Fairways and Forehands 2013 Top 30 WTA and LPGA Year In Review: #24 Ana Ivanovic and Il-hee Lee

Ana Ivanovic at Roland Garros 2013 (click to enlarge)

Instead of a year in review focusing on overall achievements, I thought this time I’d do a countdown of the top 30 money list leaders from the WTA and LPGA. For the WTA, singles, doubles and mixed are combined for this top 30. Number 24 on the money list from each tour are Ana Ivanovic (WTA) and Ilhee Lee (LPGA).

ANA IVANOVIC (Serbia)

Singles: $1,055,383 Doubles: $0 Mixed: $0

2013 Official WTA Prizemoney: $1,055,383

Best Finishes: Runner Up Generali Ladies Linz, SF Mutua Madrid Open, SF Southern California Open, SF Garanti Koza WTA Tournament of Champions

Official Website: anaivanovic.com (click)

Facebook: Ana Ivanovic (click)

Instagram: anaivanovic (click)

Ana Ivanovic might not have had a season to match what she was doing when she was world #1, but overall it was a solid effort in 2013. She was the runner-up in Linz, a tournament she’s won twice (2008, 2010). She also had semifinal appearances in Carlsbad, California and Sofia, Bulgaria. I would have liked to have seen Ana return to the winners circle in 2013, but it was not to be. She’s progressing nicely in tournaments but then doesn’t put a complete match together against the big names. At times, she looks like she’s about to have a breakthrough win but can’t finish things off. She’s taken Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep, Li Na, Sara Errani and Victoria Azarenka (twice) to three sets…but in losses. In those matches, Ana had stretches where she not only looked the equal of those top players, but sometimes superior. When her serve and forehand are working, Ivanovic is lethal. But that’s the rub…when they are working. I believe Ana still has greatness in her. If she can battle her nerves and not give up leads, at only 26 she still has time to be a top 10 player again. That would be great for the WTA. Ana is very popular and seems to be quite charming off-court.

Ana at UNICEF event in late 2012 (click to enlarge)

Off the court, Ana continued her work with UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. One thing she did in 2013 that was especially relevant considering the disturbing trend in online bullying was a blog entry Ana wrote at the request of UNICEF Serbia. I recommend it highly. You can find the entry on her official website here: How I Deal With Online Hate Speech by Ana Ivanovic (click)

Il-Hee Lee wins 2013 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic (click to enlarge)

IL-HEE LEE (South Korea)

2013 Official LPGA Prizemoney: $595,800

Best Finishes: Winner Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, T3 Kingsmill Championship, T3 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, T11 CME Group Titleholders

Twitter: leeilhee (click)

It’s always nice to see a player on the LPGA earn a Rolex with their first victory. For me, it’s extra special when it’s a Seoul Sister. Il-Hee Lee of South Korea captured her maiden victory at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. What an odd tournament it was, though. Severe rain flooded the course to the point where the LPGA was forced to shorten the event to 12 holes per round for three rounds. I don’t think that diminishes Il-Hee’s win to me. Everybody else played under the same rules so they had the same opportunity to win. They didn’t. Il-Hee did.

Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship (click to enlarge)

In addition to her great play in the Bahamas, Il-Hee played well at Kingsmill, Sime Darby and the season ending CME Group Titleholders. Half of her career top 10s (3 of 6) came in 2013, as well as more than half of her career prizemoney. She’s only 24, so I have to wonder whether 2013 was a sign of things to come for Lee or unusually great effort. I hope the former is true, that we are seeing a player on the rise.

SELECTED 2013 PICS OF ANA IVANOVIC and IL-HEE LEE

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

ANA IVANOVIC

China Open

China Open

BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis prior to US Open

BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis

BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis

Wimbledon

Roland Garros

Sony Open

BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells players party

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships autograph session

Australian Open

IL-HEE LEE

Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic

Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic

Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic

Kingsmill Championship

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