This season has been a thrilling one for the women’s tour, with young guns Ash Barty and Bianca Andreescu emerging in 2019 to join another youthful superstar, Naomi Osaka, among the highest rungs of the WTA rankings. All three are firmly in the running for WTA Player of the Year honours.
Osaka, 22, last year announced her arrival in a big way with victory at the US Open. And she backed that up in January with her second straight major title at the Australian Open — a triumph that came the No.1 ranking.
Osaka held onto top spot until June, when Barty’s brilliant victory at Roland Garros and subsequent title in Birmingham saw her take ownership of the No.1 ranking.
The came September, and 19-year-old Andreescu’s stunning run to the US Open title — a triumph seeing her join Barty and Osaka in the top five.
As well as the fact Barty, Osaka and Andreescu are all now reigning Grand Slam champions, they have all won Premier Mandatory titles in 2019 and are now all ranked inside the top four. Each player has won three singles titles this season.
There is one more big tournament to come — the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, for which this trio have qualified — yet their body of work in 2019 is practically complete.
So which one of them do you think is the Player of the Year? We present the stats from 2019 so you can decide.
If we restrict this category to tour-level victories in 2019, Barty is well ahead of her rivals. But considering Andreescu’s additional victories in qualifying draws and at non tour-level events, the Canadian closes the gap. And we don’t think these can be discounted, given those wins contributed both to her ranking points tally and made it possible for her to feature in WTA main draws.
|Record vs top 10||8-5||5-1||8-1|
|Record vs top 5||2-2||1-0||4-1|
|Fed Cup record*||6-0||–||2-0|
|Longest win streak||15||10^||17|
*includes both singles and doubles
|Movement in 2019||#15 to #1 (+14)||#5 to #3 (+2)||#152 to #4 (+148)|
|Weeks at No.1||13*||21||–|
*currently ranked No.1
*as a qualifier
^record improves to 12-1 when counting qualifying victories at AO
Includes seeded players (marked by #ranking), Grand Slam champions and former world No.1s
|BARTY||#30 Sharapova (AO); #14 Keys (RG); #29 Sakkari (US)|
|OSAKA||#6 Kvitova, #7 Svitolina, #8 Pliskova, #12 Sevastova, #27 Hsieh (AO); Azarenka (RG)|
|ANDREESCU||#8 S.Williams, #13 Bencic, #19 Wozniacki, #26 Mertens (all US)|
Here, Barty earns points for the fact her titles came on three different surfaces — clay at Roland Garros, hard in Miami, and grass in Birmingham. Both Osaka and Andreescu notched all their titles/finals on hard courts only.
Helping break the deadlock could be next week’s WTA Finals in Shenzhen, which could also go a long way to determining who the official Player of the Year will be.
|BARTY||(3) Roland Garros, Miami, Birmingham||(2) Beijing, Sydney|
|OSAKA||(3) Australian Open, Beijing, Osaka||–|
|ANDREESCU||(3) US Open, Indian Wells, Toronto||(1) Auckland|
For Barty, two of these losses come with somewhat of an asterisk; Kuznetsova is a two-time major champion and former world No.2 while Riske has since gone on to crack the top 20.
|BARTY||#153 Kuznetsova (Cincinnati), #63 Mladenovic (Rome), #55 Riske (Wimbledon)|
|OSAKA||#67 Mladenovic (Dubai)|
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