2018 closing comment: Serena Williams made a successful return to the courts in 2018, despite limited tournament participation, Serena managed to reach back-to-back Grand Slam finals at Wimbledon and the US Open. Unfortunately for Serena she was beaten in straight sets in both of those finals and really lowered her colours in a disappointing final in New York. Whether Serena can add to her Grand Slam tally will be one of the main talking points in 2019.
Johanna Konta shot to prominence at the 2016 Australian Open with a run to the semi-finals. Konta has not looked back since, narrowly missing out on an appearance at the WTA Finals in 2016 and 2017. Konta has a very complete game, one of the best serves on tour, her backhand is also up there with the best. A good forehand and a tidy game at the net make Konta very dangerous. What is worth noting is that Konta also has one of the most dangerous returns of serve, coupled with her very consistent serve, she is hard to stop when performing at her best. Expect Konta to be featuring prominently at major titles for years to come.
2018 closing comment: Madison Keys continues to tease but ultimately stumble at the final hurdle. 2018 was another season of near misses for Keys, Keys made the quarter-finals in Melbourne, the semi-finals in Paris and New York but in all 3 of those matches she was fairly comfortably beaten in straight sets. Keys has struggled in the last few years in the biggest matches, especially against counter-punchers. Keys still remains injury prone and probably needs to sort out those issues before she can go all the way at a Grand Slam.
2018 closing comment: Muguruza had her worst season in while in 2018. Muguruza consistently looked unhappy and agitated on court in 2018 and was very rarely able to find her best tennis, certainly not on a consistent enough basis. There is no doubting that Muguruza’s best level is very dangerous, she has won 2 Grand Slam titles for a reason. However, there is no guarantee that she will ever reach that level again. Time will tell…
2018 closing comment: Elise Mertens really made a name for herself in 2018 with an outstanding season. It all started in Australia for Mertens where she defended her Hobart title before making it all the way to the semi-finals at the Australian Open. Mertens doesn’t necessarily have a spectacular game, she doesn’t have any huge weapons but she does do everything well and has a fantastic attitude. With a few improvements to her game she will push even further up the rankings and enter the top 10.