The 2017 season is just around the corner and it’s time to predict who I think will end the year in the top 10. But first let’s look at how I did in last year’s predictions. I correctly predicted that Serena, Halep, Muguruza, Radwanska, Kerber and Pliskova would end the year in the top 10 although I had Kerber finishing 10th. The other players that I had in the top 10 were Sharapova, Bencic, Kvitova and Bacsinszky. Although in fairness Bencic and Bacsinszky did have injury plagued seasons and Sharapova is another story so I think I did pretty well.
- Caroline Wozniacki
Caro’s season only started to come alive at US Open where she managed to beat Kuznetsova and Keys before losing to eventual champion Kerber in the semi-final. From then she went on two win two titles in Tokyo her first since April 2015 and Hong Kong. The beginning of the 2016 season wasn’t the best for Caro and after injuring her ankle missed the clay court season. There is plenty of tournaments for Wozniacki to gain ranking points.
- Daria Kasatkina
One of the rising stars of 2016 I predict that she will make the jump into the top 10. I can see Daria making it into the top 10 after a good run in a grand slam probably the French Open. As well as this I think that she will also win her first WTA title and have a string of other good results. Kasatkina has a few places that she can gain points in the year and is she keeps up the way she played this year then I think she will make her debut.
- Johanna Konta
Jo continued the form she gained at the end of 2015 and rose another 40 places to end the year at number 10. Jo’s 2016 season started by making the semi-final of the Australian open she then backed this up by winning her first title in Stanford as well as reaching the final in Beijing. Now she is being coached by Wim Fissette who has previously coached Azarenka, Halep and Clijsters. Under his guidance hopefully Jo will be able to continue this form.
- Elina Svitolina
Svitolina has been steadily rising up the rankings for a few years as well as winning a title every year since 2013. Consistency is the key to Svitolina game having always improved her ranking year on year. 2017 may be the breakthrough year for Svitolina I can see her making a few second weeks at grand slams and adding to her trophy cabinet with some more titles. She also beat two world number 1 players this year in Williams and Kerber. She has also switched up her team for 2017 so it will be interesting to see how she does with them.
- Karolina Pliskova
Pliskova ended 2016 ranked 6 one below her career high in a year that saw her making the first grand slam final after never before making it past the first week where she beat both the Williams sisters as well as wining her first premier 5 tournament. Something changed in her after these matches and she came close to winning the title in New York until Kerber made a comeback. For 2017 she has changed her coaching team and will work with David Kotyza who previously coached Kvitova and Wozniacki. I think that Pliskova will continue to go deep in Grand Slams and it wouldn’t surprise me if she were to win one.
- Madison Keys
2016 was Madison’s best year on tour she won her second title in Birmingham, made two premier 5 finals in Rome and Montreal, reached the bronze medal match and qualified for her first WTA Finals. She was also consistent at grand slam level making the 4th round at them all coming up against in form players. I can see Keys making to the final of a grand slam this year most likely at Wimbledon she could have made it this year but she was injured against in her match against Halep. Consistency is her strength and in 2017 I expect her to win some more titles.
- Agnieszka Radwanska
Aga had another excellent year wining three titles and having a string of other good results. Although there were some low points like at Wimbledon were she narrowly lost to Cibulkova and the Olympics where she lost in the first round. The big question that surrounds Radwanska is will she be able to win a grand slam her best chance will probably be at Wimbledon where she has reached the final before.
- Simona Halep
2016 was another consistent year for the Romanian she won another three titles in Madrid, Bucharest and Montreal. The beginning of the year could have been better for Halep only making past the second round of a tournament once before Indian Wells in Sydney. But when the clay season hit she regained some of the form she had in 2014 before going on to having a good second half of the season. The next big step for Simona will be to win a grand slam and I think that her best chance will be in Paris.
- Serena Williams
Serena hasn’t played since losing in the semi-finals of the US Open in September and has only played eight tournaments this year. She hasn’t been able to commit to the year as she would like over the past few years but is still a big threat at slams. She lost the number 1 ranking this year and could have regained it during the Asian swing where she didn’t play last year but couldn’t play through injury. I don’t see her regaining the number one spot but she will add to her slam count.
- Angelique Kerber
I see Angie staying at number 1 this year. Kerber made it to eight finals this year wining three titles notably at the US and Australian Opens. Kerber does have a lot of points to defend in 2017 but there are also places in year where she can make up points included at the French Open where she lost in the first round. I think that Kerber will continue to win slams in 2017.