Fairways and Forehands 2013 Top 30 WTA and LPGA Year In Review: #16 Elena Vesnina and Karine Icher

Elena Vesnina, 2013 AEGON International winner (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 16 on the money list from each tour are Elena Vesnina (WTA) and Karine Icher (LPGA).

ELENA VESNINA (Russia)

Singles: $659,727 Doubles: $641,133 Mixed: $6,226

2013 Official WTA Prizemoney: $1,307,086

Best Finishes: (Singles) WINNER Moorilla Hobart International, WINNER AEGON International; (Doubles) WINNER Roland Garros, WINNER BNP Paribas Open, RUNNER-UP WTA Tour Championships

Facebook: Elena Vesnina (click)

It was quite a year for Elena Vesnina. Coming into 2013 she was a proven doubles winner with 8 career WTA titles. Singles championships, however, eluded her. She had been in 6 WTA singles finals but come up the bridesmaid in each. To be fair to the 27-year old from Sochi, Russia, in 5 of those 6 finals she faced Elena Dementieva, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Sara Errani and Caroline Wozniacki twice. It can reasonably be said that she was the heavy underdog in those 5 finals. 2013 would see Elena not only win once, but twice, taking the Moorilla Hobart International and the AEGON International.

Elena overcome with emotion after winning first WTA singles title at Moorilla Hobart International (click to enlarge)

If she only had her singles breakthrough, it would have been a great year for Elena. But in doubles she also reached a milestone. She teamed with Ekaterina Makarova to win her first Major championship, taking down the team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci to claim victory at Roland Garros. They also teamed to win the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells and finish runner-up at the WTA Tour Championships. In all, she increased her career WTA doubles titles total to 10. I don’t know what Elena will do as an encore in 2014. I can’t wait to see.

Karine Icher at Solheim Cup 2013 (click to enlarge)

KARINE ICHER (France)

2013 Official LPGA Prizemoney: $746,572

Best Finishes: 2nd CN Canadian Women’s Open, T4 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, 5th Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, T6 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, T7 North Texas LPGA Shootout, 2-1-1 Solheim Cup (Team Europe)

It’s true that Karine Icher had a very good year on the LPGA Tour in 2013. 5 top 10s, including a runner-up finish at the CN Canadian Women’s Open. However, her 16th place on the year-end LPGA Money List is in part thanks to Lydia Ko. Because Lydia won the CN Canadian Women’s Open, for the second straight year I might add, as an amateur, the $300,000 first place prizemoney went to Karine. But as I said to at the start, Icher still had a very good year as she searches for her first LPGA tour victory.

Karine hugs Beatriz Recari at Solheim Cup 2013 (click to enlarge)

Karine had a stellar Solheim Cup. The 34-year old Frenchwoman added 2.5 points to Team Europe’s winning score with a 2-1-1 record. She help set a good tone for Team Europe on day one when she partnered with Azahara Munoz to defeat the superb American pair of Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer in the morning foursomes 2 and 1. Might Icher finally win her first LPGA title in 2014? We’ll find out soon enough. 🙂

SELECTED 2013 PICS OF ELENA VESNINA and KARINE ICHER

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

ELENA VESNINA

AEGON International

AEGON International

AEGON International

AEGON International

Roland Garros with Ekaterina Makarova

Roland Garros with Ekaterina Makarova

Sony Open players party

BNP Paribas Open with Ekaterina Makarova

BNP Paribas Open with Ekaterina Makarova

Hobart International

Hobart International

Hobart International

Hobart International

Hobart International

Hobart International

KARINE ICHER

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

Solheim Cup

Solheim Cup with Beatriz Recari

Solheim Cup with Azahara Munoz

Solheim Cup with Azahara Munoz

Solheim Cup Opening Ceremony

US Women’s Open

US Women’s Open

Honda LPGA Thailand

 

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