There is no reason why Halep will not be a consistent top 5 player for the next 5 years, at least. Simona’s movement is matched by a very select few, whilst her backhand is one of the best on tour. The Romanian’s consistency from the baseline and exceptional movement make her one of the hardest players to defeat, which is especially true on a clay court. Once Halep adds a killer instinct to her game she can be one of the dominant forces on tour, winning multiple major tournaments.
The Dane has the greatest stamina of any player on tour, coupled with supreme consistency from the baseline, she is always one of the toughest players to defeat. A lack of firepower has held Wozniacki back, but that has become less and less of an issue. Wozniacki has always been one of the best defensive players on tour, in recent years she has shown a greater willingness to be aggressive and an improved serve and forehand, this was particularly true on route to claiming the Australian Open crown in 2018. With a much improved serve and forehand and better tactics, Wozniacki is now a more complete player than she ever has been.
At her best, Muguruza is probably the best player on tour, apart from Serena. The Spaniard is an obvious choice when it comes to the next dominant force on the WTA tour. Muguruza has shown her ability to perform well on every surface having won Roland Garros and Wimbledon as well as big titles on hard courts such as Cincinnati. Muguruza has the complete game, the only thing that has held her back at times in her mental fragility and tendency to break down physically. These issues have been greatly improved, once they are eradicated, Muguruza will be consistently winning major titles.
One of the most consistent players on tour. Svitolina has all the hallmarks of a consistent top 10 player, impressive speed and movement around the court, a world-class backhand, a solid forehand and first serve. Svitolina posses a dogged determination and willingness to improve, a bright future is guaranteed.
With the best serve on tour, Pliskova has the weapons to trouble anyone on her day. Know as the #AceQueen Pliskova served more aces than any other player in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Pliskova almost has the complete game, a huge serve, powerful, solid groundstrokes from each side and a good game at the net. However, Pliskova’s movement and stamina are not great and she can a bit one-dimensional at times. As a result Pliskova has a tendency to struggle against the top defensive players, something that holds her back from winning the biggest titles, this is especially true on a slower surface. Pliskova has a great attitude, cool and a cucumber and very consistent, which is rare for such an aggressive player on the WTA tour.
Jelena Ostapenko shocked the tennis world at Roland Garros in 2017 when she claimed her first Grand Slam title. During the rest of the 2017 season, Ostapenko showed that her Roland Garros run was no fluke. When the Latvian’s powerful game is on, she can beat anyone. Ostapenko’s groundstrokes are up there with the best, her movement is also very good. Inconsistency and a questionable serve are her obvious weaknesses. Once Ostapenko clears up some issues with her serve and adds a bit more margin to her game, there is no reason why she can't feature consistently in the top 5 for the foreseeable future.
Caroline Garcia showed her potential towards the end of the 2017 season when she won Wuhan and Beijing back-to-back. Garcia’s potential is arguably higher than anyone in her age bracket. The Frenchwoman has a very complete and versatile game. Garcia’s doubles success indicates her ability at the net, something that sets her apart from most of her rivals. Garcia has a big first serve, a solid second serve and is dangerous from the forehand and backhand side. There is nothing that Garcia does not have in her game.
A legend of the game. An outstanding 2017 season for Venus saw her move back into the top 5 in the world, an age defying year. Venus came agonizingly close to winning another Grand Slam on a few occasions in 2017, an achievement that will motivate her moving forward. There are no signs of Venus slowing down just yet. Venus is continually improving, even at the later stages of her career, most notably a much improved forehand, a more compact and consistent shot, one of the best on tour.
Stephens U.S Open triumph is arguably one of the biggest Grand Slam flukes. Stephens did not win a match for the remainder of 2017 after her U.S Open victory, it will be interesting to see if she can regroup in 2018. Stephens has an exciting game, explosive speed, power and versatility.