year is upon us, and we can now look back on 2010 to give us a clue as to what
2011 might hold on the WTA Tour.
Caroline Wozniacki will continue to improve
2010 was mostly about reaching number one spot in the world rankings. Even if
the young Dane didn't reach any Grand Slam finals this year, she was able, throughconsistency
and the sheer number of tournaments she played, to oust double Grand Slam
winner Serena Williams from her throne.
ranking system has been talked about a great deal, mostly because of the difference
in the number of points given in Grand Slams compared to other tournaments. The
WTA now chooses to favour players who play all year long at the expense of the more
Slams are still the main events, the key reference points, and the only record
that people remember at the end of a career. Until now, Caroline hasn't won one
but let's not forget that she's only 20 years old and has a great improving
It was the year of the half-season for the older
Justine and Kim are three players able to master the world tour but they are also
three players who are now only partially involved in their sport.
first one has won so many titles that she has lost all motivation when it comes
to play any event other than a Major.
second one, Justine, retired unexpectedly only to realise two years later that
she was still in love with the game and missing it terribly. Last season she
played just six months and experienced a number of ups and downs.
started strongly with final appearances in Brisbane and at the Australian Open before
winning in Stuttgart and s'Hertogenbosch. While playing Wimbledon she injured
her elbow and there ended her season.
season may start late for her, perhaps allowing her to only reach full fitness
in second part of season as she claims she can't train as usual because of the
chronic pain she still feels from her fall at Wimbledon.
other hand, Kim Clijsters, despite playing way fewer than the others (11 events
this year), was thrilling. She shared the way she enjoys life and being on
court with everybody. At the end, it led her to five titles: one Grand Slam in
New York, two premier events in Miami and Cincinnati, and the Masters on top of
all of this.
year should look the same as the one just finished for her. She'll keep a light
schedule so she still manages being a mother and also a champion, but will be
among the big favourites each time she makes an appearance.
as Serena is concerned, she has already stated she won't come back before
spring due to the foot injury she sustained after her triumph in Wimbledon. I
personally doubt whether she will be able to play the clay season so we should
see her again for Wimbledon. If it happens, it will mean she has been out for a
Zvonareva is now a title contender
Russian reached second spot on the Tour and she has been improving steadily for
some years now. She's a really interesting player because she's different from
the other girls: she's independent and able to manage herself on a daily basis.
often see her spending hours in the fitness room to do specific bodybuilding or
stretching work. She's doing it every single day. She's a very determined
player and her ranking rewards all those years of hard work.
opinion, she'll be, with Kim, one of Caroline Wozniacki's big rivals for the
number one spot in 2011.
Dementieva wanted to start a new life and become a mother so she decided to end
her career. The Russian was one of the most serious and motivated players on
the WTA tour and was entirely devoted to her sport. She won't have any regrets,
even if she was close to winning a Grand Slam but was never quite able to,
because she gave herself every chance to fulfil potential.
Stosur and Schiavone to be taken seriously?
two players improved a great deal in 2010. Reaching the French Open final, they
played a different kind of tennis that we are used to, way closer to what we
see on the men's tour; strong serve, inside-out forehand and huge athletic
strength for the Australian; an over-the-top topspin, taking the ball early and
a volleying game for the Italian. They possess many weapons to keep that
momentum in 2011.
I was greatly
disappointed by Justine Henin's comeback. She got off to an impressive start
with those two finals in Brisbane and Melbourne, but then she only put in some one-shot
wins like in s'Hertogenbosh or Stuttgart. She was unable to keep that level for
the whole season and crashed early in the main events.
Azarenka, who turned 20 in 2010 and was in the top 10, fell in the rankings and let
us down. She was a player we were waiting to do well in the Grand Slams. But
nothing happened. She has improved her game and her ranking on a steady basis for
several years, but she couldn't make the new step up and sustained a lot of
injuries in 2010. It should be noted, however, that she entirely rebuilt her
staff by changing her coach and fitness trainer at the end of 2009. She may
have needed all this time to adjust to a new way of working.
Sharapova was also disappointing in 2010. Those who thought she'd be back at
the top once her shoulder issues were resolved were forced to accept a sad
reality. The Russian lacked motivation even if she maintains a high level of
play when she's giving herself a real chance. She ended the year in a
disappointing 18th spot.
also expecting way better from Dominika Cibulkova, semi-finalist at the French
Open in 2009 at the age of 20. She reached 13th place at that time but parting
ways with her coach Vladimir Platenik didn't allow her to go on in improving.
She now works with the duo that led Dinara Safina to number one: coach Zejko Krajan
and a fitness trainer. Until now, the results have not materialised and she
ended the season ranked 32.
Wickmayer wasn't able to confirm her potential in 2010. She started the year in
great form, winning Auckland and reaching the fourth round at the Australian
Open after going through the quallies. She then delivered an amazing match
against Henin. But the rest of her season was disappointing after elbow surgery
before the French Open. She ended ranked 23.
like to congratulate Daria Gavrilova, a member of my Academy, for winning the
title of Junior World Champion 2010. The young Russian won the Junior Olympic
Games and the US Open junior this year. A huge bravo to her coach Sylvain
Mathias and to her fitness trainer Frédéric Lefebvre. Before Daria, Gilles
Muller in 2001 and Marcos Baghdatis in 2003, also members of my Academy, had
won the prestigious trophy.