2021 WTA Tour year-end rankings and surprise packets

THE 2021 WTA Tour came to a close for the most part this week, with the official year-end rankings confirmed on Monday and seeing some last-minute Top 10 changes over the past week. We run through the 2021 year-end Top 10 and the surprise packets from the season that was.

READ>>2021 WTA Memorable Moments

  1. Ash Barty
  2. Aryna Sabalenka
  3. Garbine Muguruza
  4. Karolina Pliskova
  5. Barbora Krejcikova
  6. Maria Sakkari
  7. Anett Kontaveit
  8. Paula Badosa
  9. Iga Swiatek
  10. Ons Jabeur

The Top 10 changed hands significantly throughout the year, with six different women – Krejcikova, Sakkari, Kontaveit, Badosa, Swiatek and Jabeur – making their Top 10 debut. Just as intriguingly, all six finished there, too, with Kontaveit and Badosa marking their entry in early November. Barty has finished her season atop the WTA ranking for the third consecutive year, joining some huge names in Stefanie Graf, Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams and Chris Evert who have also hit the milestone. Barty won five titles in 2021, including Wimbledon, while also only playing out half the season and completing her season after the US Open in mid-June. WTA Finals winner Muguruza finished her season in third after another consistent season, while Pliskova holds the longest active Top 10 streak, finishing within the top echelon for the sixth time.

Krejcikova was one of the bolters of the year, proving a tough beat after finishing 65th in the world this time last year. the Czech talent is also the only woman to finish in the Top 10 for singles and doubles. Sakkari, Kontaveit and Badosa have all had excellent second halves to their respective seasons, with Kontaveit in particular setting tongues wagging with a miraculous second half to her year propelling her into WTA Finals contention. Alongside Sakkari for Greece, Tunisian Jabeur has become the first woman from her nation to reach the WTA Top 10, and in the process the first Arab woman to earn the milestone. 20-year-old Swiatek was the youngest to make her Top 10 debut this year, and just the third (then) teenager to reach the milestone since 2010. Comparatively, Jabeur was the oldest to reach the Top 10 milestone this year at 27-years-old.

Moving away from the Top 10, it was a huge year across the board with plenty of fresh faces across the overall Top 100. Six teenagers have finished the season within the rankings – three on Top 100 debut – while 17 women made their Top 100 debut throughout the year. 11 women ranked over 100 positions greater than their 2020 finish, with Ana Konjuh returning from injury and wreaking havoc to move from 538th in the world to a 66th. US Open champion Emma Raducanu also enjoyed a remarkable rise, leaping up 324 spots from 343rd to a career-high 19th at year’s end. While not quite as significant a rise, Danish teen Clara Tauson has risen to the second highest ranking of the group, coming from 152nd to 44th with two WTA250 titles to her name.

There are 35 nations represented in the year-end Top 100, with the United States most heavily represented with 16 players, followed by both Czech Republic and Russia (eight apiece). With both Pliskova and Krejcikova ranked inside the Top 10, it is the first time since 1986 that two Czech talents have finished the year in the year-end Top 5. It is also the first time since 2000 that two Spaniards have ranked in the year-end Top 10 (Muguruza and Badosa), while injury-struck Romanian Simona Halep has finished outside the Top 10 for the first time since 2013, breaking her impressive seven-consecutive season-end Top 10 streak finishing at 20th in the world.


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