It’s that time of year again with just under a month till the start of the new season. I am going to be sharing my predictions of who I think will end the year inside the top 10. Hopefully they will be somewhat close to the actual top 10 sometimes I can be a bit off.
- Serena Williams
It’s rather impossible to go for anyone else. Who would you bet on to take it away from her? 2015 was a pretty good year for Serena even if it didn’t end under the best circumstances. She won three of the four Grand Slams as well as winning another two tournaments. Her season ended under circumstances she probably didn’t want by losing to Vinci in the semis of the US open and she then decided to take the rest of the year off. Withdrawing by the remaining tournaments.
Whilst she had a good year on tour I’m unsure of the form she will have after taking such a long break from competitive action. I can also see her focusing on slams and the Olympics over other tournaments but I also don’t see her winning all of them I can see her winning the Olympics and the US Open but with such a massive points lead over everyone else in the top 10 I can see her staying number 1.
2. Maria Sharapova
Maria will always be a constant in the top 10 and I see her rising up a few places to considering that she was out of action for a few months including missing the US open as well as a string of disappointing results, meaning that she will have tournaments like the US and French Opens where she will be able to pick up big points that will push her further up the rankings. Maria is one of the most consistent players on the tour when others often struggle to stay consistent and I feel like this consistency will mean that Maria will win at least one grand slam next year most likely either the Australian Open or the French Open where she’s had good results in the past.
Hopefully next year Maria will be able to get a least win over Serena next year having not beaten her since 2004 and with 17 losses in a row. She always does well at the beginning of the year and during the clay court swing. With a good end to the season this year I expect that this will continue well into the new year.
3. Simona Halep
Simona had her best year end ranking this year finishing at number 2. This year has been pretty up and down for Simona having started the year well winning both Indian Wells and Dubai, but during the clay and grass court seasons not having the best of results including a first round loss at Wimbledon. She also didn’t have the best end to the season with a round robin exit at the year-end championships where she was the number one seed, as well as losing a couple of other winnable matches throughout the year.
I expect that Simona will have a better clay and grass court season next meaning that she will accumulate valuable points to help her during the American hard court season in the summer where she is defending semi finals points at the US open and finalist points in Toronto and Cincinnati. I was wary at putting her in the top 3 but when she has form she can be unbeatable.
4. Garbine Muguruza
After having a breakthrough year in 2014 which saw her win her first title and knocking out Serena at the French and a couple of other good results along the way. She stared the year with consistent results including a semi final appearance at Dubai. She then had some pretty disappointing results up until the French Open where is made the quarters. She really came alive at Wimbledon where she made the finals before losing to Serena Williams and making her top 10 debut. She then had some more disappointing results up until the Asian swing where she made back to back finals which included wining the premier mandatory event in Beijing and it should be noted that she wasn’t at her best which is the mark of a true competitor. Garbine also made her debut at the WTA finals she had a good tournament there winning all three of her round robin matches before losing to eventual champion Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi finals.
I feel that next year that she will become more consistent and I also see her making another slam final probably at the French Open as well as adding to her title tally. She has a big game which other players can struggle to keep up with.
5. Petra Kvitova
Rounding out the top 5 I believe will be Petra. She has had a pretty up and down year. She didn’t have particularly stellar results at the grand slams especially at Wimbledon where she was the defending champion. Although she did reach the quarters of the the US open for the first also she beat Serena Williams at Madrid and then go on to win the title, as well as winning tournaments in New Heaven and Sydney. She also finished the year well getting to the finals of the year end championships as well as helping the Czech Republic win the Fed Cup again.
This year she did battle both fatigue and mono but she will put all that behind her next year and will come back with more motivation and build upon the results that she had this year and I also expect her to do well at Wimbledon next year again possibly winning the tournament.
6. Belinda Bencic
If anyone is going to break into the top 10 next year it’s going to be Belinda. She didn’t have the best start to the year, she didn’t win her first tour watch until Dubai. Her season picked up in Indian Wells and Miami with 4th round appearances at the tournaments. She then didn’t have a good result until the grass court season where she made the final at the Topself Open and won in Eastbourne as well as a 4th round showing at Wimbledon. Toronto was arguably her best tournament of the year beating Serena in the semi final and then going on to win the title. On route to the title she also beat Wozniacki, Halep and Ivanovic. She also made another final in Tokyo where she once again beat Wozniacki as well as Muguruza along the way.
In the second half of the season she beat 7 top 10 players making me feel that 2016 is going to be a big year for her. She also has under 100 points to defend until Indian Wells so I don’t think it will be long before she does enter the top but with a lot to defend in the second half of the season I believe see will end the season in the bottom half of the top 10.
7. Agnieszka Radwanska
Aga didn’t have the best start to the season with a semi final appearance at Katowice being her best result until the grass court season where see made the final of Eastbourne and the semis of Wimbledon and by this point see had fallen out of the top 10. She then didn’t have another good result until the Asian swing where she came alive winning three tournaments including the biggest title of her career the WTA finals where she beat Halep, Muguruza and Kvitova back to back.
Consistency will be key for Radwanska’s game as she will need if she is going to go deep in tournaments back to back which is something that she struggled with last year, but she will also go into the new season will a lot of momentum following the results she had at the end of the season.
8. Timea Bacsinszky
Who would have predicted the year that Bacsinszky would have had the year she did having given up on the tour it wasn’t until she got a wildcard into the French Open qualifying a few years ago that her love for the sport came back. She had a good 2015 making her top 10 debut, she started the season well making the finals of Shenzhen losing to Halep in the final. She then went on to win back to back tournaments in Mexico, following this up with a quarter final showing at Indian Wells. She also made her first slam semi final at the French Open following this by making the quarters of Wimbledon. She would then go on not to win a match until Beijing where she would go on to make the final. She narrowly missed out on a place at the year end championships showing just what a good year she did have.
Going into 2016 I expect her to follow in the results that she had in 2015 and become a staple of the top 10. I also think that she will make another deep run at a slam and adding to her title haul.
9. Angelique Kerber
Angie had a good start to the year making the quarters then the semis of the first two tournaments of the year. See then didn’t have a good result until the beginning of the clay court season winning Charleston and Stuttgart back to back where she beat Sharapova and Wozniacki during her run to the title in Stuttgart. She went on the win two others tournaments and making another final along the way. Angie’s problem last year was winning titles losing in all four that she made but this year it was making an impact in the bigger tournaments of the year especially at the slams. Angie is always pretty consistent I expect her to win at least one tournament next year and making a deep run at slam I’m thinking either Wimbledon or the US open.
10. Karolina Pliskova
2015 was a good year for Pliskova she started the year by beating Azarenka and reaching the final at Sydney. She went on to win in Prague and make the finals in Dubai, Birmingham, Stanford and Zhuhai. This saw her make her debut in the top 10 making it has high as number 7 in the world before ending the year just outside. What lets Pliskova down is how she performs at grand slam level having never made it past the 3rd round. If she wants to be a staple of the top 10 then she will need to improve upon this, but saying that I see her making a deep run at a grand slam.
Thanks for reading I would love to hear who you think will end the year in the top 10.