In January this year, Women's Tennis Blog's faithful contributor John Bolan was brave enough to share with the world his predictions about the 2012 year-end ranking and asked you to join him in foretelling the WTA standings, offering the best predictor among you one Top 10 WTA player autograph. Isn't it exciting to see now how John and about 30 of you who joined did?
John was absolutely correct in placing two players – John's No.1 Victoria Azarenka and No.2 Maria Sharapova have finished No.1 and No.2. He misplaced Serena Williams by just one spot, Li Na by two, Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska by three and Caroline Wozniacki by four.
Three of John's Top 10 players didn't make the cut. Kim Clijsters was John's No.3, but in the middle of the year she decided to retire and actualized the decision after the US Open, while injuries pushed John's No.8 Vera Zvonareva and No.10 Sabine Lisicki to No.96 and No.37 respectively. Year-end No.5 Angelique Kerber and No.6 Sara Errani are the biggest top surprises of the season. Let's give the word to John!
I'm thrilled with the outcome since seven of the predicted players finished as final Top 10 players. The fact that my first two picks were exactly correct is a feat I have not been able to do in previous years. The fans using the comment section to submit their own picks also did better than in 2011.
Injuries were once again the biggest issue for great players not finishing in the Top 10. Kim Clijsters, Vera Zvonareva, Sabine Lisicki, Venus Williams and Andrea Petkovic were casualties during 2012. The hardest part of picking the Top 10 is the big unknown of which players will not be able to compete for the entire season.
Two Top 10 players were not picked by any of us – Angelique Kerber and Sara Errani. Those two had tremendous years and are much improved from 2011.
In January, I mentioned the personal life of Caroline Wozniacki would interfere with her tennis in 2012. Who thought she would need points at Sofia in November just to make it back into the Top 10 for 2012? Caroline's year proves it is very difficult to stay focus on the court with so many external factors vying for attention.
Thanks to all the participants! The Women’s Tennis Blog will soon announce the winner of the autographed picture.
Reminder: You may also enjoy John's comparison of January 2011 predictions with the year-end rankings.