WTA End of Season Review

Tennis Friday November 10, 2023 By: Jack Smith

As the dust is beginning to settle on another fantastic WTA season, we take a look back at some of the best bits in the world of women’s professional tennis singles from 2023.

From maiden Grand Slam victories to three set battles, it was another wonderful and highly entertaining year in the women’s professional tennis season.

Sabalenka Triumphs Down Under

Back in January, the opening Grand Slam of the year took place in Australia and was a fantastic fortnight to kick off the tennis majors in 2023. Ashleigh Barty’s retirement, coupled with Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka’s absence due to pregnancy, left the 2023 women’s tennis draw very open, with Victoria Azarenka and Sofia Kenin as the sole former champions. Their paths crossed in the first round, where Azarenka emerged victorious in straight sets.

After two weeks of very highly competitive tennis, the final took place between Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina. In what was a titanic battle, Sabalenka secured her first major singles title with a score of 4–6, 6–3, 6–4. Sabalenka’s impressive performance throughout the tournament included dropping just one set, which happened during her championship match against Rybakina.

Świątek Defends in France

Iga Świątek, the defending champion, secured her third French Open title and fourth major title overall by defeating Karolína Muchová in a thrilling final with a score of 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 at the 2023 French Open. Świątek’s remarkable achievement made her only the third woman in the Open Era, following in the footsteps of Monica Seles and Naomi Osaka, to win her first four major finals. Additionally, she became the youngest woman to achieve this feat since Serena Williams in 2002.

Świątek also etched her name in history as the first player to successfully defend the French Open title since Justine Henin in 2007 and the first woman to defend a major title since Serena Williams at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships. Throughout the tournament, Świątek displayed exceptional form, dropping just one set in her path to the title, which happened during the final against Muchová.

Vondroušová Creates History in SW19

Markéta Vondroušová achieved a historical victory at the 2023 Wimbledon Championships by defeating Ons Jabeur in the final with a score of 6-4, 6-4. This triumph marked her first major singles title and her first title overall in six years. Vondroušová’s remarkable journey to the Wimbledon title included several historic achievements.

Vondroušová became the first unseeded female player to win the Wimbledon title, a feat not seen since Billie Jean King reached the final in 1963. Furthermore, her world ranking of #42 made her the second lowest-ranked finalist since the establishment of the WTA rankings in 1975. Winning the Wimbledon title also propelled Vondroušová into the top ten of the WTA rankings for the first time in her career.

Gauff Causes US Frenzy

Coco Gauff’s impressive victory at the 2023 US Open marked a significant moment in her career. She defeated Aryna Sabalenka in the final with a score of 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, clinching her first major singles title. Gauff’s achievement made her the first American teenager to claim the US Open title since Serena Williams did so in 1999.

Gauff also joined a select group of teenagers who won the US Open in the past five years, following in the footsteps of Bianca Andreescu in 2019 and Emma Raducanu in 2021. Notably, Aryna Sabalenka’s performance to reach the semi-finals meant that she became the first woman since Serena Williams in 2016 to reach at least the semi-finals in all four major tournaments during a single season.

Świątek Ends the Year on Top

The WTA Finals is the season-ending championship of the WTA Tour and took place in Cancun, Mexico this year. The tournament holds a prominent position in the annual tennis calendar, following the four major tournaments. This event showcases the elite eight singles players and the top eight doubles teams, who qualify based on their season-long performance.

In what was a highly competitive week of fantastic tennis, the Polish Iga Świątek came out as the victor, regaining the world ranking of #1 at the same time. Świątek dispatched American Jessica Pegula 6-1 6-0 in just under an hour in what was a flawless performance. In winning the tournament and finishing the week undefeated, Świątek pocketed $3,780,000 as a monetary prize, in addition to 1,500 points towards her WTA ranking.

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