First time in WTA history: 16 tournaments, 16 different champions in 2019

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New times bring new vibes and the latest vibe in the WTA world is that of unpredictability — there are no dominant players that can sleepwalk through the first few rounds of tournaments and the greatest accomplishments are up for grabs for all players, regardless of their age, ranking and status. For the first time in WTA history we’ve had a different champion at every tournament since the start of the season — that’s 16 tournaments up to this moment!

Let’s have a look at all the singles champions so far in 2019.

Czech Karolina Pliskova beat Lesia Tsurenko in three sets to win her second Brisbane International title.

Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka won two matches in one day to clinch the Shenzhen Open title.

German Julia Goerges ended a fairytale run of Canadian qualifier Bianca Andreescu to defend her title at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

Czech Petra Kvitova was better than Ashleigh Barty in the third-set tiebreak and lifted the Sydney International champion’s trophy.

Twenty-year-old American Sofia Kenin won her maiden title at the Hobart International and still remains the only player in 2019 to have won a title without dropping a set.

After practically coming out of nowhere to win the 2018 US Open, Japan’s Naomi Osaka won the following Grand Slam as well, beating Petra Kvitova in the 2019 Australian Open final and becoming a world No.1.

Dutch Kiki Bertens won her eighth career title and first in 2019 by defeating Donna Vekic in the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy final.

Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska, 18, came back from the brink to win her second career WTA singles title at the Toyota Thailand Open presented by E@, becoming the youngest active multiple titlist.

Belgian Elise Mertens picked up her fifth career title and first at a Premier-level event after rallying to beat top seed Simona Halep in the final of the Qatar Total Open.

Belinda Bencic of Switzerland recorded four consecutive three-set victories over Top 10 players to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium completed a comeback win in the Hungarian Ladies Open final to beat Marketa Vondrousova and retain her title in Budapest.

Chinese Wang Yafan, 24, won her first WTA title at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presentado por HSBC as an unseeded player.

After coming short in the Auckland final against Julia Goerges early into the season, Canadian Bianca Andreescu completed the feat at a much more significant tournament, upsetting a slew of big names to go all the way to the BNP Paribas Open title.

Ashleigh Barty of Australia won the biggest title of her career and fourth overall by defeating former world No.1 Karolina Pliskova in the final of the Miami Open. Barty is positive about this new state of women’s tennis that lacks dominant players and is content that “anyone in the draw has a legitimate chance of winning [any] tournament.”

Over the weekend, American Madison Keys defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the final of the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, winning her first title on clay.

Garbine Muguruza of Spain defended a WTA title for the first time in her career when her fellow former world No.1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka retired midway through their Abierto GNP Seguros final because of a leg injury. Azarenka, who was playing her first WTA final since giving birth to her son Leo in December 2016, retired while trailing 6-1 3-1.

While many tennis fans see this inconsistency as a positive trend, there are those who are nostalgic about the time when a handful of players dominated the sport. ESPN’s Peter Bodo recently wrote an interesting article “Is the WTA’s parity about depth or lack of dominant players?” and there he quoted Robert Lansdorp, who shaped the games of legends such as Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport and Pete Sampras:

Today, you look at a Muguruza or an Ostapenko and you wonder, ‘What the hell happened?’ They are losing, but not necessarily getting beat. They aren’t losing because the other players are better, but because they’re playing badly. Nobody seems tough enough to hang in there and play the same kind of tennis that brought them up.

Note that the distribution of countries is also diverse. The only countries that have two titlists in 2019 are the Czech Republic, Belgium and the USA. Also, there are no Russians among the 2019 champions so far. Remember that they used to have many players in the Top 50 and Top 100, right now there are only three Russians in the Top 50 and the highest-ranked one is No.22 Daria Kasatkina.

 

 

5 thoughts on “First time in WTA history: 16 tournaments, 16 different champions in 2019

  1. Terry

    Can you get this suggestion forwarded to the appropriate authorities…..please have them take steps to prevent WTA matches between women/girls/etc. who have no visible interest in competing against their opponent and which result in matches that feature lazy ball chasing, weak retrievals, half-hits, and laughing/joking/verbal exchanges of minutes at the net at the conclusion of the match. It is a pathetic display of phony tennis. Examples I cite as illustrations: Any match between the Williams sisters; and the latest example, the match between Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens. The latter two girls had no interest in performing seriously and it was more of an exhibition. Friendships off the court, blood relations, and love/romantic interests have to be curtailed or spectators will begin to distrust your WTA competition as stage.

  2. Terry

    I object to exhibition matches, not competitive matches. Any Williams sisters match, a match like the Volvo Car Open between Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens are bad for the sport. They are phony matches; there is no sign of competition, a sense of urgency in running down balls, and half-hitting. Then, they laugh, joke it up and talk for minutes at the net. I mean these exhibitions are obvious in their phony quality. These girls like one another; they are not competitors.

  3. Ian

    Nothing beats the Trivalry of Serena – Maria – Vika. Yes I know Serena own Maria in a h2h record, but even their matches were always on high level and you see the will n fire in their eyes fighting for every points! Vika always give Serena a run for her money. N Maria – Vikas matches are always at their bests n winner couldve gone either way.
    The present rivalries are just yawn ..

  4. ferondi

    I agree with you Ian….

    Maria- Serena- Vika rivalry is one of the most exciting ones…..

    Interestingly Serena dominates against Maria
    Maria is the better player with Azarenka
    but Azarenka is the one that can always push Serena

    So these are just amazing rivalry…..I think one dominant player is just really boring but no player at all is also really polarising…..

    I think the last year a player dominates the tennis season was Angelique Kerber in 2016…..Then since 2017, we never have the same Grand Slam champion until Osaka won this year’s Aussie Open…..

    It’s been two years and going on to its third year….hopefully a new star will rise soon….

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