Niall Clarke’s 2015 WTA Predictions
Niall Clarke, Tennis Atlantic
WTA is notoriously hard to predict. With so many twists and turns, it’s almost impossible to get predictions completely right. However I am going to have a go, so here are my 2015 WTA predictions.
Year end top 10
10: Angelique Kerber
The German has been in and around the top ten for the past few years and I expect 2015 will be no different. Kerber will be fighting with many others for that last spot at the season ending championships, but a lack of big results will be her downfall. Another top 10 finish could very well happen though, and I believe that it will. Kerber will finish tenth for the second straight year.
9: Victoria Azarenka
Vika had her struggles last season. Injuries meant she missed the chance to defend her Australian Open crown, and thus she slipped down the rankings. Upon her return, the former world number 1 struggled to get back to form and finished 31 in the rankings. With a good off season I can see Azarenka re-entering the top 10 in 2015, but she’ll just fall short of the tour championships.
8: Agnieszka Radwanska
Aga has been one of the most solid performers on the WTA tour in recent years. The Pole has finished in the top 10 for the past four years. It’s beginning to look like now or never for Radwanska, as she seeks the so far elusive Grand Slam title. Unfortunately, I don’t see her making that step up in 2015. Another solid year will see her finish just inside the top 8.
7: Ana Ivanovic
Ivanovic is another former world number one who had somewhat of a resurgence in 2014. However, I don’t see the Serb being quite as successful in 2015. The 2008 Roland Garros champion will be solid, but unspectacular in 2015, which sees her finish inside the top 8 for the second straight season.
6: Garbine Muguruza
Muguruza is one of the WTA’s fastest rising stars, and I think 2015 will be her breakthrough. Garbine had a solid 2014, and finished just inside the top 20. The Spaniard has the potential to be a grand slam champion, but will have to be more consistent to do so. Garbine’s time won’t come in 2015, but she’ll produce some big results that see her make the tour finals.
5: Petra Kvitova
The Wimbledon champion will be one of the favourites on the grass courts and could very well retain the Wimbledon title. Kvitova will be dangerous in every event she enters, but inconsistent results will see her finish fifth in the world rankings. The Czech will pick up the majority of her points on the faster courts where her power really comes into play.
4: Caroline Wozniacki
In 2014 we saw more of the Wozniacki that got to number one in the world rankings. I see Caro having a consistent season, where she will go relatively deep in most events. However, I don’t believe she will have one big stand out result to take her higher in the rankings, so the Dane will have to settle for a fourth place finish.
3: Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova will have a similar season to 2014 that will guide the Russian to third in the world rankings. Sharapova will continue to grab titles on clay, which seems to be her best surface at this time. The 27 year old will be looking to add to her 5 grand slam titles, and she could very well do that. Her best chance will be at Roland Garros again, where she is a two time champion.
2: Simona Halep
The Romanian had her best season in 2014, and will build on that in 2015. Halep will be fighting for the major titles throughout the year and might even go all the way in a Grand Slam. I believe that the loss at the French Open final in 2014 will benefit her, and will help the current world number 3 in future Grand Slam finals. Halep won’t have the success of Serena in 2015, but will be ahead of the rest of the pack.
1: Serena Williams
Serena Williams will once again finish the year as the number one ranked player in women’s tennis. It may not be as simple for the American as it has been in previous years, but Serena will be one step ahead of the competition yet again. With her natural power and booming serve, Williams will overcome any difficulties that she may face with her movement to win most of the events she competes in. This may be the final year of Serena’s reign, but I do believe she will be Queen of the tour yet again.
Grand Slam winners
Australian Open: Simona Halep
Runner up: Caroline Wozniacki
The Australian Open is very difficult to predict. This has been the slam that has alluded Serena since her return to the top, and I feel that it will continue to allude her in 2015. Simona Halep will feel confident after a good 2014, and I believe she could win her maiden grand slam in Melbourne. Wozniacki has a good run to the final but is ultimately stopped by the Romanian in 3 sets.
French Open: Maria Sharapova
Runner up: Garbine Muguruza
Maria Sharapova may not be favourite to defend her crown given her record against Serena Williams. I feel the world number one will have another shock exit before they get to meet, leaving the door open for Sharapova to claim her third title at Roland Garros. Garbine Muguruza will have a breakthrough grand slam performance, but will ultimately fall under pressure.
Wimbledon: Serena Williams
Runner up: Sabine Lisicki
Whilst we are on the subject of losing your maiden slam final; Sabine Lisicki will once again have a great run in her favourite tournament. Unfortunately for the German, she will be opposite Serena Williams, who will extract revenge on Lisicki. Lisicki defeated Serena at this tournament in 2013. Williams will stream roll her way to the title without dropping a set, and look ominous whilst doing so.
US Open: Serena Williams
Runner up: Simona Halep
The two best players of the year will meet in the final Grand Slam match of 2015. Williams will be riding a wave of great form after her Wimbledon triumpth, and that will see her over the line in a classic US Open final. Halep puts up a good fight, but Serena pulls through in 3 sets to claim her 4th straight title at Flushing Meadows and 20th Grand Slam overall.
Premier Mandatory and Premier 5 predictions
Dubai: Serena Williams
Indian Wells: Simona Halep
Miami: Serena Williams
Madrid: Maria Sharapova
Rome: Simona Halep
Canada: Serena Williams
Cincinnati Serena Williams
Wuhan: Caroline Wozniacki
Beijing: Petra Kvitova
WTA Championships: Serena Williams
- Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard falls out of the top 10
- Former world number one; Martina Hingis, returns to singles competition
- Venus Williams announces her retirement
- Belinda Bencic will crack top 20
- Vinci & Errani won’t finish the year as the number 1 doubles team