The story of 2014 WTA rankings, how the situation looked in January and how the year ended + Mabel Ratto is our winner, our best predictor

Serena WilliamsFour years in a row my friend John Bolan has been playing with his tennis prediction skills, sharing with you at/before the launch of a season his guess of what the Top 10 WTA rankings will look like at the end of the year. Being generous and social, John is also always inviting you to join him in predictions, offering a nice incentive – an autograph of your favorite WTA player. We have calculated everything carefully and commenter Mabel Ratto is our winner for 2014! Congratulations, Mabel! Let's now see the analysis of the WTA Top 10, of how the Women's Tennis Blog crowd fared in January 2014 and why Mabel was the best predictor! I'm giving the word to John.

The tennis year is over and the year-end Top 10 players have been named. The Women’s Tennis Blog published my Top 10 picks for 2014 back in December 2013 and many fans joined in with your own picks. We all included two players who were thought certain to make the Top 10 – Victoria Azarenka and Li Na. Because of injury neither player made the year-end Top 10. Additionally, no one picked Dominika Cibulkova as a Top 10 player. The best score possible was eight correct out of ten. Let’s see how the final standings compare to my predictions:

BOLAN'S JANUARY PREDICTIONS
1. Serena Williams
2. Li Na
3. Victoria Azarenka
4. Maria Sharapova
5. Agnieszka Radwanska
6. Petra Kvitova
7. Simona Halep
8. Caroline Wozniacki
9. Jelena Jankovic
10. Sabine Lisicki

ACTUAL YEAR-END TOP 10
1. Serena Williams
2. Maria Sharapova
3. Simona Halep
4. Petra Kvitova
5. Ana Ivanovic
6. Agnieszka Radwanska
7. Eugenie Bouchard
8. Caroline Wozniacki
9. Angelique Kerber
10. Dominika Cibulkova

Maria SharapovaI only had six correct picks. Fans using the comment section to submit their own picks averaged six correct picks. Seven fans who submitted timely entries had seven correct picks. In order to choose a winner, I had to determine which of those seven fans had the players in the closest order to the actual finish.

The race to the Top 10 was very exciting this year. The number one ranking was not decided until the second set of two matches in the WTA Finals at Singapore. In the Red Group final match, Ana Ivanovic had to win the second set over Simona Halep to make it into the final round. She lost that set which sent Serena Williams into the final round. Over in the White Group, Maria Sharapova also had to win her second set over Agnieszka Radwanska, but lost 6-7(4). This loss eliminated Maria from the final round. Both Ana and Maria won their matches in three sets, but failed to win in straight sets needed to advance. Maria led Serena most of the year in the 2014 points race until after the American section of the tour. Serena won Stanford, Cincinnati and her only major, the US Open, matching Maria who had won the French. Maria came back to win big in the required tournament in China, setting up the showdown in Singapore.

Dominika Cibulkova and John BolanThe final standings were very close. Less than 200 points separated number five and number 8. Just one more good victory would have moved Caroline from #8 to #5, for example. Dominika stopped Ekaterina Makarova’s Top 10 bid by just 82 points. If only Ekaterina had won one match at the Tournament of Champions in Sofia or another match in any tournament during the year, she would have been in the Top 10.

Seven fans with seven correct picks were: Alejo Belatti, James (our 2012 winner), Mabel Ratto, Mann, Michael N, Daryl Neo, and Emman Damian. James and Michael N were the only fans to pick Eugenie Bouchard. All seven chose Serena Williams #1, but Emman Damian was the only fan to pick Maria Sharapova #2. If Mann had gone with his heart and chosen Ana Ivanovic instead of Jelena Jankovic, he would have won this contest with eight correct picks. His comment about Ana needing a miracle to make the Top 10 came true.

This contest could not have been any closer. Based on a mathematical solution to find which fan had the closest picks to the final order, Mabel Ratto is our winner for 2014. Congratulations to her and a big thank you to all the fans who played this contest.

I'd like to thank everyone who joined us this year and to congratulate Mabel once again for being our best WTA predictor. Mabel, I will contact you shortly to see which autograph you'd like to receive. 

If you'd like to remind yourselves of how the previous rankings looked, check out John's past comparisons of early-season and season-ending WTA rankings.

28 thoughts on “The story of 2014 WTA rankings, how the situation looked in January and how the year ended + Mabel Ratto is our winner, our best predictor

  1. Marija Post author

    John, thank you for contributing to my blog and for always being there to surprise my readers with nice WTA autographs! Regarding this contest, it's a pity that Mann didn't go with his heart and we had no one with 8 correct picks. But OK, even like this we managed to find a good mathematical method of determining the winner.

    I would be pleased to feature your 2015 predictions! It would be a special, fifth edition, jubilee. 🙂

  2. Marija Post author

    Hey Mabel, nice to hear from you. Please check your email, I asked you for your mailing address and to tell me which autograph you'd like to receive.

  3. Marija Post author

    Mabel, I don't know what could be the problem with the email. I entered the correct email address. Can you please check your spam/trash folder? In the meantime, please tell me your Top 3 choices for a WTA autograph and we'll send you the one we have of the three, or if we have all the three then we'll send you your top choice.

    Now I'll delete your last comment, for the sake of your privacy.

  4. Emman Damian

    I was so close winning this one! I'll definitely join again next year. I really believed in Ana Ivanovic the whole time that she'll return to Top 10. It will be a tight 2015. Hope I'll win next time. I want an Ana Ivanovic autographed item. I'll really work hard for it. #TeamIvanovic

  5. Emman Damian

    I was so close winning this one! I'll definitely join again next year. I really believed in Ana Ivanovic the whole time that she'll return to Top 10. It will be a tight 2015. Hope I'll win next time. I want an Ana Ivanovic autographed item. I'll really work hard for it. #TeamIvanovic When would be the next one Marija? 🙂

  6. Marija Post author

    Emman Damian, you almost was the only one with eight correct picks. Even though you are not the winner, it must feel good that you know that you were among the best predictors. John has picked his Top 10 and now he's working on the article. I don't know when he'll finish, but in the coming days or at least during the off-season for sure. Stay tuned. 🙂

  7. mabel ratto

    I would like to :
    First option : Maria Sharapova
    Segund : Petra Kvitova
    Third : Agnieszka Radwanska
    What date have sent the mail?

  8. Marija Post author

    Emman Damian, John has already finished the article, so I will post it these days, if not even today! 🙂 I hope that John has an Ana Ivanovic autograph, I'm not sure about his current archive. That's why we always ask for Top 3 choices and then we always have one of the three. But years ago I had Ana's autograph and gave it away on some occasion here on Women's Tennis Blog. In any case, I'm looking forward to your predictions this year! 🙂

    Mabel, I'm glad you've found my email. We're checking which of the three autographs we have and I'll let you know about it as soon as I get the information.

  9. Emman Damian

    Hi Marija,

    I really want an Ana Ivanovic item. That would be a very good Christmas present.

    I'll definitely look forward on that articles. I always check your blog everyday. I have been an avid reader of the blog. I always check out the fashion retrospections per year as well as the updates for all WTA players (especially Ana). Cheers!

  10. Marija Post author

    Emman Damian, I'm glad to hear you're a regular here and that you enjoy my fashion retrospections. There are more to come this off-season! 🙂

  11. Marija Post author

    Emman Damian, good luck! There's a long year ahead of us, but you'll be patient and hopefully have that extra edge this time, as last time you were sooo close.

  12. Emman Damian

    Yes Marija! I did yesterday. I hope I'll clinch this one. I have been following Ana Ivanovic since she started playing in WTA tour. Through her highs and lows, I was a loyal fan. #TeamIvanovic

    Happy Holidays to you and your family! 🙂

  13. Marija Post author

    Emman Damian, I hope you'll be as loyal a fan of my blog 🙂 Happy holidays to you and your loved ones!

  14. Emman Damian

    Hi Marija,

    I'm already a loyal fan of your blog! I just started joining the predictions last year but I have been reading your blog for a long time now… Years actually! Cheers!

  15. Marija Post author

    Emman Damian, oh nice to hear that! You've joined the comments section only recently, so I got to know you only now.

  16. Emman Damian

    Yeah. Usually, I just read the articles and rarely do comments. Sometimes I don't comment at all since I pretty much agree with the article. It's much more fun to interact with other tennis fans as well. I'm a tennis player myself so sometimes I understand the feelings of the tennis players especially on injuries, pressures, etc.

  17. Marija Post author

    Emman Damian, I absolutely understand, I also have many blogs that I read all the time but never comment. I guess I don't even realize the size of my regular readership. Maybe that's even better, I don't feel pressure when writing 🙂

  18. Marija Post author

    Emman Damian, thanks a lot. I also enjoy the Little Tennis Stars section, plus it's incredible how big an archive I have now, never would've expected that. It's much easier to obtain the pics now with the social media, as players like to share their childhood photos. Before they were not as available.

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