Jelena Ostapenko wins it again in Upper Austria Ladies Linz

The now No. 11 Jelena Ostapenko finally play top to the bottom, and even that, she can smash it into the corners. In the final, the once 2017 Roland Garros champ beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 6-3 pretty easily, without so many error, which she has done it many times. But when she is more consistent, and to mix it up more, then she can be much more controlling.

The Latvia has won “just” one Grand Slam, but she has also gone deep in the events,  so maybe she can do it again. 

At the WTA 500 tournament in Upper Austria Ladies Linz, she was totally thrilled.

“It was a really good week, and I felt like every match I was playing better and better,” Ostapenko said. “It’s really amazing to win two singles trophies this year already (she won at Adelaide), and winning a doubles trophy as well, [and] playing Australian Open [in the doubles with Lyudmyla Kichenok] final — it’s like four tournaments and four finals, which is really great. I’m just happy with the way I’m playing this year. I think I feel like I’m more mature and more confident with my game, so it even motivates me more to work hard and get back to the Top 10.”

Yes she will, very soon, or maybe not. Last year, Ostapenko  did win Birmingham in June, and at the 2023 Australian Open, in the fourth round, she beat Coco Gauff before she lost against Elena Rybakina. On the day, she can play marvelous, almost stunning against the current No. 1, Iga Swiatek at the 2023 U.S. Open. After that, though, Gauff overwhelmed her. Ostapenko did not much after that in the fall, so now she must have been more thoughtful.

Back to Upper Austria Ladies Linz,  Alexandrova is up and down, terrific and lousy, too. She is aggressive, but then she can backs off. However, she has had a fine year, beating Elena Rybakina in Australia, and then last week, she took down  Anastasia Potapova, and in the semis agains  Donna Vekic, she stood in there, but it took forever, winning 5-7 7-6(4) 7-6(6). She must have been exhausted in the final. 

The Russian veteran has not been very good  at the Slams last year, but at least she won the ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands in June, on the grass. She also really likes to play on the hardcourts, and her backhand can be so solid, and she can return into the corners, too.

However, she has never reached into the quarters at the Slams, so this year, she can do something different.

NOTES

On Upper Austria Day, the now retired and one Slam winner Ana Ivanovic was honored in the front of the crowds.  Her good friend and a fine player, Barbara Schett, was there….

That was new, when the young Russian, Diana Shnaider, won the Thailand Open beating  Zhu Linz 6-3, 2-6, 6-1…

In Montpellier, in France, Alexander Bublik beat Borna Coric 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. He finally did it, so now in the third set he can let go and really turn it on…

The U.S. men just started in the Dallas Open. There are a lot of many Americans who are playing such as Ben Shelton, Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul and  Christopher Eubanks. The winner will be?

Australian Open men’s semifinals

Alexander Zverev
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Alexander Zverev rose up so high, in a late match when he took down the No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz in four sets, 6-1, 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-4. Two year ago, the German was very close to win a Grand Slam for the first time, but he hurt himself in Roland Garros, on the court, and he had to retire. After that, he couldn’t play for months.

But finally, he is much better then he has, with his huge forehand, his backhand, and also, when he serves. He is more consistent, when he is there, reaching. Yes, he has lost some mediocre matches,  and his return and also at the net, he misses some easy shots. Yet Zverev can be very steady, and he can also mix it up.  

Alcaraz can look spectacular, but he is very young, so he won’t be perfect all the times. But on Friday, Zverev will have to play fantastic again, as he will have to face again Daniil Medvedev

Zverev can be controlling, consistent, and aggression He did against Alcaraz.

“I was rushing him quite a lot,’ said Zverev. “I was playing extremely aggressive, kind of taking the racquet out of his hands. You have to do that against him. If you let him control the points, control the pace of the game, he’s unbeatable,” he said. “He’s the best player in the world when it comes to that. I really had to take it into my own hands and I felt like I did that well.”

At Roland Garros, when he suffered a huge injury against Rafa Nadal, that would put him out of action for the entire year. When Zverev came back, and he looked so-so, but he knew that it would take him a long time to become much more solid.

He has a huge challenge, as last year, Daniil Medvedev beat him five times, and he lost just one versus Zverev . The Russian is more consistent, and he can react, with his forehand and her backhand. He is not great at the net, but he can return if he can find it.  They know each other well, so to win it, Zverev will have to change him, point after point. One way or another, Medvedev will beat him, again.

The No. 1 Djokovic will play against the Italian, Jannik Sinner, in the semis,  in the other semifinal.

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The 22-year-old  is more aggressive, and he can also think inside within his head. In the ATP Finals in November, he upset Djokovic in there first match, but then in the final, the Serbian out hit him, backhand to backhand. Sinner can beat him, but to do it again, he must attack with his forehand, and really hustle.

“This is what I practice for, to play against the best players in the world,” Sinner said. “Obviously [Novak] has an incredible record here, so for me it’s a pleasure to play against him, especially in the final stages of the tournament where things are a little bit more interesting I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be tough. I will control the controllable, which is giving 100 percent, having the right attitude, fighting for every ball.” He will bring it into the fifth set, but agains. the No. 1 Djokovic will hit some amazing shots and he will grab it, one more times.

Australian Open, Day 4: Time to really rally

Taylor Fritz

Some of the American men are still in the tournament in Melbourne, after they won two matches. That is not spectacular yet, but it is very good. The young, rising Ben Shelton, has to face against the solid veteran,  Adrian Mannarino, when the Frenchman can be so steady, and he can mix it up a lot. The San Diego man can get frustrated, when he is not playing well, but week after week, he is now more consistent, especially with his second serve and at the net. But in the court, he has to focus almost all of the time, or he can lose, when he stops.

Taylor Fritz has been up and down over the past five months, when the current No. 12 lost some odd matches, yet it is time for him to attack more, and to return it deeper, if he can. When he is on, he look sharp, and he can put it away. However, if he wants to go back into the top 5 this year, he must be staunch. He will face against Fabian Marozsan.

Believe or not, Sebastian Korda is close to be right there, to look much better than he was last year. Yes, he was injured himself, so he wasn’t perfect at all, but at least he is trying to more patient. However, he has to go up against Andrey Rublev, who is a very tough opponent. The Russian is very powerful, when he is on, and he can smile, to hit it both sides.  Plus, the No. 5 wants to improve his volley, and also, closing at the net. Korda has to knock him down, or Rublev will out-hit, him.

How about that the American, Alex Michelsen, who won today. He is only 19 years old, and he lives in California. He is pretty tall, and he can crush the ball, but he is still pretty young, so when he has to face against Alexander Zverev , he is going to have to play every second.  

Both  Frances Tiafoe and Christopher Eubanks lost today.  again. Which of the U.S. American men will win a Slam this season, or even to do it in the ATP 1000? It is possible, but can they beat Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz? The challenge is on…

TennisReporters.net top 32 men: 5-1

Novak Djokovic

5 Andrey Rublev
He is very powerful, when he is on, and he can smile in the ball, to both sides. When he is feeling very good, the Russian can go for it, early, or if he is feeling patient, he can mix it up from the backcourt. However, he has yet to win a Grand Slam, and while he can be right there, but then, his other spectacular player rarely become nervous. He does, on occasion. Unfortunatly, he has yet to reach the semis at the Grand Slams, as the 26-year-old has backed up when it was close. He did win Monte Carlo, and Bastad, Sweden, and also, when he reached the final at Shanghai, China in October . That was very solid, but Novak Djokovic beat him time and time again, so if he wants to upset him, next year, he has to improve his volley, and also, closer at the net.  He might be able to win a Slam in 2024, then he is going to be a real show.

4 Jannik Sinner
Here is another one who can eventually grab to win a Slam. The Italian had a terrific week in the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy,, beating Daniil Medvedev, upsetting Djokovic early on, but then in the final, the Serbian rose, while Sinner looked pretty tired, or maybe he was  collapsing. In a sense, it doesn’t really matter, as in the fall, he played fantastic, winning Beijing and Vienne, beating  Daniil Medvedev, twice. He stood toe-to-toe, grinding him down, and with some his massive strokes, with his backhand or his forehand. He even won the ATP Masters in Toronto in August, revolting so high. However, he can mess it up, depending which week, whether he is playing great, or mediocre. He is tall, and he can put it into the corner, but next year, if he can win Slam for the first time. To do it though,  he has to return better and deeper, and meld it up, even more.  He has to be more true , and really pay attention before he gets on the court. It is almost mandatory.

3 Daniil Medvedev
The other Russian had a up and down year, winning a bunch of matches, but also, when he looked darn good at the U.S. Open against Djokovic in the final, he looked like he had a real chance to win it, but in the second set tiebreaker, he was right there. then he missed some unpaired error. He does really like to rally, very flat, and he will to wear down the opponents, but at times, he doesn’t like to come into the net enough, so his decisions could be questionable. He has a little bit with the spin, now,  and his first serve is flat, to different areas. The man can look startling, and this year, he won Rotterdam, Netherlands,  Doha, Qatar ,  Dubai, Miami and Rome. In the fall, he was very decent, but not fantastic. He is quite caring, and he looks to think, when he is talking, which is awesome, but in the court, if he wants to win another Slams, he must change a few things, especially when he can go down really low, and put it away.

2 Carlos Alcaraz
He has become darn fast,  sprinting to the right and to the left, mixing it up, and he can win it into the corners for a winner. The Spaniard is very young, and he still has a decent amount to improve, but he already can change his tactics. His forehand and his backhand are jolly sturdy, and he can also touch it on the net and put it away. However, after he won Wimbledon, and he played wonderful ball, after that, he could not win another title. Of course he was hurt, bodily, once and a while, and perhaps he was mentally shake, yet next year, he will learn how he will approach it. In the first half, he also won Buenos Aires, Indian Wells, Barcelona, Madrid, and London/Queens, and of course, Wimbledon, in the clay, the hardcourts, and the grass. That was almost flawless, but then   he wasn’t after that. At the end at the ATP Finals, Djokovic beat Alcaraz in straight sets, out hitting him, backhand versus backhand.  Maybe at the Australian Open, he can win the title, that is if his second serve and his return can be upwords.

1 Novak Djokovic

Way back when, when he won his first Grand Slam at the 2008 Australian Open, he was so swift, and his backhand was already phenomenal, but his forehand was good, but not great. His return was so sensible, and he could play stroke after stroke, and he rarely became tired. However, he knew, year after year, that he had to get much better so he could not only beat everyone, but to win the titles, he had to be more muscular, in the matches. Now, he has won 23 Grand Slams, a record, and here and there, he could miss some strange errors, but he will always try to hang in there, and re-do it.    He won three Slams this season, and next year, he might be able to do it again. He has won 98 Slams, and he is third behind Jimmy Connors (109 titles) and Roger Federer [103 titles.) In 2024, Djokovic could pass Federer, and eventually, maybe next year, he can tie Connors. Either way, he is the dominates.

TennisReporters.net, the top 32 women: No. 5-1

Aryna Sabalenka
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

5 Jessica Pegula
If she is totally on fire, she can hit it, stroke after stroke. Her backhand is so consistent, hitting it crosscourt, in the middle, deep, and whaling it down the line. Her forehand can also be very solid, and she can also put it away at the net. However, she did have a very good year, but not spectacular. Yes, she beat a number of excellent players, but she lost in more than a few critical matches. Yes, she has been here for a long time, and two years ago, she started to play much better, but currently, while she is very, very good, but she has yet to reach into the Grand Slams final. She really has to, one way or another. Next year, if she finally wins a Slam, she has to serve harder, and also, with her forehand. It really will be a huge critical challenge.

4 Elena Rybakina

When she is really on, she can crush the ball, all over the place.She is quick, she is very fast, and she can read where  she is going. However, she plays a lot, and  in the first six months, she looked terrific, almost grabbing the Australia Open,  and then, she won Indian Wells and Rome. But after that, she began to slip. She did win a few fine wins, like when she beat with Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka, but she lost in some far, close matches to both of them. She is a solitary person, when she is hitting the ball, where she is going, and not deciding the right way. She did win the 2022 Wimbledon, and she was the outlaw, so if she can add with her second serve, and at the net, she can win another Slam, eventually, perhaps in 2024.

3 Coco Gauff
Last year, her forehand was upgrading, and her return was decent, but not great, yet. But in 2023, she began to climb, as her backhand was already phenomenal, but she had to change her forehand, and then, she really did. Now, she is not flawless yet, but she did win the 2023 US Open, snaring the third sets, when she had to, and she was just so rapt. She is still very young, and  off-court, she is very thoughtful. Some people have said that eventually, soon, she will become No. 1, and then she can win another more Slams. She might,  and maybe she will, but the realty is that Serena Williams have won 23 Grand Slams, and Venus — who is still playing — has won seven Grand Slams. Gauff has put together more than a few wins, and next year, she will be continue to her rising forehand.

2 Aryna Sabalenka

She did win the 2023 Australian Open, and she hit some colossal winners, with her husky forehand and her backhand, She can also attack, right after she returns, and she will  flat it out, down the line, or cross-court. She can last for a longtime, but other times, she loses what she is achievement.  But look, her serve is still decent, but not great, yet, when she is feeling it, then she can win so many matches, like when she won Madrid. The reality, though, that while she would go deep a lot, but she still cannot see where and when the bounce ball are going. Yes, she can win another Grand Slam next year, but currently, Iga Swiatek is better than she is, with her intense strokes. Plus, Sabalenka is still working with her serves, which she still can throw in a lot of double faulty. However, she is a hoot good, so she will adjust, and improve, even more.  

1 Iga Swiatek
She had another tremendous years, winning Roland Garros  and she grabbed Doha, Stuttgart,  Warsaw, Beijing, and the WTA Finals. She is not husky, but without a doubt, she is clearly the No. 1 right now. Her forehand and her backhand are strong, and her first serve is quite hard, and she can return with a number of winners. Since Ash Barty retired, two years ago, the Polish person waxed very fast, winning now four Grand Slams,  inclusion the 2022 U.S. Open. She totally values on the clay, being very patient, if she needs to, and also on the hardcourts, when she can slap the ball, until she wheres them down. The 23 Grand Slam champ Serena Williams, who is now retired, she knew all surfaces, winning on the hardcourts, on the clay, and also, on the grass.  She won so many Slams, but Swiatek has yet to win at the Aussie Open and Wimbledon.  Now it is time for her to do it, at least one of them. How about to start very early at Melbourne? She may not, but she will be checked in, peering, and intense. As she said: “Mental toughness is probably most important thing in tennis right now because everybody can play on the highest level. But the ones that are tough and that can handle the pressure are the biggest ones.”

TennisReporters.net top 32 women: No. 10-6

Ons Jabeur
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

10 Barbora Krejcikova
She is one of the best doubles players, in front of almost everyone, but in the singles, she can be super steady. Yet then, she can fall  off. Her backhand can be flat, and also, she can spin, it. However, it could be to short, yet her forehand is strong, but not huge, all of the time. Yet the Czech can begin to be a real threat, winning Roland Garros in 2021. Then, she was locked in, but this year, she was pretty good, when she won  Dubai and San Diego, but not phenomenal, month after month. In 2024, though, she will have a chance to win a couple Grand Slams, in the doubles, and maybe, with the singles, if she can improve her forehand.

9 Maria Sakkari
She had a decent year, winning Guadalajara in September,  but after that, she began to slip, again. She  really loves to run, back and forth, and she can also mix it up, too, but her serve is not that mighty enough, and she does not crack the ball enough. Yes, the Greek can look intense, and she also can be badly consistent, but her returns are so-so. She will push herself again, and she really wants to reach into the finals at the Slams, for the first time, but to do so, she has to think about how to enrich, once again, and then be more reacting.

8 Karolina Muchova

She has gone very deep with all four Grand Slams, and while she has not done yet, she is just so phenomenal when she is totally locked in. She almost won Roland Garros in June, and she lost against Iga Swiatek in three, dramatic sets. She was close, but she hesitated. At the 2024 Australian Open, she must close the deal, ASAP.

7 Marketa Vondrousova
Another Czech can play amazing ball, winning the 2023 Wimbledon, and also, reaching the 2019 Roland Garros. The odd thing is that she is a capable person, yet she has only won two titles, and while she can go very vast, but she can also lose her head. In London, on the grass, she rose up quickly, and she nailed so many winners, beating Jessica Pegula, and Elina Svitolina, and in the final, she out-hit Ons Jabeur to win it all.  Without a doubt, this two weeks were her best, ever.  Her forehand and her backhand was incredibly limitless, and with a tremendous diversity. However, she can lose herself, mentally. In the fall, she looked very tired, and she lost a good amount. She is a darn good player, but if she wants to win more titles, then next year, she should not play week after week. The 24-year-old has to be more calm, and practice less, and sit down and think about how she should play.

6 Ons Jabeur
All year, it looked like she would finally win a Slam, but she hesitated at the 2023 Wimbledon in the final, and now, she still hasn’t done it, yet. She has so much likeness, with her terrific drop shots, even when she is way back on the court. She took down Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka at Wimbledon, and she was playing bending down, and she would put it away. However, Vondrousova was not nervous, while Jabeur backed up, and she lost 6-4, 6-4. She really cried, hard. Other than that, she had some good weeks, winning in Charleston, and in Ningbo, in China. Yet in the fall, she did not play very well, with a lot of errors. The Tunisian will try to improve her serve, and her return, more aggressively. If she does, she will have another chance to win a Grand Slam, but she has to be more stable. As she said: “Honestly, I felt a lot of pressure, feeling a lot of stress. … For me, I always believed in mental, in working on it. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past years since I was maybe 10 years old because I know if you are not ready physically, mentally you can always win.”

TennisReporters.net top 32 women: No. 15-11

Madison Keys
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

15 Qinwen Zheng

She is only 21-years old so with our a doubt, she is rising, quickly. In October, she won Zhengzhou, China, taking down  against Maria Sakkari and  Barbora Krejcikova. Her forehand and her backhand can be so consistent, and she can be thriving. She grabbed it and she won Palermo, and at the end of the year, she reached at the final at the sort-of-new at the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai. She had won three matches, but finally, Beatriz Haddad Maia out hit her. Gradually, Zheng  is pushing herself harder, and she knows that her forehand is better than she thinks it is. Also, she has to play more doubles so she can really learn at the net. Apparently, she will listen to almost everyone.

14 Petra Kvitova

It might be possible that the Czech can win another Grand Slam, but it won’t be easy, as the former two-time Wimbledon champ is slowing down. She can bash the balls, with her forehand and her backhand, crosscourt or down the line, yet she isn’t fast, when she is running, so she can put in some multiple errors. When she is feeling right, and super confident,  after she nails a winner, you could here her scream, in delight. But if her serve and her return goes away, then she will shake her head. This year, even though she lost a lot of matches, but she did win Miami and Berlin. Then she was great. However, at the Slams, in the last three years, she has not gone into the second week. That is a bit shocking, so in 2024, she has to more ability.  

13 Jelena Ostapenko

All year, or many years, it looked like that when she is smashing the ball, from the backcourt, and she is on fire, she should have a chance to win another Grand Slam. But she hasn’t yet, as she won the 2017 Roland Garros, and she was so phenomenal, but after that, even though she has gone deep, but she could not make it back into the finals. This year, she did win Birmingham in June, and at the Australian Open, in the fourth round, she beat Coco Gauff before she lost against Elena Rybakina. On the day, she can play marvelous, almost stunning against the current No. 1, Iga Swiatek at the U.S. Open. After that, though, Gauff overwhelmed her. Ostapenko did not much after that, so next year,if she can be more consonant, and amend at the net, she will win another title. How many more, though, who knows?

12 Madison Keys

Since she came into the WTA, she was already so good, with her massive forehand and her backhand, as well as her first serve. She knew that in order to beat the best players, she had to attack, early, when she returns, and demolish into the corners. She has gone very deep at the Slams, at the 2017 U.S. Open, when she reached into the final, and she was playing astounding, but she froze, and she lost easily to Sloane Stephens.

This year she was vertical, losing early, but at some  tournaments, she can look darn good, when she won Eastbourne on the grass. Obviously, though, she likes the hardcourts, and at the 2023 U.S. Open, she began to catch the wildfire, going into the semis against the No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka. She had so many chances to win the match, but Sabalenka hung in there, and in the third set in a tiebreak, she fell down. She cried. That happens with everyone, so if the 28-year-old Keys won’t get hurt next year — and she does it a lot — then she should return better, and be more patient.  As she said: “Setting a goal, accomplishing it, and feeling good about yourself can help build confidence and perseverance.”

11 Beatriz Haddad Maia

Right at the end of the year, she won the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, beating Zheng and Keys in the final. That was one of her biggest title, ever. She can be up and down, beating some fine players, but also, she will back up. She did upset Elena Rybakina,and she did reach into the semis at Roland Garros,  beating Ons Jabeur, before  she lost against Swiatek 6-2, 7-6. That was decent enough, and one of the reasons why is because she plays a lot in the doubles, too, which is helpful. She is very good when she returns, and she can meld it up, from the backcourts, but in order to win some major events, she needs to grow, on the court. She seems like a nice person, so next year, she will be additionally satisfied, in the matches.

TennisReporters.net top 32 women: No. 20-16

Veronika Kudermetova


20 Caroline Garcia

Last year, the French woman was on fire, beating a number of fine players, leaping on the lines. However, last year, she did not go deep much at all, except in Lyon, in February, and she reached into the final, but she couldn’t make it. In the 2022 WTA Finals, she played amazing, winning the title when she pushed down, grinding verses Aryna Sabalenka. The now 30-year-old Garcia has beaten some excellent players, but also, the reason why is that she has not made into the Grand Slams finals. She does have an interesting strokes, with her forehand and her backhand, but her serve, and at the net, it can fall  off. She will have another shot to finally win a a Slam, but to do it, she will have to be totally locked in. As she said: “I sank on my own. I’m making the effort, but it doesn’t work. I would like to know why, to be able to control it.”

19 Veronika Kudermetova

She had a great tournament in September, winning Toray, beating Iga Swiatek and Jessica Pegula. She was so consistent, and her backhand was spot-on. Her forehand can flatten it out, and when she returns, when she is playing fantastic, she can go for it.  She plays a lot, and the Russian can mix it up, well, but also, she will throw in some odd errors. Going into to play at Roland Garros, she reached the semis twice, on the clay, in Madrid and Rome. Then in Paris, she folded it, immediately. Next year, in the Slams, she has to be much more patient, and don’t get scared.

18  Daria Kasatkina

The other Russian had a decent year, winning a number of matches, but she did not beat enough players in the top 10. Yes, she can be somewhat fit, and she can also attack when she is feeling solid. She is also rapidly, when she is running, to-and-fro. She had a very good year in 2022, but this year, she almost stopped. In 2024, it is time to move the change.  

17 Belinda Bencic

The Swiss began early, when she started to hit the ball harder, more frequently. She won the Adelaide, Australia, beating three top 10 players. She certainly likes to run, and chuck in some expert shots, with her forehand and her backhand. However, she did not plays well enough at the Aussie Open, when Aryna Sabalenka blitzed, her. When she is very hopeful, she can stay there for a long time.  She is thoughtful, and she will think about it, on the court, but she also can be bleak. Maybe to improve, she should try to play at the doubles, learning more when she serves and at the net.  

16 Liudmila Samsonova

Here is another Russian who had some prime weeks, but also, she has never gone deep at the Slams. She did have a smooth week when she reached the final in Montreal, stunning Sabalenka, Bencic, and Elena Rybakina before she lost against Jessica Pegula . Then in the fall, she reached into the final in Beijing, s clearly, she can be darn good. She can crack the ball, and she can also attack when she jumps on the second serve. She is very good, when she is on, but at the Slams she has never gone uno the second week. Next year, it time to do it.

TennisReporters.net top 32 women: No. 25-21

Elina Svitolina

25 Elina Svitolina
The Ukrainian had a very good year, reaching into the semis at Wimbledon, edging  Victoria Azarenka 7-6 in the third and she almost stunning the current No. 1 Iga Swiatek. She did lose in the semis, but she can be so consistent and can really grind it, hard. Over the years, she looked excellent, but also, mentally, when she was young, she would panic. Now she appears to be more stable. If she wants to win a Slam for the first time, she has to improve her return, and at the net. Also, she can throw in a few, cool shots.

24 Magda Linette
She has been playing for many years, and she has won some good players, but at the Slams, she didn’t  do much, until she became more fitting, and more powerful. She plays all the time, almost each week, unless she gets hurt, but at least she stays in there, and chuck it in some aloof shots.  Yes, she really wants to get into the top 10, for the first time, but if she wants to do that, then she must changed a few critical tactics, or she won’t.

23 Donna Vekic
In the first half of the year, that was solid by the  Croatia, winning Monterey, Mexico, and then in June, she reached in Berlin, upsetting Elena Rybakina  and Maria Sakkari. She said, “Every player’s goal is to win a Grand Slam title, but the difference now is that I truly believe that I can do it, for the first time in my life.” Then she has a lot of work to doing, given that in the last four months, she did very little. Perhaps she was hurt, physically, but her strokes were not deep enough, so if she wants to mix it up more, than she should feed in more variety.

22 Victoria Azarenka
It is almost impossible to see when she is playing, in a tournament, and if she is  playing great, early, or later, will she miss so many errors? Yes, she has won two Grand Slams at the Australian Open, over 10 years ago. Then, she was so rational, ripping her forehand and her backhand, down the line and crosscourt. However, even though she has been very good, she couldn’t stay there as the No. 1 for a long time. Her good friend, Serena Williams, beat Azarenka so many times, as she has certainly better when they serve and return. Maybe she can win a tournament next year, as in 2023, she didn’t, but she did reach into the semis at the Australian Open, before she lost against Elena Rybakina. Another opportunity?  Who, knows?

21 Ekaterina Alexandrova

She has not been very good  at the Slams, yet the Russian won the ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands in June, on the grass. That was jolly, as her forehand is huge, and she also really likes to play on the hard courts. Her backhand can be solid, and she is feeling very good, she can return into the corners. However, she has never reached into the quarters at the Slams, so next year, she will have to blend it up more, and hit her backhand in the middle, very deep on the lines.

TennisReporters.net top 32 women: No. 32-26

Emma Navarro
Ron Cioffi/TR

32 Emma Navarro

The American is only 22- years-old, and finally the New Yorker/Charleston is finally understanding what to do in the court. She is somewhat consistent, and she is trying to hit against the good players. Amazingly, she has yet to reach into the third round at the Slams, so clearly, she has a tremendous work to do. She did had a terrific week in San Diego, reaching into the semis, but then she finally lost against Sofia Kenin. However, it was very close, so next year, if she can reach into the top 20, then she will have to attack early, and jump on the return.

31 Lesia Tsurenko

She is recalling aging, but she can be super appropriate, and change it up, a lot. She can mix it around, and chuck in some cool shots. However,she is not that powerful, and while she gets injured, a lot, she can hang in there. But next year, maybe she can attack on the net, more.

30 Jasmine Paolini

It took her for a long time, but the Italian changed her shots, and also, to be more stout, on the rallies. In the fall, she grabbed a few dry  matches, with some impressive shots on the lines.  However, she has to move forward, more, if she wants to reach into the top 15. Or better.

29 Elise Mertens

At the end of the year, she won Tunisia, which was very solid. She plays all the time, and she is pretty darn proper. Years ago, it looked like that she could very deep again at the Slams, and when she reached into the semis at the 2018 Aussie Ope, but after that, she couldn’t do it again. However, she is pretty darn smart, when she is playing slinging, with some wonderful shots. Yet really, maybe she can play less next year, and practice some different strokes.

28 Anastasia Potapova

The young Russian looked very good, during the first half, but after that, her forehand and her backhand became sloppy. She did win Linz in February, beating Petra Martic, and then it looked like that she would be comfortable at the net. However, she wasn’t thinking enough, and she grew messy. Next year she has to be more patient, and toss in some other shots.  

27 Anhelina Kalinina

She is so close to reach the top 25 for the first time. The Ukrainian had a decent year, reaching into the final in Rome, upsetting a few very good players. Yet after that, in June, she did not go deep enough, over the past five months. She can be very fitting, and she can knock it around, side to side, but her forehand can fly away, out. If she wants to  progress, she has to improve her serves.

26 Sorana Cirstea

That was a great year by the Romanian, and while she is aging, she put together some terrific wins. At the U.S. Open in the third round, she stunned Elena Rybakir 6-4 in the third round, then she blitz over Belinda Bencic. Finally, she lost, but it was very impressed when she can go early, even on the hardcourts. She does think that she can play even better in 2024, with her return and her forehand, so if she can pull it off, then she should win a big title. She hopes.