Show us your tennis prediction skills and win the Babolat Pure Drive 2021 tennis racquet! The Pure Drive model offers explosive power and is equally suited for both professionals and recreational players. It retails at the price of $229.
How to enter and win the racquet?
In the comments below this article, write your Top 10 predictions for the 2021 year-end WTA rankings. Name who the Top 10 women’s players will be and in which order they will finish 2021. This time next year, we will evaluate all the predictions and award the best predictor.
The person that correctly predicts the largest number of Top 10 players will be the winner. If several people correctly predict let’s say 8 out of 10 players, then we will calculate the order, i.e. whose ranking predictions are the closest to the actual year-end rankings. If there is a tie, we will randomly select one winner (but ties rarely happen, if ever).
Please make your selections in the comment section of this article by January 4, 2021. Everyone can join, there are no country restrictions.
The history of this competition
For the eleventh year in a row, Women’s Tennis Blog’s friend John Bolan is making his year-end Top 10 ranking predictions and we’re inviting you to join us in the comments. Typically we were awarding WTA autographs, but now we decided to offer the latest Babolat racquet as a prize.
Will tennis get back to normal in 2021?
We all expect 2021 to be a better year than this one. The tennis tour and life will hopefully leave the coronavirus pandemic behind. The question is when will this happen? Would it be too soon for Indian Wells to benefit? We do not know, but by the time Roland Garros and Wimbledon arrive, tennis should be back to normal.
January 2021 schedule is still unclear and the Australian Open has been pushed back to February. We expect more changes to come. Another factor and variable will be the method the WTA uses to rank players. Will they return to the pre-2020 system, use their 2020 method, or come up with a new ranking solution?
John’s Top 10 year-end ranking predictions for 2021
John Bolan, who started this competition more than a decade ago, will now give his Top 10 picks, which could help you make your choices. In 2020, John had 9 of 10 correct predictions.
1. Naomi Osaka
2. Sofia Kenin
3. Ashleigh Barty
4. Elina Svitolina
5. Simona Halep
6. Aryna Sabalenka
7. Karolina Pliskova
8. Petra Kvitova
9. Belinda Bencic
10. Iga Swiatek
John explains the reasoning behind his picks
Eight out of these ten players finished 2020 in the Top 10. In addition to these eight players, I have added Belinda Bencic and Iga Swiatek. Bencic is currently ranked number twelve and is anxious to get back into the Top 10. She is working very hard to become the best in the world. Swiatek is now the best young player and is number one in focus and determination. She will not be distracted from her goal of joining the Top 10. Swiatek is reminiscent of 17-year-old Maria Sharapova during the year she won Wimbledon.
The battle for number one will be between Naomi Osaka, Sofia Kenin and Ashleigh Barty. I like all three, but Osaka is my pick because she found her voice and discovered what she stands for during 2020. She has been brave and fearless both on the court and in her pursuit of racial justice and equality. This personal growth affords her inner strength and glowing confidence.
Sofia Kenin was the best player and top-ranked American player during 2020. She is a very dangerous opponent, well-rounded with great hand-eye coordination.
Ashleigh Barty will have been away from competition for 11 months when she next plays in the 2021 Australian Open. How will all this time away from the courts affect her game? In her four tournaments in 2020 she lost to Sofia Kenin, Petra Kvitova and Jennifer Brady.
Powerful Aryna Sabalenka finally muscled her way into the Top 10 in 2020, after finishing eleventh the previous two years. She is now situated to challenge the four older, solid Top 10 payers – Elina Svitolina, Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova. I have chosen her #6 in the middle of those seniors.
Bianca Andreescu and Serena Williams are not in my Top 10 picks because of their physical problems. If they were healthy, they could be contenders. Johanna Konta, Kiki Bertens, Garbine Muguruza and Victoria Azarenka all have a good chance to make the Top 10.
Now it’s your turn!
Choose your Top 10 players for 2021 and use the comment section to make your picks. You must enter before January 4, 2021. Good luck!