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 10 on the money list from each tour are Jelena Jankovic (WTA) and Hee Young Park (LPGA).
JELENA JANKOVIC (Serbia)
Official 2013 WTA Prizemoney: $2,030,349
Best Results: (Singles) WINNER Copa Colsanitas, RUNNER-UP China Open, RUNNER-UP Family Circle Cup, QF Roland Garros, SF WTA Tour Championships, SF Sony Open, SF Nurnberger Versicherungscup, SF Western & Southern Open, QF Internazionali BNL d’Italia; (Doubles) WINNER Rogers Cup, SF Copa Colsanitas, SF Southern California Open
Facebook: Jelena Jankovic Tennis (click)
I must be honest. I had given up on Jelena Jankovic being a top 10 player. I’ve been a big fan of hers for years, but in 2012 she had slipped out of the top 20. Knowing that her style of play depends on her movement and court coverage, I thought maybe she had lost a step and couldn’t play at a top 10 level anymore, let alone the level that once took her to the world #1 ranking. I was SO WRONG! Happily so, I might add. After not claiming a WTA singles victory since March 2010, Jeca won the 2013 Copa Colsanitas, her 13th career singles title. She was also runner-up at both the Family Circle Cup and China Open. I give her a pass on not bringing those two titles home, as she faced Serena Williams in both finals. Jeca did take Serena to 3 sets at the Family Circle Cup and again in the semifinals of the WTA Tour Championships. Jankovic also reached the quarters at Roland Garros, her best finish in a Major since the Roland Garros 2010. Add in semifinal appearances in Miami, Cincinnati and Nurnberg and Jeca proved everybody wrong who figured her finished as a singles force.
Not only did Jeca rebound in singles, she also won the Rogers Cup doubles title with Slovenia’s Katarina Srebotnik. It was Jankovic’s 2nd career WTA women’s doubles title (she also has 1 mixed doubles title). She reached the semis of the Southern California Open, also partnered with Srebotnik. Earlier in the year, Jeca had paired with Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, a partnership that included a quarterfinal run at Wimbledon, Rome and Stuttgart. The Wimbledon quarterfinal marked her best doubles finish in a Major. I hope Jeca continues the momentum she built in 2013 going into 2014. I certainly won’t count her out again.
HEE YOUNG PARK (South Korea)
Official 2013 LPGA Prizemoney: $848,676
Best Results: WINNER Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, T2 Ricoh Women’s British Open, T7 Kraft Nabisco Championship, 3rd ShopRite LPGA Classic, T4 North Texas LPGA Shootout
Twitter: HeeYoung Park (click)
Hee Young Park finished 2013 as her best season yet on the LPGA Tour. The 26-year old from South Korea won her second career LPGA title at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, outdueling Angela Stanford over 3 holes in a playoff. Prior to 2013, The Rocket had one top 10 in a Major, the 2009 US Women’s Open. This season, she recorded 2 top 10s in Majors, a T2 at the Ricoh’s Women’s British Open and a T7 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She also had a T19 at the LPGA’s fifth Major, the Evian Championship. Hee Young’s 11 top 25 results included 5 top 10s.
Although she made slightly more money in 2011, The Rocket had her highest finish on the money list in 2013 in terms of ranking. That would be true even if you factored in what Lydia Ko would have made had she been a professional all year. Hee Young also easily had her best scoring average (71.07) of her career. She was 7th in birdies and 11th in eagles. Her 19th place finish in scoring, despite her greatly improved numbers, suggest that when she’s on, she’s really on, but maybe has an off week here and there. But that happens to everybody. It was a fantastic year for Hee Young. We’ll see if the Rocket will blast off into new heights in 2014.
SELECTED 2013 PICS OF JELENA JANKOVIC and HEE YOUNG PARK
ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE
HEE YOUNG PARK