In December 2019 we asked you to give your 2020 season-ending WTA Top 10 ranking prediction and my friend John Bolan shared his picks for the tenth year in a row. The Women’s Tennis Blog readers Juan and Frank are the best predictors for this year. In the post below, John comments on his picks and explains how he selected the best predictors!
No one could have predicted the terrible year of 2020. When it comes to tennis, as well as life in general, 2020 will go down in history as a year we want to forget. Beginning with the cancellation of the Indian Wells tournament, after all players were there or already traveling to the venue, then the cancellation of Wimbledon, followed by playing Grand Slams and other events without fans, the 2020 tennis year was a bust.
The WTA did the best they could to come up with a revised ranking system for the year. It was not fair, and it was controversial. The revised system heavily favored players who had achieved high rankings in 2019. An injured Bianca Andreescu finished in the Top 10 even though she failed to play a single event in 2020. Her inclusion in the year-end rankings prevented Serena Williams from a Top 10 finish.
Reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin finished her first Top 10 season as she jumped from 14 to 4 in the rankings. Perhaps, she should be the number 1 ranked player for 2020. The only other new player in the year-end Top 10 is the exciting Aryna Sabalenka, who had to play a small year-end Linz tournament to edge out Serena Williams for the tenth spot. The Belarusian won the Upper Austria Ladies Linz to clinch her first season-ending Top 10 ranking after finishing eleventh the previous two years.
2020 season-ending Top 10 WTA rankings
- Ashleigh Barty
- Simona Halep
- Naomi Osaka
- Sofia Kenin
- Elina Svitolina
- Karolina Pliskova
- Bianca Andreescu
- Petra Kvitova
- Kiki Bertens
- Aryna Sabalenka
Despite the flawed year in choosing the Top 10, my own picks were the best ever with only one incorrect answer. Two of our contestants also picked 9 out of the 10 top players. Juan and Frank both only missed naming one player. Juan’s rankings were closer to the exact finish. He chose Serena Williams who finished 11th instead of Petra Kvitova. Frank did not include Bianca Andreescu in favor of Belinda Bencic who finished 12th. Both Juan and Frank will receive an autographed picture of a WTA star.
Two great young players are lurking just outside the Top 10 — Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina have unlimited potential and will be Top 10 stars in the coming years.
Finally, doubles players need more promotion and are sometimes forgotten. They are a key asset for the WTA. My friend and all-around great person and player, Hsieh Su-Wei of Chinese Taipei, finished 2020 as the number 1 ranked doubles player. Most tennis fans play doubles rather than singles and can relate to hard-fought doubles matches played on packed outside courts.
We all must hope for a wonderful tennis year for 2021. Perhaps by March there will be a widely distributed vaccine, so Indian Wells and Miami can play as normal. If it is not safe by March, then for sure by the time of the European Slams tennis and the world should be back to normal.