It’s that time of the year again. The time to look into the crystal ball and predict what will happen in 2015.
So what will happen next year?
Well here are ten things that I think will happen in 2015.
If you agree, or disagree, let me know in the comments section below.
- Serena Williams will still be the number 1 player at the end of 2015.
Like Djokovic in the men’s game, Williams is incredibly consistent at getting results. Last year she won 7 titles, including the US Open, to remain as the world number 1.
While it wasn’t as good as the ten she got in 2013, she still did enough to lead the rankings by 1,435 points heading into 2015.
Like Djokovic, I can’t see anyone else beating her in consistency, to claim the crown.
Sharapova, Halep and Kvitova could provide a test to that but they only won 9 titles between them in 2014.
I can’t see one of them winning the 6 or 7 titles in the year to challenge Williams.
If Serena is on her game at any stage in the year, she wins the title that week.
She still has a level higher than anyone in the game at the moment.
It’s that level that will keep her at number 1.
- Eugenie Bouchard will fall outside of the top 10.
2015 will all be about pressure for Bouchard.
Can she handle the increase in publicity after her stellar 2014?
Can she handle the increase in expectation from the fans and the media?
Can she defend the points she gathered in 2014?
2015 will answer all of these questions. I personally feel she will struggle with that, especially at Grand Slam level.
She has two semi-finals – Australia and French Open – to defend as well as her finalist appearance at Wimbledon.
With Wozniacki and Ivanovic coming back to the top of their games, and the emergence of youngsters in the tour, she could struggle to defend her points.
As a result she looks likely to slip outside of the top ten.
2015 will be a big test for her.
- Garbine Muguruza will crack the top ten.
It has been thirteen years since Spain had a female player in the top ten.
2015 will change that with Garbine Muguruza breaking that drought.
The Spaniard had an impressive 2014 as she moved to 20 in the world.
She made the quarter finals at the French Open and also won her first title in Hobart in January.
2014 provided a nice platform to move higher in 2015.
After losing in the first round at Wimbledon and the US Open, she has two big opportunities to gain big points during the season.
Muguruza will also be a seed for the third time at a Grand Slam event in 2015.
Expect the Barcelona native to rise in 2015.
- Belinda Bencic will crack the top twenty.
At the US Open last year, Bencic made the quarter finals, to become the youngest player since Martina Hingis to achieve the feat.
At just 17 years of age she is 32 in the world.
She is the highest ranked player at her age and 2015 promises to be a big year for the Swiss up and comer.
If she stays at 32 in the world she will be a seed for the Australian Open.
Last year she made her Grand Slam debut at the event.
It has been an incredible 12 months for her.
I see it getting better. As she turn 18, and has access to every WTA tournament, she will only get higher in the rankings.
The top 20 beckons for her.
- Simona Halep will win a Grand Slam tournament.
In 2014 Halep made her first Grand Slam final at the French Open and almost defeated Maria Sharapova to take the crown.
In 2015 I reckon she will go one step better and take a Grand Slam crown.
In fact the Australian Open might be her best chance to get it.
The Australian Open in recent years has seen surprise winners. Halep could be that person in 2015.
Regardless of whether it is Australia, or somewhere else, Halep will break the drought and take her first Grand Slam title.
She is ready to take the next step.
- Olivia Rogowska will move inside the top 100.
I’ve been a big critic of Rogowska and her quest to get inside the top 100.
When you think she is about to crack the magic milestone, she falls short, and the chance slips away from her.
Last year she made it to 102 in the world and had chances to crack the 100.
All she needed in some weeks was one more win.
Rogowska’s biggest problem has been her confidence and finding the belief to get past the milestone.
In 2015 I’m backing her to crack the ton.
If she does, she will join four other Australians in the top 100.
- Naiktha Bains will crack the top 300.
Australia’s second ranked junior in the ITF, Naiktha Bains, will start to transition into the pro tour in 2015.
Expect her to surprise a few players and quickly rise in the rankings.
In 2014, at the Hobart International, she defeated a top 100 player on her way to the final round of qualifying.
While results aren’t important for her at the moment, as she is still focusing on junior events, she will get some with her powerful game.
With a wildcard into qualifying at the Brisbane International, and other chances to shine at the Australian Open and Hobart, expect Bains to shine in 2015.
A top 300 ranking isn’t out of the question if she can find success in the Australian ITF events.
- A player will make two Grand Slam finals.
In 4 Grand Slams last year, 8 different players played in the finals.
Li Na, Dominika Cibulkova, Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Eugenie Bouchard, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki made the finals.
I expect one player in 2015 to make two Grand Slam finals and change that.
- Caroline Wozniacki will bounce back into the top 5.
It has been almost three years since Wozniacki was in the top 5 in the WTA.
Since then she has fallen as low as 18 in the world as off-field and on-field dramas have taken over.
Towards the end of 2014, after the relationship with Rory McIlroy ended, Wozniacki found form again as she climbed back into the top ten.
She made the US Open final and also made the final of the Tokyo Open.
I expect 2015 to be a good one for the Danish number 1.
She looks extremely fit – after running the New York marathon – and looks happy to be back on the tennis court again.
2015 will be the year Wozniacki moves back into the top 5.
- Catherine Bellis will be the next big thing in US tennis.
If you haven’t heard of Catherine – CiCi – Bellis, don’t worry, you will in 2015.
The 15 year old is already making marks in the women’s game and is being talked about in a big way by America.
She is the number 1 junior in the world at the moment and is ranked 254 in the world in the WTA rankings.
To top it all off she defeated Dominika Cibulkova – a top 20 player – at the 2014 US Open.
She became the youngest winner at the US Open since Anna Kournikova in 1996.
She has already won two ITF titles as well and she has won 12 of her last 13 matches at that level.
Like Belinda Bencic and Ana Konjuh – who both hit the top 100 before they were 18 – Bellis will rise quickly to join them.
She has the potential to be a big star in the game.