2017 top players: women’s 1-5

will review 2017’s top 30 women and men, our annual feature.

No. 1: Simona Halep
It is amazing that the Romanian ended the year as No. 1. She has yet to win a major, but still, she was remarkably consistent in 2017. The very steady Simona only won one tournament, in Madrid. Beyond that, she reached a number of finals — and she lost in Rome, Roland Garros, Cincy and Beijing. She has had some terrific wins, and mediocre losses. She is quite strong, can runs forever and keeps her chin up. Simona has come close to winning a Grand Slam. Without a doubt, in 2018, she will get another opportunity in a final. The only way to actually raise the trophy is not to back off —  at all.   

No 2: Garbiñe Muguruza
The Spaniard played so much better this season, at least when she began in May, and then, she was ready to be rock on. She won Wimbledon, smashing her forehand and backhand, moving forward very quickly and nailing her serve. Also, she prevailed in Cincinnati, smoking Kristina Pliskova and Halep. However, she began to fade, and she did not win another tournament. That’s why she is No. 2, not No. 1, and she should stay there for more than just a few weeks. The Spaniard won the WTA Player of the Year award. She is getting better all the time, and she will win another Slam in 2018 In order to do so, she needs to locked it and stay there. 

No 3: Caroline Wozniacki
Props to the Dane. In 2016, she was fading, badly. But in 2017, she returned and she was ready to push herself without moving backwards all the time. She ended the year winning the WTA Final, knocking down Halep, Pliskova and Venus Williams, along with Tokyo. Still the year was filled with near misses when she lost six finals. The great thing about Caro is she never gives up, truly. Yes, on court, when she gets upset because she can’t find the lines, and she was afraid to try to put together a winner. In the fall, she had to, one way or another. And she did. Can the veteran win a Grand Slam in 2018? I have no idea, because years ago, I thought she would. But now, she has improved her forehand a little bit. This is the last time: Caro can win either the Aussie Open or the US Open. Pick-em.
No. 4: Karolina Pliskova
The Czech can look so, so good, and there are other times that she checks out mentally. She is tall, has a massive first serve, can move into the net and put it away. But, each week, she is often up in the air. She has won a number of huge matches, but she has yet to win a major. She has come close, but right at the end, her eyes started to glaze. She is faster running now than she used to be, and she is pretty quick when she is rushing towards the net. With her volley, she is the best player at the net, with the exception of Serena. But can Karolina finally win a major? I would say yes, in 2018, but she has to focus for two straight weeks.  

No. 5: Venus Williams
Venus just keeps going and going. She is 37 years old. While she’s a little bit slower now, she still has a great backhand, a massive first serve, and occasionally, commanding at the net. Also, her forehand has gotten a little bit better, and shows more power. It has only taken Venus 20 years on the WTA tour to figure out how to drive her forehand deep. That has been a long time, but the reality is, she always wants to improve, which is excellent. In 2018, she will win a few more titles, but to grab a Slam again? That is very difficult. She has won seven majors, but the last time was in 2008, at Wimbledon, and that was a long time ago. You have to give her another shot in 2018, at Wimbledon again. So let’s see that she can change her tactics in the final.

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