Over years some topics have spontaneously turned into special fan favorite series here on Women’s Tennis Blog and John Bolan’s pre-season year-end Top 10 ranking predictions have definitely acquired that status. This year we’re actually celebrating fifth straight year (half a decade!) of our friend’s WTA forecasts. As always, John is inviting all of you to join him in the comments and if at the end of 2015 your Top 10 standings turn out to be the most accurate, John will award you with an autograph of one of your favorite WTA players. Comments received by January 1st, 2015 will be eligible for the prize.
For many years, I have made the Top 10 end-of-year predictions, but 2015 has been the most difficult. The 2014 rankings had six players just a win or two away from being a member of the Top 10. The top player was not decided until the WTA Finals in Singapore. Four players in the Top 10 had less than 200 points separating them. A perennial Top 10 player was injured for the majority of the year and must be considered in 2015’s standings.
My first step, the logical part, was to choose the players to be considered Top 10 material for 2015. I chose the 2014 16 highest-ranked players plus the injured, Victoria Azarenka, and the best rising young player, Garbine Muguruza. I considered these 18 players as finalists.
Of course, we all have personal favorites. Your heart, not just your brain, joins in the decision. In the end, my brain won out this year as two of my favorite Top 10 players in 2014 missed the final cut for 2015. My apologies go to Eugenie Bouchard and my friend, Dominika Cibulkova. I eliminated four veterans – Angelique Kerber, Flavia Pennetta, Sara Errani and Lucie Safarova – because of their play in matches I witnessed. Garbine Muguruza will be in the Top 10 soon enough, but not in 2015. For me, the hardest choice was Ekaterina Makarova, whom I know and like. She had a great year, and if she had just won one match at the Tournament of Champions in Sofia, she would have been in the Top 10 in 2014.
Here are my Top 10 year-end rankings for 2015:
- Serena Williams
- Maria Sharapova
- Simona Halep
- Agnieszka Radwanska
- Caroline Wozniacki
- Victoria Azarenka
- Petra Kvitova
- Andrea Petkovic
- Ana Ivanovic
- Jelena Jankovic
In 2015, the number one spot is up for grabs. Any of the Top 3 could be number one a year from now. Serena’s age and injuries have leveled the playing field. Maria and Simona are ready to take advantage. It was difficult to choose between the Top 3, so I picked them in the same order they finished in 2014.
Aga now has Martina Navratilova on her team which is a definite plus. Caroline is playing great once again. Having Serena for a best friend is a plus for her. Victoria should be well this year and back in the Top 10. Petra has just said she wants to be number one in 2015.
Andrea is the hardest working player in tennis. The two Serbians also make the Top 10 because of their work ethic. Andrea, Ana and Jelena know how hard they must work to be a Top 10 player.
There is no expectation on my part you will agree with me on these picks. This is the reason we play the game. Now let’s see your WTA Top 10 year-end ranking predictions for 2015 in the comments below! Remember, the deadline for submission is January 1st, 2015 and the best predictor will receive an autograph of one of their favorite women’s tennis players. Good luck!