Thursday, December 8, 2016

WTA Year End Rankings Notes

I went through the final WTA rankings this week in order to compile my 2016 year end Top 10 by birth year page (which you can now find at right) and had a few notes worth mentioning.

I'd also like to give a big shout out to Todd Spiker and his extensive post on the subject.  Find him @TheBackspinner on Twitter.

I believe this was the first I waited a whole year to compile the Birth Year Top 10 rankings so it resulted in some drastic differences in ranking but also serves a good comparison since we're comparing apples to apples when comes to contrasting the 2016 year end rankings with the 2015 year end rankings.  So I thought I'd post about.

Players born in 1987 (formerly led by Sharapova) have long dominated the tour as a group, at times boasting ten players in the top 40, but they fell off a cliff last year.  In addition to Sharapova's suspension, Petkovic, Safarova, Errani, and Ivanovic all suffered through injury or just flat out bad play.  So much so that the 1987 no. 1 is Yaroslava Shvedova (37) followed closely by Niculescu (38). Maybe they'll rebound next year but likely not, given that they'll all be turning 30.

Players born in 1992 were formerly a blemish among the younger set on the WTA, having been passed by many players a year or two younger, but they enjoyed a nice step up last year, led by the surge of Karolina Pliskova into the top 10.  Her twin Kristyna also drastically improved her ranking and there were also good stories from Golubic and Rogers, besides former 1992 no. 1 McHale getting back into the top 50 and improving her ranking by 20 spots.

Players born in 1997 seemed to have moved past those born in 1996 with the quintet of Kasatkina, Bencic, Ostapenko, Konjuh, and Osaka all ranked ahead of the 1996 no. 1 Siniakova, and there are just 4 players born in '96 in the top 100 (also Chirico, Dodin, and Vekic).

Catherine Bellis has been the 1999 no. 1 for a couple years but she now outranked everyone born in 1998 (led by #138 Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)) and if she were 4 years older would behind only 2 players born in 1995 (Keys and Putintseva).

Here's a list of years where the top spot has changed hands (year end 2015 to year end 2016):
1982 - Lucic-Baroni replaces the retired Pennetta
1985 - Kuznetsova (at #9) replaces the slumping Jankovic
1986 - Wimbledon SFist Vesnina inches past Strycova
1987 - as mentioned, Shvedova has passed Sharapova among others
1997 - Kasatkina has taken advantage of Bencic's injuries
1998 - the leader is the aforementioned Sabalenka, and last year's no. 1 Fridman is longer in the top 10 of this year
2000 - young Canadian Bianca Andreescu is now the trend setter no. 300, taking over for American Claire Liu
2001 - this very young group is led by no. 723 Maja Chwalinska (POL)

And finally, since I know you were all dying to know, here's the current top 100 by birth year.

17-Venus Williams (USA)

2-Serena Williams (USA)

81-Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO)

18-Roberta Vinci (ITA)

21-Samantha Stosur (AUS)

9-Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
54-Jelena Jankovic (SRB)

16-Elena Vesnina (RUS)
20-Barbora Strycova (CZE)
65-Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)
69-Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR)
70-Pauline Parmentier (FRA)
84-Shuai Peng (CHN)
89-Varvara Lepchenko (USA)

37-Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)
38-Monica Niculescu (ROU)
49-Sara Errani (ITA)
55-Andrea Petkovic (GER)
62-Lucie Safarova (CZE)
63-Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
64-Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL)

1-Angelique Kerber (GER)
12-Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
30-Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)
31-Laura Siegemund (GER)
50-Johanna Larsson (SWE)
53-Julia Goerges (GER)

3-Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
5-Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)
13-Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
15-Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)
23-Shuai Zhang (CHN)
57-Lesia Tsurenko (UKR)
58-Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
77-Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR)
79-Vania King (USA)
86-Evgeniya Rodina (RUS)
92-Sabine Lisicki (GER)

11-Petra Kvitova (CZE)
19-Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
29-Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU)
34-Anastasija Sevastova (LAT)
39-Alison Riske (USA)
41-Alize Cornet (FRA)
73-Madison Brengle (USA)
80-Sorana Cirstea (ROU)
82-Kristina Kucova (SVK)
90-Naomi Broady (GBR)
98-Irina Falconi (USA)

4-Simona Halep (ROU)
10-Johanna Konta (GBR)
22-Kiki Bertens (NED)
27-Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
36-Coco Vandeweghe (USA)
40-Misaki Doi (JPN)
78-Kurumi Nara (JPN)
83-Camila Giorgi (ITA)

6-Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
45-Christina McHale (USA)
56-Viktorija Golubic (SUI)
59-Shelby Rogers (USA)
60-Kristyna Pliskova (CZE)
66-Lara Arruabarrena (ESP)
72-Qiang Wang (CHN)
76-Heather Watson (GBR)
95-Magda Linette (POL)

7-Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
24-Caroline Garcia (FRA)
28-Timea Babos (HUN)
32-Monica Puig (PUR)
35-Sloane Stephens (USA)
42-Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)
61-Lauren Davis (USA)
88-Nicole Gibbs (USA)
91-Denisa Allertova (CZE)
99-Jana Cepelova (SVK)

14-Elina Svitolina (UKR)
25-Daria Gavrilova (AUS)
46-Eugenie Bouchard (CAN)
51-Annika Beck (GER)
67-Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER)
71-Danka Kovinic (MNE)
85-Saisai Zheng (CHN)
94-Nao Hibino (JPN)
96-Risa Ozaki (JPN)

8-Madison Keys (USA)
33-Yuliya Putintseva (KAZ)
87-Carina Witthoeft (GER)
93-Irina Khromacheva (RUS)
97-Maria Sakkari (GRE)

52-Katerina Siniakova (CZE)
68-Louisa Chirico (USA)
74-Oceane Dodin (FRA)
100-Donna Vekic (CRO)

26-Daria Kasatkina (RUS)
43-Belinda Bencic (SUI)
44-Jelena Ostapenko (LAT)
47-Ana Konjuh (CRO)
48-Naomi Osaka (JPN)

75-Catherine Bellis (USA)

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