Tennismash’s 2017 WTA awards

Published by Tennismash

2017 was a memorable year for women's tennis; Getty Images
Who are the winners and losers in women’s tennis in 2017? The Tennismash team give out some awards…

The WTA season is officially over. After Serena Williams announced her pregnancy early in the year, the collective top ten women licked their lips at the giant door left wide open by the dominant American. Rather than one person taking Williams’ throne, we saw several women playing musical chairs in the limelight:

Let’s give out a few awards to make sense of it all.

Related: Ostapenko must commit to improving serve 

Player of the Year

Trollope: Garbine Muguruza – she won a Slam, another big title in Cincy, reached No.1 and was consistent enough to win 47 matches and reach the second week at all four majors.

Rogers: Garbine Muguruza. Consistency at Grand Slams edges the world No.2 ahead of her rivals.

Briscomb: Muguruza beats Wozniacki by this much.

Best Player Not Enough People Talked About

Trollope: Elina Svitolina – an excellent year. Five titles (three big ones) and a stellar record against the top 10 (save for the WTA Finals). Her best year at the Grand Slams too, but she needs to improve more there.

Rogers: Julia Goerges. Only three players won more matches than the German this season.

Briscomb: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Weaker competition, yes but she still has two (three in total) more titles than the world No.1 in 2017.

Best On-court Dress

Trollope: I LOVED Serena’s Australian Open outfit.

Rogers: Caroline Wozniacki at the French Open. A classy, yet fun look.

Briscomb: Garbi’s US Open outfit was crisp.

Most Improved Player

Trollope: Jelena Ostapenko. I used to think her a wild, mindless ball basher. But the more I watch her, the more her technique (serve notwithstanding), strategy and ball-striking impress me. Amazing what she did at Roland Garros.

Rogers: Caroline Garcia. Her strong finish to the season was super impressive.

Briscomb: Ash Barty.

Comeback Player of the Year

Trollope: Sloane Stephens in a strictly tennis sense. But Petra Kvitova overall.

Rogers: Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. She struggled in the second half of the year, but her Australian Open semifinal run was truly inspiring.

Briscomb: Sloane Stephens.

Best Match

Trollope: Sharapova v Halep, US Open first round (an honourable mention goes to Bouchard v Sharapova in Madrid – that was compelling stuff).

Rogers: Serena Williams v Venus Williams, Australian Open final. Quality-wise it wasn’t outstanding, but to see the sisters competing at this stage again was special.

Briscomb: Halep vs Sharapova, US Open.

SmashDebate: Djokovic or Murray in 2018?

Player You Most Enjoyed Watching in 2017

Trollope: I’m gonna go with Ostapenko. Everything is box office – the shot making, the intensity, the faces, the handshakes. She’s so much fun.

Rogers: Jelena Ostapenko. She’s animated, entertaining and got a big game.

Briscomb: Jelena Ostapenko. Ball basher + wears her emotions on her sleeve? Sign me up.


Most Memorable Interview

Trollope: Basically any press conference Sloane Stephens did during the US summer.

Rogers: Andrea Petkovic and Jelena Jankovic’s video series at Charleston was hilarious. The uncensored video is gold.

Briscomb: After breaking down in her Roland Garros press conference, this may have been the moment that spurred Garbine Muguruza’s Wimbledon championship.

Next Big Thing

Trollope: Naomi Osaka.

Rogers: Czech teen Marketa Vondrousova.

Briscomb: CiCi Bellis. Reaching world No.35 at 18-years-old is a great achievement in the modern game.

Player Who Disappointed You the Most Based on Your Pre-season Expectations

Trollope: Angelique Kerber. That was quite the slump, especially after she’d seemed to handle the pressure and prove herself with a second major title at the US Open.

Rogers: Dominika Cibulkova. I thought her 2016 WTA Finals triumph was a sign of bigger things to come. I was wrong.

Briscomb: Probably more mid-season, but Garbine Muguruza. She was great, but I expected dominance.

Best Rivalry

Trollope: It’s hard to go past Venus v Petra, especially given their most recent three-set epic at the US Open.

Rogers: Sam Stosur v Daria Gavrilova v Ashleigh Barty. The battle to be Australia’s No.1-ranked player was enthralling.

Briscomb: Sharapova and Wozniacki. They didn’t play, but I enjoyed the fight over who should play on centre court very much.

Coach of the Year

Trollope: Conchita Martinez. Even though she’s not full time, the impact she has and respect she commands is noteworthy. Pity the Spanish federation don’t see it that way.

Rogers: Darren Cahill. He’s done a remarkable job to help Simona Halep improve.

Briscomb: Louis Paul Garcia. The Frenchman did an amazing job keeping his daughter resilient and it paid off when Caroline caught fire during the Asian swing.

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