Marisela C. Martinez
After a year of comebacks, triumphs, setbacks, drama and tears, the 2018 WTA season was exciting and one to remember. From Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki finally winning their first Grand Slam titles, while Angelique Kerber winning Wimbledon, to Serena Williams’s great comeback and US Open tantrum, in front of a young generation of talented tennis players led by Naomi Osaka, that showed the world the bright future ahead for women’s tennis.
1. Simona Halep (Romania) – French Open Champion and World No. 1
Halep finally conquered her first Grand Slam in Paris. Despite injuries and setbacks, she managed to end the year as world number one for the second year in a row.
2.Angelique Kerber (Germany) – Wimbledon Champion and Top 10 comeback.
Kerber went from dropping out of the Top 20 at the beginning of 2018 to finishing the year as world number two, and winning Wimbledon along the way.
3.Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) – Australian Open Champion and World No. 1
Wozniacki started 2018 strong by winning her first Grand Slam in Australia, and reaching the top spot of the rankings, however, she finished the year as world number three.
4.Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) – WTA Finals Champion and breaking into Top 3.
Svitolina reached top three at the beginning of 2018 and sealed the year with the biggest win of her career in Singapore claiming the WTA Finals title.
5.Naomi Osaka (Japan) – US Open Champion and the future of women’s tennis.
Osaka (age 21) showed the world the bright future of women’s tennis after winning the US Open title during an epic and dramatic final against her tennis idol Serena Williams.
6.Sloane Stephens (USA) – Miami Open Champion and breaking into Top 10.
Stephens broke into the Top 10 for the first time in her career by winning the Miami Open and reaching the finals in Paris, Montreal, and Singapore.
7.Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic) – 5 titles won and Top 10 comeback.
Kvitova had an incredible start of the year by winning in St. Petersburg, Doha, Prague, Madrid, and Birmingham. After a few setbacks, she managed to finish 2018 reaching the WTA Finals.
8.Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) – Top 10 and WTA Finals semifinalist.
Pliskova had a strong end of the year staying inside the Top 10 after winning in Stuttgart, Tokyo, and reaching the semifinals in Singapore.
9.Kiki Bertens (Netherlands) – "Most Improved Player Of The Year" Award.
Bertens huge success in 2018 came from winning in Charleston, Cincinnati, Seoul, reaching the semifinals in Singapore, and defeating twelve Top 10 rivals along the way.
10.Daria Kasatkina (Russia) – Moscow Champion and breaking into Top 10.
Kasatkina (age 21) sealed the year by winning in Moscow in front her home crowd after reaching the Top 10 for the first time in her career.
We are looking forward to an exciting 2019 WTA season filled with more drama, comebacks, triumphs, and the battle between the veterans and the next generation of young talented tennis stars taking over the biggest stages.