Now that the WTA season is over and the ladies are resting up for Australia, I thought it was time to look ahead and give my predictions for 2010. 2009 was a drama filled year and I expect even more next year. Players will be “ranked” according to what I think their year-end ranking will be for 2010.
1. Serena Williams – Even with the return of Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, I don’t expect anyone to take over the top spot from Serena and expect her to win at least two Slams for 2010.
2. Caroline Wozniacki – “Sunshine” as she’s known on the tour will have another consistent year and will find herself in another Slam final. If she can win a big one remains to be seen but it will be hard to bet against her next year. Conditioning and her excessive match play may hurt her down the road.
3. Dinara Safina – A lot depends on Safina’s current back injury and her mental toughness for 2010. I can see her in a Slam final but she will have to dismiss whatever demons she has in order to make it back to the top spot.
4. Svetlana Kuznetsova – Despite her mental flaws, “Sveta” will always be a factor in 2010 and will probably make it to another Slam final. If she wins a Slam next year is entirely up to her. Watch out for her at the Australian Open as she finished 2010 in good shape healthwise.
5. Venus Williams – 2010 will be the last chance at glory for Venus as she turns 30 this year. Aside from Wimbledon, she’s not been a factor for a while at the other Slams and her knee could be a big issue. Plus the fact that no one tour is afraid of playing her could may next year very tough.
6-9. These slots will change depending on the names, i.e. Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka, Elena Dementieva, etc. They could breakthrough and win a Slam, but let’s face it, shouldn’t they have done so already?
10. Kim Clijsters – Everybody keeps salivating over Henin’s return but Clijsters, who played lights out tennis at the U.S. Open, will still go into every tournament with nothing to lose and thus no pressure. I expect Kimmie to be a factor in Australia and a heavy favorite at the U.S. Open again.
Wildcards – Justine Henin will be the story at the Australian Open win or lose. It will all depend on her draws and I actually think the clay court season is where she will find the most success. She has more to lose than Kim Clijsters in her comeback so a Slam victory in 2010 is paramount.
Sam Stosur – Stosur finally won a WTA event in ’09 and will probably break into the top 10 next year. She’s got the game to win a big one, maybe even Wimbledon, but does she believe she can win is the question.
Maria Sharapova – Sharapova is finally getting back on track after a rocky 2009. If her serve starts clicking again, she could be a factor but probably not until Wimbledon.
Ana Ivanovic – 2010 will define Ivanovic’s entire career. If she can get over her mental and physical fatigue, she could work her way back into the top ten again. If she can’t, I could see her retiring early. Hope I’m wrong.
Melanie Oudin – Next year will be the real test for the feisty American to prove the U.S. Open run was no fluke. I definitely see her in the top 20 before too long. Perhaps the French Open will be her next surprise Slam as she says she likes the clay?
Amelie Mauresmo – There’s been no word yet on Mauresmo’s potential retirement but even if she decides to stick it out, 2010 will probably be her last year. Maybe she will finally go for broke and play with nothing to lose? If so, we could be in for a real treat.
Let me know what you think!
5 responses to “WTA Crystal Ball for 2010.”
Yeah well – what can i say? – I bet Masha will surprise us all – She ended 2009 pretty good with a title in Japan – just some months after her come back – She climbed from #147 to #15 which I think is an amazing accomplishment after 9 months absence and a shoulder surgery – She also went as far as the quarter finals in Roland Gaross in spite of her lack of match practice
A healthy Masha in good tennis form can beat anyone in the top 10 – Serena – Clijsters and Henin included
My hopes are that she’ll at least go as far as the semifinals in the Australian Open
That she’ll reach the quarter finals in Roland Gaross
That she’ll reach the final in Wimbledon and win
That she’ll reach the final in the US Open and win
If she does well in the Australian Open – it will boost her confidence and 2010 could be Masha’s lucky year again (2004 Wimbledon – 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open)
I agree Sharapova will be a factor so long as she stays healthy. She can definitely get back in the top ten for sure. Wimbledon isn’t out of the question.
I agree. Maria was looking great after the U.S. Open. She’s definitely a contender next year but I don’t know about a winner. I’m sure Justine will be a favorite at Roland Garros and Serena/Venus tough at Wimbledon as usual. I don’t think it’s fair to say that Jelena should have already won a slam. I honestly don’t think she can. On the other hand Elena was so close at Wimbledon, she just needs to get over that mental hump I’m guessing. Thanks.
I agree with some of the things you say, except for a few things. First, I have a feeling that with Maria, Justine, and Kim all back in 2010, that Caroline and Dinara will struggle to defend a lot of their points from 2009. I could be wrong, but that’s my opinion. Next, I don’t agree with you when you say that Azarenka should’ve won a grand slam already. She’s never been in the top 5, and she’s still only 20! I also think that you should’ve wrote about other players, such as Vaidisova, Pennetta, Lisicki, A.Radwanska, Cirstea, etc.
Andrew, Thanks so much for posting! Ok I admit I may have been too quick to lump Azarenka in with Jankovic and Dementieva as she still has time to prove herself. As for Vaidisova, Pennetta, Lisicki, A.Radwanska, Cirstea, etc. those ladies may breakthrough next year but I haven’t seen anything in their game so far to indicate they won’t do better than hover around the 11-20 area ranking wise.