WTA’s Top 10 Women’s Tennis Players
In 1973, legendary female tennis star Billie Jean King founded the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) – an organization for women’s tennis that is now known as the WTA Tour. The association was created to ensure women received better financial rewards for their efforts and in the modern era, the WTA Tour is incredibly lucrative with multimillion-dollar tournaments as the norm. Below, we look at the world’s top 10 female tennis players as of February 14, 2014.
Azarenka was born in Belarus, but currently resides in Monaco. She has been a professional tennis player since 2003 and has won 17 WTA singles titles. Azarenka has won the Australian Open twice, in 2012 and again in 2013, and has also reached the final of the U.S. Open on two separate occasions, while reaching the semifinals of the other two Grand Slam events. This speaks volumes about her consistency and she is known for using her mobility to play an aggressive baseline game. Azarenka was looking to win her third straight Australian Open in 2014; however, her plans were thwarted in the event’s quarter-finals.
Li has been a pro since 1999; however, she has really come to prominence as of late. She has nine WTA singles titles, but even more impressively, she has two Grand Slam titles – 2011 Wimbledon and 2014 Australian Open. Li is known for being an aggressive baseline player and also possesses outstanding reflexes and athleticism. Li is currently on an impressive winning streak as of the start of 2014 and if she continues in this form, she is a serious contender for the number one ranked women’s tennis player in the world.
The highly skilled Polish player has been a tennis pro since 2005 and has amassed 13 WTA Tour titles in that time. She has reached the final of Wimbledon in 2012 and there are signs that she may be close to breaking her Grand Slam bad luck. Tennis experts have described Radwanska as one of the most tactically sound players in the world and her game is all about anticipating her opponent’s next move. According to insiders, her weakness is that she needs to improve upon is her less than impressive second serve, which leaves her vulnerable to breaks. She reached the semifinal at the Australian Open in 2014, so this could be a huge year for her career.
Sharapova hails from Russia; however, she has been a U.S. resident since 1994. She has unfairly been criticized for being all glamour and no substance, but with 29 WTA singles wins, four Grand Slams, and a former number one ranking, Sharapova has proven that she is one of the circuit’s most elite players. In fact, she has actually managed a Career Grand Slam, which has been achieved by only a select group of players in history. Sharapova uses the reverse forehand effectively and is quick despite being a tall player. She was, however, beaten in the fourth round at the 2014 Australian Open, which represents something of a disappointment for this talented tennis superstar.
The Czech player turned pro in 2008 and has won 11 singles titles in her career. Kvitova has reached the semifinals of Wimbledon and the Australian Open, but is still waiting for her first Grand Slam final; let alone a title. Kvitova is known for her speedy left-handed serves and had the most aces at the 2011 Wimbledon championships. Her forehand and backhand are also extremely powerful. She was surprisingly knocked out in the first round of the Australian Open in 2014, which is not how most fans and critics alike pictured her seasoned starting off.
The Italian player is known for being the world’s leading doubles player with 20 WTA doubles titles; however, she also has seven WTA singles titles and is recognized as one of the world’s top female players. Errani reached the 2012 French Open finals and has been ranked as high as number five. She is regarded as a clay-court specialist and has a very consistent serving game. Errani had a poor time of it at the 2014 Australian Open, when she was eliminated from the tournament in just the first round.
Though Jankovic was born in Serbia, she now lives in Dubai and she has won 13 WTA singles titles. Jankovic reached the finals of the U.S. Open in 2008, which is her best Grand Slam performance since turning pro in 2001. Jankovic was ranked number one in the world in October 2008 and while she fell outside the top 20 in 2011, she has recovered admirably to regain her place as one of the world’s best. Jankovic reached the fourth round at the Australian Open, but was beaten by Simona Halep.
The German sensation began playing tennis when she was just three years old and has three WTA singles titles to her name to thank for her early start. Kerver turned pro in 2003 and since then has reached the semifinals of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. She has been ranked as high as number five in the world and while she has not been able to win a Grand Slam event to date, she has remained consistent and is regularly featured in the latter stages of major tournaments. Kerber was knocked out in the fourth round of the 2014 Australian Open.
The Romanian star has won six singles titles since bursting onto the WTA scene in 2010. Halep sparked controversy for having her breast size reduced when she was just 18 years of age. She would argue that it was the right decision as she moved up the rankings and has just entered the top 10 for the first time. This year’s quarter final appearance at the Australian Open is her best Grand Slam performance and she was deemed to be the WTA Tour’s most improved player in 2013.