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Serana Williams Tops Final Women’s Tennis Power Rankings For 2009

Posted on November 09, 2009 by JA Allen

Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009 - Day Six

Serena Williams finishes 2009 as the top ranked women's tennis player.

It only makes sense that Serena Williams, who finally reclaimed the No. 1 WTA ranking, should also regain the No. 1 Power Ranking and end 2009 as the reigning top player.

She won the year-end tournament in Doha, which turned out to be an endurance contest rather than a tennis tournament. There was as much tape wrapped on legs, knees, feet, elbows, wrists, and fingers as there are miles of road leading to Doha.

It gives the debate about scheduling more teeth as the tour heads into 2010. Week after week in 2009, the top pros were pulling out of tournaments or trying to play hurt because of the impossible schedule imposed upon them.

This is a monumental problem for both the women and the men. It is hard to deliver when you have no legs to stand on. But some did. Regardless, the final 10 for 2009…

The Top 10

1. Serena Williams (907 points)

Last four tournaments: Doha [Winner], Beijing [R16], U.S.Open [SF], Toronto [SF].

Serena mowed down all the competition she faced in the season-ending WTA Tournament in Doha.  She went 3-0 in the round robin and defeated Caroline Wozniacki, the No. 4 seed, in the semifinals and her sister Venus Williams (6-2, 7-6) in the finals.  She proved to all that she deserves the No. 1 WTA ranking and she ended the calendar year on top of the Power Rankings for 2009.

While all the other women were dropping like flies with injuries, Serena hung on, leg heavily taped, and made her way into the winner’s circle and hopefully into the 2010 season with a great outlook and a more cautious demeanor on court.

Current WTA Ranking: 1. Last Power Ranking: 10

Sony Ericsson Championships - Doha 2009 - Day Four

Svetlana Kuznetsova is ranked second in the power rankings and third in the ATP rankings.

2. Svetlana Kuznetsova (416 points)

Last four tournaments: Doha [RR went 1-2], Beijing [Winner], Tokyo [R32], U.S.Open [R16].

After a long layoff, Svetlana Kuznetsova surfaced at the WTA year-ending tournament in Doha where she predictably faded quickly in the round robin but not before knocking Elena Dementieva out of the running—helping to secure Venus Williams’ place in the semifinals. Kuznetsova ends the year injury-free, ranked No. 3 in the world.

2010 promises to be a good year for the enigmatic Russian who this year won the French Open as her surprise of the season.  We wonder what unexpected result Kuznetsova will spring on us next year!  How about the Australian Open?

Current WTA Ranking: 3. Last Power Ranking: 3

3. Venus Williams (412 points)

Last four tournaments: Doha [Finalist], Beijing [R32], Tokyo [R64], US Open [R4].

Last year’s champion in Doha, Venus Williams, had an opportunity to repeat, but she had to go through her sister Serena Williams to do it.  Venus did not quite manage the feat as the youngest Williams sister Serena won the contest, 6-2, 7-6.

With Serena’s left leg severely taped and Venus’ knee tightly wrapped, they provided living proof of what was left of the walking wounded on the women’s tour.  Venus fought hard the whole tournament but came up short on her last outing.

Venus’ fortunes fell off at the end of 2009 with constant niggling injuries.  Hopefully, she can put herself back together in time for the tour to restart in January, which, as they say, will be here before you know it.

Current WTA Ranking: 6. Last Power Ranking: NR

4. Jelena Jankovic (398 points)

Last four tournaments: Doha [Semifinalist], Moscow [QF], Beijing [R32], Tokyo [Finalist].

You have to give Jankovic credit.  Even though her roller coaster performances all year have kept her rankings and her game on the edge, she hung in there.  After squeaking by and gaining entry into the prestigious year-end tournament in Doha, she qualified for the semifinals by winning her round robin.

She faced Venus Williams and lost a hard-fought contest, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.  Like most others on the tour, Jankovic has had to fight injuries.  She is looking to regain her form and her preeminence as a top contender in the women’s game.  2010 offers her an opportunity to begin again.

Current WTA Ranking: 8. Last Power Ranking: 7.

5. Marion Bartoli (351 points)

Last four tournaments: Bali [Finalist], Osaka [QF], Beijing [SF], Tokyo [QF].

Marion Bartoli reached the finals of the Bali Tournament.

Marion Bartoli reached the finals of the Commonwealth Bank Tournament in Bali.

Bartoli made it to the finals of the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali, Indonesia.  She fought her way into the lead in the first set but had to withdraw after losing it with a left quadriceps strain.  The injury ruined a spectacular run for the French woman and once again interrupted her rise to the top of the women’s game.

Injury sidelines Bartoli too often as she attempts to make her way into the top 10 rankings.  Like all the aspiring women on the cusp, Bartoli is hoping for better results in 2010.

Current WTA Ranking: 12. Last Power Ranking: 8

6. Aravane Rezai (308 points)

Last four tournaments: Bali [Winner], Linz [R1], Luxembourg [R1], Beijing [R1].

Aravane Rezai had a perfect tournament in Bali where she ran through her round robin, 2-0, and then defeated Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in her semifinal match, 6-2, 6-3.  She met and defeated Marion Bartoli in the final, taking the first set 7-5 as Bartoli was forced to retire with an injury.  It was a great win for the younger French woman.

With her first appearance in the Power Rankings this season, Rezai could very well be a future champion in the making.  We shall keep an eye on her for 2010.

Current WTA Ranking: 44. Last Power Ranking: N/R

7. Caroline Wozniacki (299 points)

Last four tournaments: Doha [Semifinalist], Osaka [Semifinalist], Luxembourg [R1], Beijing [R1].

Wozniacki has made it back into the Power Rankings after taking some time off with recurring injuries.  It looks as though she tried to come back too soon.  She did make it to the semifinals in Doha where she had to retire against Serena Williams when she could not continue because of a left abdominal strain.

Caroline Wozniacki reached the semifinals at Doha and Osaka.

Caroline Wozniacki reached the semifinals at Doha and Osaka.

Wozniacki has had quite a year reaching the finals of the U.S Open and entering the ranks of the WTA top 10.  This youngster holds lots of promise and we expect her to continue her winning ways as she moves into 2010.

Current WTA Ranking: 4. Last Power Ranking: N/R

8. Agnieszka Radwanska (288 points)

Last four tournaments: Doha [Alternate – 1 win], Moscow [R32], Linz [SF], Beijing [Finalist], Tokyo [SF]

As a reserve in Doha, Radwanska saw action against Victoria Azarenka seeded No. 6 whom she defeated. But the Pole did not make it into the semifinal round.  Radwanska did end the year in the top 10 and has hopes of improving her game in anticipation of the ongoing hard court season as it moves outdoors in 2010.

Like the others, Radwanska continues to play with a heavily taped left leg.  Perhaps the wrapping will finally be removed, freeing her movement and opening up her game.

Current WTA Ranking: 10. Last Power Ranking: 4.

9. Kim Clijsters (257 points)

Last four tournaments: Luxembourg [R16], U.S.Open [Winner], Toronto [R16], Cincinnati [QF]

Kim Clijsters renounced her retirement during the summer of 2009.  Then she won the U.S. Open—her first major since her return to the game.  After that, Clijsters regrouped, entering the tournament in Luxembourg but going out in the second round, in three stiff sets, to Patty Schnyder.

With the anticipated return of Henin and the continued improvement of Sharapova, the women’s tour looks to the future by building on these past champions and awaiting the arrival of the new players as they make their way up the ranks.

Current WTA Ranking: 17. Last Power Ranking:5

10. Victoria Azarenka (252 points)

Last four tournaments: Doha [RR 1-2] Beijing [R2], Tokyo [Quarterfinalist], U.S.Open [R3].

Azarenka has battled injury for most of the year.  Her fiery determination and explosive reactions reveal her great desire to win.  While she has no major weapons, Azarenka never quits.  If “will” has a “way,” then Azarenka will find a way to win.  The 2010 season promises a heavy dose of the gal from Belarus in the big moments.

Current WTA Ranking: 7. Last Power Ranking: N/R

Author’s Thoughts On Power Rankings…

The women’s tour has seen many new faces as well as old ones come and go depending on the surface and the time of year.

As the women’s tour takes a hiatus, so do the Power Rankings for the women’s side. Farewell until January!

JA Allen is a regular contributor to Sports Then and Now.

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