capabilites to become the world number 1 and stay there for a while in my opinion!

  8. Caroline did not play consistently, she played more tournaments and hence ended up with more points. She played 3 tourneys more than Kvitova,22 vs 19(Kvitova’s 19 tourneys include one challenger level tourney if i am not wrong) and Yup Caroline did win 3 premier level events and ended up as runner up at the other 2, while Kvitova played only 2 premier level tournaments compared to Carolines 6, because only 2 tournaments of premier cadre are mandatory for the top 20 players. I am not taking anything away from Caroline, what I am saying is just that she won more where the field was weak. Plus if you look at the wins against top 5, Kvitova is 7-1, her only loss coming to Li Na in French Open. Caroline is only 2-3 against top 5 players and one of the 2 wins did come via retirement against Azarenka. Li Na is 6-2 against top 5, both losses coming at the WTA Championships.
    All in all 2012 will unveil many things, how does Kvitova deal with the Williams and CLijsters, how does Li perform, How much confidence Stousr has after the U.S Open and can Wozniaki stick to the top spot??????
    Lets hope for a better 2012 🙂

  9. Thank you so very much Marija for organising it and publishing it 🙂
    and thanks to Marine, Jhon Bolan, James, and Florian for liking this article 🙂

    Keep up the good work Marija 🙂

  10. Omair, you know I’m a mathematician and loved your stats. Your comment brings up another point. Players who play in more tournaments should be rewarded because they support the WTA tour. Without star players showing up at smaller tournaments, these venues might cease to exist. The one overwhelming stat is that Caroline accumulated the most ranking points in 2011 and retained her number one ranking over all other players including Petra.
    Also, very sorry to report that there will be at most only one Williams included in the top players next year. 2012 may be better, but 2011 was a great year with the 3 best young players in tennis holding the first 3 rankings with Sharapova next and the exciting Andrea Petkovic making the top 10. The WTA needs to promote these stars – 2011 was the changing of the guard in the WTA.

  11. John, I still haven’t had time to dedicate to your guest post, but it will be out soon. I know you know that, but I just thought it’s ok to inform you. 🙂

  12. @ John Bolan
    Thanks for the appreciation.
    Yup you are right in that the top players do need to show up and play at smaller events as well to promote WTA. and yes no doubt Wozniaki earned the top spot over all her fellow payers be it Williams, Clijsters or Kvitova. Its not Wozniakis fault that the other players ended up injured or did not play enough 🙂
    and yes 2011 was no doubt great, lets hope for a better 2012 🙂

  13. Injuries occur to everyone, including Caroline.
    She isn’t ranked as high because of others’injuries, other players in top ten played enough tournaments to be able to get better results than they did but they wasted many opportunities.

    She was the only player who was able to win many matches on consistent basis.

    Only best 16 results count towards the ranking so the fact that one player played more tournaments than another is irrelevant.

  14. @ tafino
    I too love the game of Na Li. I love to watch her smack winners from every corner of the court. Her year could have been far far better and she could have also have been ranked higher had she played consistently in the 2nd half, which she unfortunately did not. She has loads of points to defend at the start of the year, hopefully she does well.


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