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 13 on this money list for each tour are Peng Shuai (WTA) and Na Yeon Choi (LPGA).
PENG SHUAI (China)
2014 Official WTA Prize Money: $2,045,832
Best Results: Singles RUNNER-UP Shenzhen Open; SF (2) US Open, Tianjin Open; Doubles (all with Hsieh Su-Wei except Pattaya Open with Zhang Shuai and China Open, with Andrea Hlavackova) WINNER (5) Roland Garros, PTT Pattaya Open, Qatar Total Open, BNP Paribas Open, China Open; RUNNER-UP WTA Finals
PENG Shuai continued to be one of the elite doubles players in the world in 2014. Most often she was paired with Hsieh Su-Wei this season. But regardless of if it were Hsieh, Andrea Hlavackova or Zhang Shuai, victory seemed to follow. Peng Shuai won her second career doubles Major at Roland Garros. She also finished runner-up at the WTA Finals. The bigger move forward, in terms of improvement, came in singles. Unfortunately, she is still 0 for 6 in singles finals, the latest bridesmaid finish coming at the Shenzhen Open against countrywoman Li Na. Still, Peng Shuai showed that she could also make noise at a Major in singles, reaching the semifinals at the US Open. Prior to that achievement, she had never advanced past the fourth round in a Major. The only negative is that the image many will take away from that run is her being taken off the court in a wheelchair after succumbing to the conditions. She has recovered, which is what everybody hoped for. Now moving forward, can she finally get her first WTA level win in singles. Oddly enough she won a WTA 125k tournament this year, but that’s not a main tour level event.
NA YEON CHOI (South Korea)
2014 Official LPGA Prize Money: $945,813
Best Results: 5th Evian Championship, 2nd Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, T3 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, T4 North Texas LPGA Shootout, T5 Portland Classic, 6th Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia
Social Media: Facebook
Na Yeon Choi had another terrific showing on the LPGA tour in 2014. Some might point out that her numbers are down a bit. I can’t really dispute that. What I would say is that NYC has set her own standard at such a stratospheric level that of course any little decline stands out. Remember that this is a woman who won both the money list and scoring title in 2010. Since she started playing full seasons, she’s never been out of the top 10 on the scoring list. This year she placed 10th at 70.54, more or less matching what she did in 2011 when she finished 2nd in scoring. Her 13th place finish on the money list this year is her career worst. But think about that, 13th on the money list is her worst finish. There are a ton of very good players on this tour who will never sniff 13th on the money list for a full season, much less have it be their worst finish. For her 7 full seasons she has finished 11th, 6th, 1st, 3rd, 2nd, 9th and 13th on the money list. That’s incredibly impressive. I know she hasn’t won since 2012, but she came close this year. She is still right there in the mix with the best in the world.
ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE
NA YEON CHOI