It’s that time of year when my friend John Bolan joins Women’s Tennis Blog with his Top 10 year-end predictions for the upcoming season. As in five previous years, we’re inviting you to enter the game by sharing your Top 10 WTA year-end ranking forecast for 2016 in the comments and if at the end of the season your standings turn out to be the most accurate, we will award you with an autograph of one of your favorite WTA players. Let’s give the word to John!
Ok, are you ready to make your Top 10 picks for 2016? Name the Top 10 players in order at the end of the year. We all have favorites, but I try to use a little logic in the picks.
What were the rankings of the players in 2015? Which top players have been injured for months in 2015? Are there any young players ready for inclusion in the Top 10? Any personal favorites who you just must include? What players seem to be rising or sinking in the rankings? Those are the questions. Here are my answers, the Top 10 prediction for 2016:
- Serena Williams
- Maria Sharapova
- Garbine Muguruza
- Simona Halep
- Agnieszka Radwanska
- Belinda Bencic
- Petra Kvitova
- Karolina Pliskova
- Ana Ivanovic
- Victoria Azarenka
My pick for number 1. How can anyone not go with Serena Williams? She has just been named Sports Illustrated sportsperson of the year for 2015. Does anyone think Serena won’t be number one in 2016? This is the year she and Venus have been waiting to arrive. To win Olympic gold medals is their goal.
Number 2 is Maria Sharapova, clearly the class act of women’s tennis. Out four months of 2015, but she still managed to finish fourth. She looks healthy in her off-season matches these past weeks.
Garbine Muguruza, my number 3 pick, will not be the youngest player in the 2016 Top 10 as she was in 2015. But she will be the best of the field after the Top 2.
2016 will be the first year Simona Halep drops in ranking since she first made the Top 10. Not far. Just to number 4. With a healthy Sharapova and new super star, Muguruza, fourth is still great for Simona.
Number 5 will be Miss Steady Eddy – Agnieszka Radwanska. Never count her out of a match. Coming off a tremendous end to her 2015 campaign, she will keep her winning ways in 2016.
Belinda Bencic will slide into the Top 10 as the youngest player at age 18. I saw her play in person at the Rogers Cup in Toronto and at the US Open in 2015. If she plays like she did in Toronto, she will be number one. My pick for Belinda is a conservative number 6. Having Hingis and her mother helping her is a big plus.
Number 7 will be the big hitter, Petra Kvitova. Her power game will keep her in Top 10 for another year.
Karolina Pliskova is the real deal and is not about to remain outside the Top 10. My pick for her is number 8. She cannot wait for the new year to begin.
Number 9 will be Ana Ivanovic, the former number one and winner of the French Open. Ana is far from finished being a top WTA star.
Victoria Azarenka has been injured and played in only 14 tournaments in 2015. She still managed to finish the year ranked twenty two. Those ranked higher played in as many as 26 tournaments. I like her chances to finish in the Top 10 at number 10.
Do you all agree with my picks? No, really you don’t? Ok, make your picks in the comment section at the end of this article. If your picks are better than mine and the other fans who make picks, I will send you an autographed picture of one of your favorite players. Best of luck!
Comments received by January 1st, 2016 will be eligible for the prize. In the email field, please leave your correct email address, as I will use it to contact you if you turn out to be the winner.