It has been a season hit by Covid-19 but in the early parts of the year and the Autumn we some incredible performances and stories unfold on the WTA tour but what stood out?
Rally for Relief
The year kicked off with tennis coming together to help raise funds for the Bush-fire relief in Australia.
The country was hit by devastating bush fires around December the New Year and destroyed houses and livelihoods. It was fantastic to see the stars the WTA and ATP tour come together to put on a show in Melbourne Park and help raise millions for those who need it.
Naomi rules in New York!
Naomi Osaka is one incredible woman, what she does on the tennis court is exceptional but the way she uses her platform for someone soo young is impeccable.
She took a stand, won her third major title but also used her platform to continue a conversation. Naomi had seven masks with seven names of people who’s lives have been cruelly taken and not all of the names I was aware of but it made you research the stories behind these tragic losses and how the world must change.
Wozniacki & Sharapova amongst retirements
Two high profile retirements in the year were that of former world number one Caroline Wozniacki who ended her career at the Australian Open where she won her only major title. A few months later we also saw Maria Sharapova announced her retirement at the age of 32 having won five Grand Slam titles.
Throughout the year we saw many players retire which included Ekaterina Makarova, Magdalena Rybarikova, Johanna Larsson and recently announced Julia Georges.
Serena wins first title as a mum!
The season started very well for Serena Williams in Auckland. The American who previously won a title at the 2017 Australian Open whilst pregnant with her daughter Olympia picked up her first title since giving birth to her daughter.
Serena had a great week in Auckland making the final of the doubles with Caroline Wozniacki and striking through the opposition to win a monumental title in her career and it was great to see her share it with her family.
Elena Rybakina’s early season form!
Not many players played better than Elena Rybakina during the first couple of months of the season.
The 21 year old who was representing Russia but in 2018 switched to Kazakhstan was in incredible form. Runner-up in Shenzhen, Russia and Dubai, winner in Hobart and runner-up in Strasbourg.
The power she posses and the control behind her forehand made her soo dangerous in the early stages of the season winning 20 of her 24 matches before the season was pulled to a halt. Elena made the final of Strasbourg before Roland Garros but struggled for that similar form winning just 8 of her next 14 matches since tennis resumed but will be someone to watch out for in 2021.
Ons Jabeur top 50 debut!
There was a lot to shout about for Ons Jabeur throughout 2020, I loved watching her play in the early parts of the season especially in Melbourne.
The switch-up of pace, slice and power was beautiful to watch the Tunisian cause havoc for players and cracked the top 50 and made the final eight of the Australian Open.
Not only did she go on this big run in Melbourne before running into the eventual winner in Sofia Kenin but she showed that tactical nouse in Dubai causing Halep some issues and had some good results throughout the short season.
Leylah Fernandez starred in Acapulco and Monterrey
There were a few standout performers throughout the year and in Acapulco and Monterrey in the early stages of the season no one stood out more than Leylah Fernandez.
The 17 year old from Canada was on fire with her left handed forehand a mentality which reminded me of Maria Sharapova. There wasn’t too much celebration between winners but a reset and go again to her own rhythm.
Leylah has only broken onto the tour this year but she performed soo well and will be one to watch in the future…
Vika finds her best tennis
2020 has been a year with not as much joy as expected but to see Victoria Azarenka playing her best tennis when tennis resumed was magnificent.
The form Vika showed since tennis resumed in August was beautiful to watch and a celebration of her hard work to get back to the level she did. Vika tore opponents apart with her forehand backed up her form in America with some good results in Europe and it will be exciting to see what the Belarusian brings to the court in 2021.
Iga Swiatek wins Roland Garros
Not many players win a Grand Slam before a WTA title but Iga Swiatek did.
Fearless was the word to describe the teenagers run in Paris winning at Roland Garros without even dropping a set. To have gone from hardly playing on the tour, studying and then winning a major was phenomenal.
I wanted to see Simona Halep win in Paris but I couldn’t help but be impressed by teenagers level against the former champion and completely blew her away.
Sofia Kenin stars in Melbourne and Paris
I didn’t think Sofia Kenin completely got the respect she deserved after winning the Australian Open. Many went down the route of a ‘fluke’ which is flat out rude.
Sofia played well across all majors and her personality on court is infectious. She plays to her rhythm and resets well between points. Winning the Australian Open was an incredible moment for her but I think she deserves a ton of praise after losing 0-6 0-6 to Azarenka in Rome and going onto make the French Open final a couple of weeks later, that showed great character.