Fairways and Forehands 2016 WTA and LPGA Top 12 Year In Review: #7 Garbine Muguruza and Anna Nordqvist

Garbine Muguruza (click to enlarge)

Garbine Muguruza (click to enlarge)

For the fourth annual edition of my WTA and LPGA money list countdown I will focus on the dynamic dozen from each tour, the top 12 on the money lists. For the WTA, singles, doubles and mixed are combined for total earnings. Here are the #7 players for 2016: Garbine Muguruza (WTA) and Anna Nordqvist (LPGA).

GARBINE MUGURUZA (WTA)

2016 Prize Money: $3,903,388

Titles: Roland Garros

After showing tremendous promise the two years prior to this season…winner her first title in 2014, winning another title and finishing runner-up at Wimbledon in 2015…Garbine Muguruza cashed in on her potential this year with her first Major title, Roland Garros 2016. Not only did she win in Paris, she avenged (somewhat) her loss to Serena Williams in the final of Wimbledon 2015. Let me also say that there are lots of Serena losses where her opponent played well, but it was really errors from Williams that told the story. Not this time. Garbine, who had beaten Serena soundly at Roland Garros 2014, played championship level tennis and controlled the Roland Garros 2016 final. It was the kind of performance that has people in the tennis world envisioning Mugu as a future world #1. The first women’s Spanish singles Major winner since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Garbi ascended to world #2 with the title. But then…like some others before her, she slumped after her maiden Major. While she did qualify for Singapore, the rest of her year was a little bit of a letdown. I’ve compared what happened to Mugu to what happened to Li Na after she won her first Major. Li Na, who was closer to the end of her career than Garbi is now, recovered and went on to win another Major at the 2014 Australian Open. The Chinese star was 31 when she won in Melbourne. I have no doubt the 23-year old Garbine Muguruza will bounce back and fulfill her vast potential.

 

Anna Nordqvist (click to enlarge)

Anna Nordqvist (click to enlarge)

ANNA NORDQVIST (LPGA)

2016 Prize Money: $1,424,685

Titles: ShopRite LPGA Classic

Luggage-gate with In-Gee Chun & Ha Na Jang. The Singapore qualifying kerfuffle with Johanna Konta and Svetlana Kuznetsova. Apparently, it’s controversy after controversy for this year’s countdown. And now we have the club grounding by Anna Nordqvist in a hazard during the playoff of the 2016 US Women’s Open. I just felt sick for Anna in how this unfolded. To lose out on her chance at a 2nd Major title that way…let’s just move on. Maybe it’s just me, but is there a more unassuming superstar on the LPGA than Anna Nordqvist? It just doesn’t seem that I hear her name come up when people discuss the very best players on tour. Yet all she has done the past three years (2014-2016) is win at least one event, grab 7 top 10s in Majors and finish in the top 10 of the money list each season. She successfully defended her ShopRite LPGA Classic title. Not only that, Anna did so in record fashion with a 17-under 1 shot victory. Winning should always be the highlight of a season, and it is in Nordvist’s case, but I also look at her runner-up result at the US Women’s Open as another highlight despite the how it ended. The tour leader in greens in regulation, Anna just keeps playing great golf. Hopefully, we will all hear her name come up more if she has a 2017 season like the last three.

 

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

ANNA NORDQVIST

Sime Darby LPGA Classic

Sime Darby LPGA Classic

Canadian Pacific Women's Open

Canadian Pacific Women’s Open

Olympics

Olympics

with Pernilla Lindberg

with Pernilla Lindberg

US Women's Open

US Women’s Open

ShopRite LPGA Classic

ShopRite LPGA Classic

Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic

Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic

HSBC Women's Champions

HSBC Women’s Champions

Kia Classic

Kia Classic

 

GARBINE MUGURUZA

Singapore

Singapore

Beijing

Beijing

US Open

US Open

Cincinnati

Cincinnati

Olympics

Olympics

Wimbledon

Wimbledon

Roland Garros

 

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