Tennis Update: Top Players for Both the ATP and the WTA

The final three major tennis tournaments, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open, haven’t taken place yet this year. There’s plenty of time for the best tennis players in the world to get it together enough to challenge for a major championship.

Below, I list the Top 5 tennis players on the ATP Tour as well as the Top 5 tennis players on the WTA Tour. Check it out

2018 Top ATP and WTA Players

See below for the Top 5 on the ATP. I only added Key Events for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The reason is because after those two legends every one else on the list tries to win every tennis tournament.

2018 ATP Tennis Rankings – The Top 5

1. Roger Federer

Federer took home the Australian Open Trophy. He did it by beating Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1. You’d think at the age of 36 Roger might slow down. Nope. Although he said he was considering retiring, he said that about 3 years ago. He’s once again the king of the hill in the men’s tennis game. It’s difficult to see any player knocking off the king.

Key Event:  French Open

Federer’s only won the French Open once, in 2009. The French Open is one Grand Slam Roger’s never had a lot of success at. One of the reasons is because he often faces his biggest rival, Rafael Nadal, somewhere on the Roland-Garros clay courts.

2. Rafael Nadal

Nadal is 4 and 1 in singles matches this year. He’s not interested in winning the weekly matches. Rafa uses those to get ready for the majors. In fact, Nadal hasn’t played competitively since losing in the Australian Open quarterfinals to Marin Cilic.

Key Event:  French Open

Nadal is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, clay tennis player in history. He’s won 10 French Open Grand Slam titles. He won the French Open last year. Nadal can win any Grand Slam title, but the French Open is when he starts revving it up.

If Rafa wins the French Open this year, he must be taken seriously to win the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows. He pulled off the French Open-U.S. Open double last year.

3. Marin Cilic

Cilic has gone 10 and 4 in singles matches this year. He hasn’t won a singles title yet. That could change very soon. As Nadal and Federer begin to eye the major tournaments, especially Federer, there will be some tournaments where Cilic finds himself as the 1-seed. Whether he takes advantage or not remains to be seen.

One thing to point out about Cilic is that even though he hasn’t won a singles title yet this year, he’s already earned over $1.678 million. Last year, he earned over $4 million. Not bad for a tennis player that’s obviously second fiddle to greats like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

4. Grigor Dimitrov

At only 26-years-old, the 6′ 3″, 176 pounds Dimitrov has a ton of upside. He’s waiting for Federer and Nadal to finally put away their tennis rackets for good. Once he does, he believes, and so do many tennis experts, that he takes over as the next great men’s tennis player.

This year, Dimitrov’s done well for himself. He hasn’t won a singles title. No worries. He’s made over $667,000 while winning 10 of 15 singles matches. Last year, Dimitrov won over $6.6 million. If he hasn’t already peaked as a player, there’s plenty of tennis matches left for Grigor to at least leapfrog Cilic in 2018.

5. Alexander Zverez

Hailing from Germany, Alexander Zverez is to German tennis what Martin Kaymer is to German golf.  He’s the face of tennis in Germany. He should be. Zverez is only 20-years-old. He has the ability to be as good as he wants to be. His size is downright imposing:  6′ 6″ and 189 pounds. So far, he’s 8 and 4 in singles matches this ATP Tour Season.

That should change. Tennis really picks it up starting in April. Zverez will as well. He won 5 singles titles last year. He might eclipse that total this year.

2018 WTA Tennis Rankings – The Top 5

1. Simona Halep

Hailing from Romania, Simona Halep has finally become the best women’s tennis player on the planet. She’s been knocking on the door since around 2016. What helped Halep ascend to tennis supremacy?

First, Simona Haelp went through surgery to get her breasts reduced. The truth is that Halep carried a lot of weight on her front. She had to get faster, more nimble. The surgery appears to have helped Halep. If you don’t believe me, read this article from the Daily Mail in the UK from 2014.

Second, the great Serena Williams took time off to have a child. Every women’s tennis player on the planet got giddy with excitement when Serena decided to have a kid. Serena’s taken her time and still isn’t 100%. She’ll get back, no doubt, but before she does, Halep remains the WTA queen.

Oh, yes, Simona has also won a doubles title and a singles title this year.

2. Carolina Wozniaki

Simona Halep is 26-years-old. Caroline Wozniaki is only 27-years-old. Wozniaki and Halep, along with Garbine Muguruza, number 3 on this list, could battle each other for years if Serena decides she’s had it as the best women’s tennis player on the planet.

Wozniaki beat Halep in the Australian Open Final:  7-6, (7-2), 3-6, 6-4. She’s also gone 17 and 4 in 21 singles matches already played this WTA Season. Wozniacki is good enough to grab the 1-ranking on the WTA. If she were to win the French Open, the highest Caroline’s finished has been in the quarter-finals in 2010 and 2017, she’d most definitely would become the top-rated women’s tennis player in the world.

3. Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza has saved her best tennis the past few years in Grand Slam Events. She won the French Open in 2016. She won Wimbledon in 2017. At one point, Muguruza was ranked first in the world. In 2018, she’s won 7 singles matches. Not bad. But, she’s lost 5 singles matches. She has yet to take home a singles tournament trophy.

Muguruza often picks up her game, well, right about now. Don’t be surprised if she makes a run to the French Open trophy.

4. Elina Svitolina

If there is one women’s tennis player in the Top 5 that could have a truly breakout year, it’s 23-year-old Ukranian born Elina Svitolina. Svitolina has won 2 tennis tournaments this year. She beat Aliksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-1 to win the ATP & WTA Brisbane International. Then, she beat Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-0 to win the ATP & WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

So far, Elina has 15 singles matches wins to only 3 singles matches losses. It’s already been a great WTA Season because Svitolina has won over $1.258 million. The key for Svitolina will be to take home at least one Grand Slam title this year. If she does that, it would truly be a breakout year for her.

5. Jelena Ostapenko

Ostapenko is only 4 and 7 in singles matches this year. She has won a doubles title, though. She’s only 20-years-old, meaning that there’s some upside to her. What’s truly encouraging is that she lost in Round 3 in the Australian Open. Making it all the way to Round 3 in any Grand Slam Event is a sign that success is on the horizon.

That success could come as early as the French Open from May 28 through June 10. Last year, Ostapenko won the French Open. She beat Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. What had to impress tennis fans is how Ostapenko picked herself up after losing the first set to the heavily favored Halep.  That kind of no quit attitude should serve Ostapenko well the rest of this year.

This is the Top 5 in the ATP and WTA as of March 20. Periodically, I’ll write about the Top 5 in both the ATP and WTA. I’m also providing previews for all 3 Grand Slam Events coming up this summer:  the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open. Make sure to keep an eye out for those blogs.

What do you think?

Written by D.S. Williamson

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