Like 2013, this year I will do a countdown of the top money list leaders from both the WTA and LPGA. Last year I did the top 30, but this year I will do the top 25. Note that as of this post, the retired Li Na has been removed from the WTA website money list rankings, but I will include her here. Thus, some WTA players will be off by one position on my list compared to the WTA website list. Also, Hyo Joo Kim is not on my LPGA list due to not being a member this year. I’m certain she will be on the list in the future. For the WTA, singles, doubles and mixed are combined for this top 25. Number 18 on this money list for each tour are Roberta Vinci (WTA) and Julieta Granada (LPGA).
ROBERTA VINCI (Italy)
2014 Official WTA Prizemoney: $1,557,060
Best Results: Singles RUNNER-UP Bucharest Open, Istanbul Cup; Doubles (all with Sara Errani) WINNER Wimbledon, Australian Open, Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Mutua Madrid Open, Rogers Cup; RUNNER-UP Roland Garros, Internazionali BNL d’Italia
Roberta Vinci is the only player on this top 25 list with more doubles prize money than singles. Since she teamed up with countrywoman Sara Errani in 2010, they have been a dominant force on the WTA Tour. #1 rankings, Major wins, regular event wins…it’s all coming up roses for the Italian duo. Except for one thing, they not only hadn’t won Wimbledon through 2013, despite often being the class of the doubles draw, they hadn’t even made a final. Australian Open, Roland Garros and US Open? Check, check and check. 2014 saw them check off the last Major on their list that they hadn’t won, as Vinci and Errani earned their first Wimbledon title, completing the Career Grand Slam in doubles. So is there anything left for them to accomplish? Absolutely. They have yet to make a WTA Finals championship match, let alone win the tour championship title. And, because they are both Italian, they can still win an Olympic Gold Medal together unlike some other doubles teams where the partners are from different countries. They made it to the semifinals at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
JULIETA GRANADA (Paraguay)
2014 Official LPGA Prize Money: $762,803
Best Results: T2 CME Group Tour Championship, T5 Ricoh Women’s British Open, T6 Wegmans LPGA Championship, T5 Honda LPGA Thailand, 7th Shoprite LPGA Classic, T7 Marathon Classic, T8 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, T10 Kia Classic
It was terrific to see Julieta Granada have a return to glory in 2014. I can hardly believe it’s been 8 years since she took the million dollar prize for winning the 2006 ADT Championship. Maybe that win, while being a financial windfall, possibly skewed expectations and heaped too much pressure on Julieta shoulders. After a modest 2007, her game kind of went off a cliff from 2008 through 2013, save maybe for a decent 2012. The other years saw her scoring average above par each season. The low point might have been the 2009 and 2010 seasons when she ranked 126th and 127th in scoring respectively for those two years. I would not have blamed Julieta if she had decided to walk away. But she didn’t. She kept on fighting and trying to improve. And now, with 8 top 10s and her best scoring average ever (70.94), she came back in a big way in 2014. She tied for 2nd at the Tour Championship while having her best money list finish since 2006. This, along with Christina Kim winning again, was one of my favorite comeback stories of the LPGA season. I hope that this time, Julieta spends more time as one of the top players.
ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE
All doubles pics with Sara Errani