WTA Year In Review: 10-6 Including Svitolina

0

This off-season, Last Word on Tennis will be looking back at the seasons of the top 50 players on each tour. This installment covers the WTA 2017 players ranked 10-6, including Elina Svitolina and Jelena Ostapenko

10. Coco Vandeweghe

Embed from Getty Images
A very good year in the Grand Slams helped  Coco Vandeweghe finish the year inside the top 10

High Points

2017 proved to be a fruitful year for the big hitting American. Not only did she help her country win the Fed Cup throughout the year, she also served up some excellent results in Grand Slams. Vandeweghe made the semi finals of both the Australian Open and US Open, but unfortunately for her she was bested in the last four by fellow Americans Venus Williams and Madison Keys. The latter also defeated Vandeweghe in her only final appearance in Stanford.

Low Points

Her success at Grand Slam level was very good except from Roland Garros where she lost in the first round to Magdalena Rybarikova. Whilst it is true that clay is Vandeweghe’s weakest surface, a better result at the French Open may have seen her board the plane to Singapore.

Outlook for 2018

Vandeweghe has the game to run through a field and win big titles. After a solid 2017 where she made two semi finals at Grand Slam level, surely the aim for 2018 is to convert that form into a big title and potentially finish the year inside the top eight. The question is, does she mentally have it in her to do this?

9. Johanna Konta

Embed from Getty Images
The Brit posted another solid top 10 season claiming her biggest career title in the process

High Points

Johanna Konta kicked off her year in style by claiming the title in Sydney. She backed that up with the biggest title of her career in Miami where she defeated Simona Halep, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki back to back to claim the trophy. However, she may be most proud of being the first British woman in 39 years to make the semi finals at Wimbledon.

Low Points

Konta’s season up until the semi final at Wimbledon was great and she looked set to qualify for the Year End Championships in Singapore for the first time. Unfortunately for the Brit, her form dipped hugely after Wimbledon and she ended up being usurped by Caroline Garcia at the last hurdle on the road to Singapore. It is an all too familiar feeling for Konta who had a similar thing happen to her in 2016.

Outlook For 2018

It is hard to see where Konta goes in 2018. Could her days as a consistent top 10 player be over? Or will she continue that form into 2018 and finally earn a place in the Year End Championships? That will be the aim for sure, but with so many players threatening to rise and others coming back into the fold, she may find a top 10 finish more challenging this time around.

8. Caroline Garcia

Embed from Getty Images
A year of firsts saw the talented Frenchwoman have a career best season.

High Points

2017 was a year of firsts for Caroline Garcia. She made her first Grand Slam quarter final at the French Open where she eventually would lose to Karolina Pliskova. She then had a remarkable run in China to claim her first Premier title In Wuhan, followed by another in Beijing. This remarkable end of season form saw her qualify for Singapore for the first time. She would make the last four in the Year End Championships, losing to Venus in a tight contest.

Low Points

Garcia’s season did not really get going until her quarter final run at the French Open. That was partly due to injuries, but also to do with the fallout of her decision to not play Fed Cup in 2017. This led to a fallout with the French Tennis Federation and her former doubles partner Kristina Mladenovic. The successful French pair split early in the season, and this led to some very choice words aimed at Garcia by her compatriot.

Outlook for 2018

Her end of season showing proved that Garcia is capable of doing great things, but the question is can she keep it up? The aim will be to build on her great results in 2017 and go one better in 2018, but how will she react to being hunted rather than being the hunter?

7. Jelena Ostapenko

Embed from Getty Images
A shocking breakthrough to Roland Garros saw the young Latvian breakthrough into the elite

High Points

Of course you can not talk about Jelena Ostapenko’s season without mentioning the French Open first. Out of nowhere, the big hitting Latvian made history by powering her way to the title at Roland Garros, becoming the first player from Latvia to achieve this level of success. She back it up well too, securing her place in the top eight with another title win in Seoul and making the WTA finals for the first time.

Low Points

The North American swing did not prove too successful for the 20 year old. Ostapenko lost early in Toronto and Cincinnati to qualifiers and she did not do much better at the US Open too. The world number seven was disappointing in her third round loss to Daria Kasatkina, making this a period to forget.

Outlook for 2018

Ostapenko will have a tough job on to improve on her 2017. The Latvian proved she belonged in the top 10 with some good results following her Roland Garros victory, but unless she wins a slam in 2018, those points will drop off. It will be tough for her to defend all these points, so do not be shocked to see her drop off a little next year. That said, she could easily start firing once again, she is just one of those players.

6. Elina Svitolina

Embed from Getty Images
A consistent season saw Svitolina solidify herself as a top 10 player

High Points

Svitolina hit a personal best haul of five titles this season in Taipei City, Dubai, Istanbul, Rome and Toronto respectively . These results propelled her to a career high ranking of three in the world, and the Ukrainian was in contention to finish the year as world number one at the end of the season. She also made her debut at the WTA Finals in Singapore where she failed to make it out of the group stages.

Low Points

If you look at one specific moment, you have to point out the lead she lost against Halep in the quarter finals of the French Open. If she won that match, she would have been favourite to go all the way and claim her first Grand Slam title. The majors as a whole where a struggle for Svitolina as she did not make it past the quarter final in any of the Grand Slams despite her overall consistency throughout the year

Outlook for 2018

The aim will undoubtedly be to have better results in the Grand Slams and break into the top five. Being one of the most consistent players in the game and constantly adding to her weapons, Svitolina looks like a mainstay in the top 10, but can she make that Grand Slam breakthrough next year?

LEAVE A REPLY