Wednesday, 5 December 2012

WTA Predictions for 2013

I have finished with my reviews of 2012 where I discussed my favourite matches for the WTA and ATP and crowned the first round match between Caroline Wozniacki and Tamira Paszek as my favourite WTA match and the Australian Open semi-final between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic as my favourite ATP match of 2012. 

As we now as move into December, it is time to start previewing the 2013 season. I am beginning with my WTA predictions for 2013; I did a similar blog last year where I predicted that Petra Kvitova would be the world number one at the end of 2012.  Although I was wayward on my number one prediction, I was more successful in predicting that the likes of Zheng Jie, Mona Barthel and Carla Suarez Navarro would have good years.  Here are my predictions for the year-end top 10 in 2013 and for the movers and shakers in the top 100...

I anticipate another strong year for Azarenka, who will consolidate her number one ranking with at least one more Grand Slam to add to her trophy cabinet.  I think her commitment to the tour throughout the whole year will see her stay ahead of Serena.  The way Serena finished 2012, there is no doubt that she will rise from her current ranking of number 3. I think she could take the number one spot for a few months as she is defending few points in the first five months compared to the last five where she will be defending two Grand Slam titles, the YEC, and Stanford and Toronto too. I think Serena will dominate the Grand Slams because it is where she comes alive, but I still see Azarenka's remarkable consistency and appearance at the lesser tournaments, topping the table. 

1. Victoria Azarenka
Sharapova will still be up there but I think she will slip further behind Vika and Serena.  I do not think she will win a Grand Slam, but I fancy her to at least scoop a Premier Mandatory.  She began the season in imperious form in 2012 and will have to begin with a bang; this year she will join Serena and Azarenka in opening her season in Brisbane.  I fancy Kvitova to round out the top four and predict that she will rediscover some of her best form to take a Grand Slam.  Kvitova needs a big win over one of the top three to give her some confidence, which has been severely lacking since a tight loss to Sharapova in the Australian Open semi-finals.  Her game is big enough to live with the top three and she showed much more consistency in defeating the lower ranked players over the course of 2012.

3. Maria Sharapova
I think Radwanska and Kerber will fall slightly to 5 and 7 respectively, but will remain two of the most consistent performers on tour.  Radwanska will struggle to defend her final points from Wimbledon and a Grand Slam semi-final is the best I see for her in 2013.  Kerber has a grand old task on her hands to be as consistent as she was in 2012.  I do not think last year was a flash in the pan and although I think her form will be slightly more irratic, I see her making a maiden Grand Slam final.  Wozniacki moves up 4 places to 6 in my predictions.  She showed signs at the end of 2012 of making another move up the rankings and although she seems to be more interested in anything other than tennis during the off-season, I think that she will easily make up ground at the final two Grand Slams where she was knocked out in the opening round.

5. Agnieszka Radwanska
Li will benefit further from the wisdom of Carlos Rodriguez and remain a permanent fixture in the top 10 at my number 9; however he's not a miracle worker and her mental woes will still hold her back from reaching her maximum potential  The two new names I see entering the top 10 are Venus and Petrova.  Venus finished 2012 in style with a title win in Luxembourg and went from strength to strength in the latter half of 2012.  She showed very positive signs in dealing with her health problems and managed to reach number 34 in the world through just 13 tournaments.  She will be defending virtually no points in the early half of the season and at all four Grand Slams too.  My final choice was a toss-up between Petrova, Robson and Ivanovic, but I went for Petrova.  She looked extremely solid towards the end of 2012 and is ready for one final assault up the singles rankings...

8. Venus Williams
Going Down:
I believe that Sam Stosur, Sara Errani and Marion Bartoli will all move down the rankings in 2013.  Errani had an incredible 2012 and to defend the whopping amount of points she earnt this year will be a tough task; most notably finals at Roland Garros and semi-finals at the US Open.  I think the Italian will still have a very solid year, particularly on the clay but will fall into the 15-20's along with Bartoli and Stosur.  I am not quite sure why, but I have a feeling that Stosur will struggle next year.

Jelena Jankovic and Francesca Schiavone are two names who I see exiting the top 30 and the latter, I believe will retire during the year, perhaps at her fairytale Roland Garros.  Dominika Cibulkova has certainly reached her peak in the rankings and will fall to the mid-20's and I think Tamira Paszek will be hard pushed to remain in the top 30 as she defends big points on the grass where she was fantastic this year.  I also predict ranking drops for Roberta Vinci, Kaia Kanepi, Klara Zakopalova and Daniela Hantuchova.

Sara Errani... going down
Going Up:
Of all the up and comers, Laura Robson is the one who offers the most promise; I predict she will be top 15 at the end of this year and will be joined by Sloane Stephens who has made a more steady progression up the rankingsA risk, but one I am prepared to take, is to guess that Mona Barthel will make the top 20.  Despite a poor end to 2012, I have high hopes for the young German who needs a full-time coach to further her progression.  

The biggest movers for me will be Eugenie Bouchard and Annika Beck.  Bouchard won the Wimbledon Juniors title this year and made some big first steps on the pro-tour with a quarter-final appearance in Washington and an impressive showing against Li Na in Montreal.  The German conveyor belt has conjured up another talented German youngster in Beck, who finished the season on a ten match winning streak on the ITF tour.  She finished the pro-tour in Luxembourg where she came through qualifying and defeated Barbara Zahlavova Strycova to make the second round.  I fancy both to make the top 50 by year-end...

Vera Zvonareva had a terrible 2012 and is now languishing at a lowly 96 in the rankings.  I predict that now fully fit and rested, she will creep into the top 50, but no higher than top 30.  I am expecting similar from Andrea Petkovic who will find life tough next year.  Heather Watson will continue to rise with consistency the key for her to crack the top 30, which would be the best to expect from her in 2013.  I also predict that Yaroslava Shvedova, Aleksandra Wozniak, Kirsten Flipkens, Kiki Bertens and Jamie Hampton will all move the up the rankings in 2013.

Laura Robson... Going up
What are your predictions for the WTA in 2013?


  1. I think Sharapova will win a slam, she has been very consistent and has been working to win one or maybe to more slams this year. I think Kerber will be finish in number 4, Serena in 1, Sharapova in 2 and Azarenka en 3. The key between Serena and Sharapova is the way Masha is planing her season, Serena plays only one or 2 Mandatory, maybe 2 Premiers and only 2 or 3 Premier 5. I even think Azarenka will win US open, Masha Australian Open and Serena when she wants, she can. Kerber will be fialist in one slam. Errani will be on the top 10 she's very consistent too and Kvitova, Li and Stosur could give us a big surprise in slams but all depends of their focus on that.

  2. I think Ana Ivanovic will make it back into the top 10 after a strong and lengthy run if not win at the French Open. She looks like she`s back after defeating Mona Barthel, Kerber, Petrova in strait sets in stuttgart. Also she went to a long and intense third setter with sharapova, though she lost, a third setter with a top three player is is all a top ten player needs to gain confidence and momentum. She`ll be back!