Every off-season Women’s Tennis Blog’s long-time friend John Bolan asks you to give us your year-end Top 10 WTA ranking projection for the upcoming season and after the season is over we evaluate your results to award the best predictor with a WTA autograph. Let’s see how surprising the 2019 year-end Top 10 members are and announce our contest winners.
Top 10 WTA Year-End Rankings for 2019
- Ashleigh Barty
- Karolina Pliskova
- Naomi Osaka
- Simona Halep
- Bianca Andreescu
- Elina Svitolina
- Petra Kvitova
- Belinda Bencic
- Kiki Bertens
- Serena Williams
During 2019, women’s tennis continued to showcase great next-generation players, with Ashleigh Barty, Naomi Osaka, Bianca Andreescu and Belinda Bencic leading the charge of the young players in the rankings.
Serena Williams is the sole player over 30 in the Top 10. The American entered just eight tournaments in 2019 and at four of them injuries forced her to retire/withdraw. Amazingly, the 23-time Grand Slam champion was able to accumulate enough ranking points to finish tenth in the year-end standings. Her last venue of 2019 was the US Open, which she finished with a runner-up finish to the newest young great player, Bianca Andreescu. The loss was similar to the one in the 2018 final against young Naomi Osaka.
None of our contestants chose Belinda Bencic or Bianca Andreescu in their Top 10 picks. Why would Andreescu be picked after finishing 2018 ranked 152? Playing in the qualifiers at her first tournament of 2019 at the ASB Classic in Auckland, the Canadian teen had her breakout week. I was so fortunate to be on hand to watch her upset one great player after the other until running out of steam in the third set of the finals against Julia Goerges. Those New Zealand fans knew they were witnessing the rise of the next young women’s tennis superstar. Auckland has a history of hosting young players starting to make a name for themselves in the WTA.
Five of our contestants chose six players out of the those who finished in the Top 10. Chris, Andrew, Tara L, Jacob and Steve Edell all chose six winners. Looking at the next criteria of who of those five chose players in the closest order to their final ranking, Chris and Andrew tied and both contestants are our 2019 contest winners! They will receive an autographed picture of a WTA star.
Simona Halep was able to compete all year despite her back injury and finished fourth in 2019. I’m so happy the reports of her injury in 2018 were wrong; I only wished I had picked her.
My favorite young player, Aryna Sabalenka, just missed the Top 10 by finishing eleventh using a superb end-of-season run to climb back up the rankings. Over half of our contestants chose her.
Ashleigh Barty, world number one, was chosen in the Top 10 by me and only a few contestants. Only James had her as high as seven. This year set a record for the fewest contestants to choose the number one player anywhere in their Top 10.
Think about this fact! Over half the players in the Top 24 are under age 25. In addition to the young players named above, we have the following stars in the Top 24 – Sofia Kenin, Marketa Vondrousova (the youngest in the Top 20), Elise Mertens, Donna Vekic, Karolina Muchova, Dayana Yastremska, Maria Sakkari, and the youngest of all, Amanda Anismova age 18. The new generation has arrived in force!
Contest winners Chris and Andrew, congratulations! I will contact you shortly to see which autographs you’d like to receive and organize the distribution of your prize.