The WTA top 32’s in 2015: former No. 1 Ivanovic slides, Bencic could win a Slam (No. 16-13)

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WTA from Nos. 16 through 13

No. 16

Ana Ivanovic

The Serbian is better than that. She reached No. 1 in 2008, winning Roland Garros, and even before that, she took down a number of her contenders, including Venus Williams, Jelena Jankovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Vera Zvonareva, Nadia Petrova and Maria Sharapova, among others. She was improving all the time, and hitting her phenomenal forehand as hard as she could. It looked like she would stay inside the top 5 forever.

But alas, she was unable to be consistent enough and, while she has attempted to improve overall and change her tactics, she is still up and down. This season, she woke up at RG, reached the semifinals and went down 7-5 7-5 against Lucie Safarova. She was so close, but yet so far. After that, she tumbled, managing to reach the semis of Beijing, but other than that, she lost very early.

Can the 28-year-old go very deep at another major once again? Sure she can, but to win another one is another question. For the first time, I would say that I would be very surprised. She has a very long road once again.

No. 15

Roberta Vinci

Without a doubt, the Italian played her best season ever by far. With the entire world watching, she stunned the famous Serena Williams in the semifinal of the US Open, not backing off or becoming afraid. She went into the zone. A few weeks later in Wuhan, she knocked out Petra Kvitova and Katarina Pliskova to reach the semis, going down 7-6(7) in the third against Venus. She may have lost, but at the very least, she pushed as hard as she could.

The 32-year-old Vinci says that she will retire at the end of 2016, but the wicked slice backhand could keep her in the top 20 all year-long. Sure, she has been competing for the past 16 years, which is a very long time, but if she is still healthy, maybe she will think that she can go further.

No. 14

Belinda Bencic

If the 18-year-old Swiss hadn’t been hurt early in October, she could have ended in the top 10. However, after Beijing she had to stop, which is good because she is super young and has miles to go. Without question, she is already intelligent and wise, plus she can smoke the ball and mix it up.

She has upset a number of fine competitors over this year, but just one of the tournaments made the fans turned and stared: Bencic beat Genie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki, Sabine Lisicki, Ivanovic, Serena and Simona Halep to win the Toronto title. Right there, you knew that she is coming incredibly strong. If Bencic is healthy and she improves a little bit, she could win a major in 2016. She is that good.

No. 13

Carla Suarez-Navarro

From February through May, the Spaniard was on a roll. She reached the final at Miami, beating Aga Radwanska and Venus before Serena drilled her. She reached the quarters at Madrid and at Rome, she bested Kvitova and Halep before falling against Maria Sharapova in three sets.

But in Paris, she lost in the third round to Flavia Pennetta and, after that, she went on the boil. She managed to reach the quarters at Birmingham on grass, but then, she lost seven matches in a row. She was done.

However, the Spaniard with a one-hand backhand can dominate inside the baseline. She is super strong, but mentally, she has to be in much more control.

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