Last December we continued our over a decade long tradition with the year-end WTA ranking prediction contest. My friend John Bolan asked you to give us your 2021 Top 10 WTA ranking predictions in the comments and now that the season-ending rankings have finalized, we can select the winner. Let’s give the word to John and he will explain how we picked our 2021 winner. The prize is the Babolat Pure Drive tennis racquet!
2021 WTA season recap
The year of 2021 was far from normal for women’s tennis, though it was an improvement over 2020. However, with the cancelation of the Asian Swing, the postponement of Indian Wells, the quarantine farce in Australia and the WTA Finals moved from China to Mexico, 2021 was another challenging year for the WTA.
The players seemed happy to get back on the courts, although they played for less prize money and under varying COVID-19 restrictions during the year. The WTA returned to its normal ranking system from the revised one used in 2020.
The end-of-year controversy with China’s Peng Shuai is an incredibly sad situation and most unfortunate incident. The WTA has stood up for its player and for all women with its insistence that Peng should be free, uncensored and receive a fair hearing on her charges.
Year-end Top 10 WTA rankings for 2021
- Ashleigh Barty
- Aryna Sabalenka
- Garbine Muguruza
- Karolina Plishkova
- Barbora Krejcikova
- Maria Sakkari
- Anett Kontaveit
- Paula Badosa
- Iga Swiatek
- Ons Jabeur
And the best predictor is…
Over half of the final Top 10 list includes players who never appeared before on this list.
It was a tough year for contestants. The most correct picks for 2021 were five. Last year it took nine correct picks to win.
Three of our contestants picked five out of the Top 10 players. Chris, Shakti Indraprasta and Roberto picked five winners, forcing us to go to our tie breaker. Chris’ picks were closer to the exact finish. It is interesting to note, Chris was the very first person to enter the contest this year.
CONGRATULATIONS, CHRIS! YOU WILL RECEIVE THE BABOLAT PURE DRIVE RACQUET!
No contestant chose Barbora Krejcikova, Paula Badosa, or Ons Jabeur. Both Cat and Mr Arv chose Maria Sakkari. Only Dan chose Anett Kontaveit.
Ian’s pick of Dayana Yastremska may have been a good one, if Dayana had played the entire year. Although she was found not guilty of doping, the WTA did not allow her to play for the first six months of 2021.
Jim is still better at picking golf winners.
Doubles players need promotion, too. Darija Jurak, my friend and a wonderful person, made the Top 10 doubles list and the year-end championships for the first time. She is 37 years of age and has been playing professional tennis for over 20 years. Darija is an excellent example of perseverance – an essential character trait needed for successful professional athletes.
Last year, I predicted the world and tennis would be back to normal by the middle of 2021. I was wrong; COVID is still with us. Let us hope 2022 will bring back a sense of normalcy to the world and tennis.
We will continue this contest into 2022. Think about your Top 10 ranking picks for the end of 2022 and stay tuned as we will launch the contest later this month.