Welcome to the Stat Sheet, a new weekly Baseline feature that looks into some of the facts and numbers in and around the game.
The field this year at the WTA Finals in Singapore is one of the deepest in recent history with five Grand Slam champions in the eight-player field—and it could’ve been six if world No. 1 Simona Halep wasn’t out with a back injury.
However, being a major winner doesn’t enhance the chance of coming away with the title at the year-end event.
For the first time in the history of the tournament, a player that had yet to capture a Grand Slam has won the title for three years running. Before this current run, the streak stood at two years and was pulled off twice: when Chris Evert won the first two stagings of the event in 1972 and ’73, and when Kim Clijsters captured the title in 2002 and ’03. Evert would go on to win 18 Slams, while Cljisters captured four.
The current run was started by Agnieszka Radwanska in 2015. The 2012 Wimbledon finalist beat Petra Kvitova, a two-time winner at the All England Club, in three sets for her biggest career title.
A year later, Dominika Cibulkova surprised world No. 1 and two-time major winner Angelique Kerber in straight sets for the championship.
And just last year, Caroline Wozniacki—a former world No. 1 and two-time Slam runner-up—defeated seven-time Grand Slam champ Venus Williams for the title.
Will Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens or Karolina Pliskova keep the streak going? If so, perhaps they can carry over that momentum into the next season and replicate Wozniacki’s 2018 feat of becoming a Grand Slam winner for the first time in Australia.
Follow Van on Twitter: @Van_Sias
*This Week on Tennis Channel PLUS 10/21*
ATP Vienna & Basel (10/22 –10/28)
- Tennis Channel PLUS has every match live, First Round to the Final. Watch live coverage from 4 courts on Tennis Channel PLUS beginning Monday 10/22 at 7:00AM ET.
USTA Macon (10/23 – 10/28)
- Tennis Channel PLUS has first ball to last ball action live! Coverage begins Tuesday, October 23 at 10:00AM ET