With Serena Williams missing almost the entire season while becoming a mom, most people weren’t sure how things would play out in women’s tennis in 2017 - who would win the biggest tournaments, who would rise to the top of the rankings, and so on. And now that 2017 is officially over, we know.
Without Serena in the mix, the depth of women’s tennis was at an all-time high in 2017.
Let’s take the first measurement of depth - who won the biggest tournaments. And amazingly, the nine biggest tournaments on the women’s tour in 2017 were won by nine different players:
- Australian Open: Serena Williams
- Indian Wells: Elena Vesnina
- Miami: Johanna Konta
- Madrid: Simona Halep
- French Open: Jelena Ostapenko
- Wimbledon: Garbine Muguruza
- US Open: Sloane Stephens
- Beijing: Caroline Garcia
- WTA Finals: Caroline Wozniacki
Since the Premier Mandatory level of tournaments - Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing - was introduced in 2009, this was the first time the nine biggest tournaments went to nine different players.
There’s another measurement of depth - who was No.1. And it was historic - for just the second time since WTA Rankings began in 1975, five different players spent time at No.1 during the year: Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams, Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep.
The only other time five different players spent time at No.1 during a season was in 2008, when it was Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and, of course, Serena Williams.
Additionally, while Halep fully deserved year-end No.1 - not only did she win Madrid, but she made the finals of two of the other eight biggest events of the year (French Open and Beijing) - her 40-point lead over Muguruza on the 2017 year-end rankings (6175 to 6135) is the slimmest lead for year-end No.1 since 2001 (Lindsay Davenport finished 10 points ahead of Jennifer Capriati, 4902 to 4802).
Will the pattern repeat itself in 2018? Come along for the ride on Tennis Channel to find out!
Until then, here are highlights from one of the unlikeliest triumphs on the women’s tour in 2017: