It’s time for our 2023 ranking predictions contest! John Bolan, long-time friend of Women’s Tennis Blog, is sharing his Top 10 predictions and inviting you to join him. For the second year in a row, our prize is Maria Sharapova’s autobiography “Unstoppable”.
How to enter and win Maria Sharapova’s autobiography?
Name who will be the Top 10 women’s players and in which order in the 2023 year-end rankings. Around this time next year, we will evaluate the predictions and award the best predictor. If there is a tie, we may randomly select one winner. Please make your selections in the comment section of this article by January 10, 2023. Everyone in the world can participate. There are no country restrictions.
Taking a look back at 2022
It was nice to see the WTA Tour resume normal play in 2022 after the disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic in previous years. The WTA ranking system also returned to normal, except for Wimbledon. Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian players because of the Russian invasion and war with Ukraine. In response, the WTA refused to award ranking points to any player competing at the grass-court Grand Slam.
The 2022 end of year rankings were much more in line with reality than those in 2021. Those unawarded Wimbledon points had negligible effect on the ranking points of the top ten finishers.
John Bolan’s Top 10 predictions for 2023
This year will be John’s 13th year of guessing the year-end Top 10 women’s tennis players. Hopefully, unlucky thirteen will prove lucky for us.
1. Iga Swiatek
2. Aryna Sabalenka
3. Carolina Garcia
4. Ons Jabeur
5. Maria Sakkari
6. Daria Kasatkina
7. Veronika Kudermetova
8. Coco Gauff
9. Belinda Bencic
10. Paula Badosa
John explains his picks
The first eight of these ten players finished in the Top 10 for 2022. The remaining two finished 12th and 13th. My choices for 2023 are once again very conservative, because I expect the same players who dominated in 2022 will again be the best players during 2023.
Iga Swiatek has 11,085 points to defend in 2023. The world number one earned more than double the points of any other player in 2022. Despite those points to defend, Swiatek is still my top pick. She is the best player after winning thirty-seven straight matches and eight titles, including two more Grand Slams in 2022. She is the tennis super star!
The battle for number two will be between Aryna Sabalenka, Caroline Garcia and Ons Jabeur. I like all three, but Sabalenka is my pick for number two because she can beat anyone on any given day. I think her play will become more consistent during 2023.
Ons Jabeur, Maria Sakkari along with star doubles specialist Gabriela Dabrowksi won the 202 WTA Player Service Awards. These awards are determined by a vote of the WTA players. It is important for players to give back to the sport and to people in need through their efforts. Elina Svitolina raised a quarter million dollars for Ukraine during a one-night gala in Monte Carlo. She also gave birth to her first child in 2022.
Coco Gauff has her sights set on being number one after making it to the Top 10 in 2023. I added Belinda Bencic and Paula Badosa to the Top 10 picks for 2023 because they also are both very motivated to win in 2023.
The two Russian players, Veronika Kudermetova and Daria Kasatkina, should remain in the Top 10. Kudermetova has the best coach in women’s tennis. He also happens to be her husband. Kasatkina has lifted a burden off her shoulders this year by announcing her partner is a female figure skater and by denouncing Russia’s attack on Ukraine and its policy on the LGBTQ+ community. Free your mind and your game will follow.
Now it is your turn!
Choose your Top 10 players for 2023 and use the comment section to make your picks. You must enter your picks before January 10, 2023. Good luck!