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 12 on this money list for each tour are Ana Ivanovic (WTA) and Lexi Thompson (LPGA).
ANA IVANOVIC (Serbia)
2014 Official WTA Prize Money: $2,317,649
Best Results: WINNER (4) ASB Classic, Monterrey Open, Aegon Classic, Toray Pan Pacific Open; RUNNER-UP (2) Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Western & Southern Open; SF (2) Internazionali BNL d’Italia, China Open; QF (3) Australian Open, Mutua Madrid Open, Bank of the West Classic
Social Media: Facebook
After falling from her past #1 in the world glory, it looked for a while like Ana Ivanovic was mired in mediocrity…as though she’d never be that level of player again. Then, over the last few years there were sporadic signs that maybe she still had it. It all came together in 2014. Ana put in the best year of her career since her 2008 season when she won Roland Garros. In 2014, Ivanovic reached 6 finals, the most ever in a single season for her. She won 4 of those titles, again a career season high. She won the very first tournament she played, the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand. She followed that up with a quarterfinal run at the first Major of the year, the Australian Open. That run was highlighted by an upset of Serena Williams. We should have known then it would be a special year for Ana. When the dust settled on the season, not only had she returned to the top 10, she finished the year ranked #5. The only reason she’s not higher on this money list is that there are a few people ahead of her who play a lot of doubles and that prize money is mixed into totals. Speaking strictly of singles, Ana is back. The only thing left is to consistently make deeper runs into Majors. She has struggled with some early exits over the years since her glory days. She’s still only 27, so she has time to still add another Major to her resume…and who knows, maybe a return to number one isn’t as unimaginable as it seemed a few years ago.
LEXI THOMPSON (United States)
2014 Official LPGA Prize Money: $946,764
Best Results: WINNER Kraft Nabisco Championship, T7 US Women’s Open, T10 Evian Championship, T2 Kingsmill Championship, 3rd Kia Classic, T5 Honda LPGA Thailand, T6 North Texas LPGA Shootout, T7 Airbus LPGA Classic
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Before the 2014 LPGA season began I chose Lexi Thompson as my pick to win Player of the Year. I love the way she crushes the ball when she’s on…and when she is on, she’s a tough out for anybody. Well…POY for Lexi didn’t happen, but early on in the year she was making a statement. She won her first career Major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship…in its final year as the KNC. She was 5th in Thailand, 3rd at Kia, 6th at North Texas, runner-up at Kingsmill and 7th at Airbus before wrapping up the first half of her season with a 7th place finish at the US Women’s Open. But then she cooled off a little coming down the stretch. She did record a top 10 at Evian, her 3rd Major top 10 of the year, but she wasn’t quite as amazing as she was early on. The type of golf she played to separate herself from Michelle Wie in their pairing in the final round of the KNC was the reason I chose Lexi to be 2014 Player of the Year. We saw less of that level to end 2014, but rest assured I expect more of it in 2015. Hmmmm…perhaps I was one year premature with my prediction. 🙂
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