For the 2018 edition of my WTA and LPGA money list countdown I will focus on the top 10 from each tour, as determined by the money lists. For the WTA, singles, doubles and mixed are combined for total earnings. Here are the #8 players for 2018: Karolina Pliskova (WTA) and Carlota Ciganda (LPGA).
KAROLINA PLISKOVA (WTA)
2018 Prize Money: $3,539,050
Titles: Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Pan Pacific Open; (Team) Fed Cup
Karolina Pliskova continued to build her stellar career resume with 2 more titles in 2018, taking home the trophies in Stuttgart and Tokyo. It’s fitting that the former world #1 ended the season ranked #8 on the money list, as she was very good at reaching the final 8 (the quarters) at tournaments. You could call Karolina the Quarterfinal Queen in 2018. She reached the quarterfinal at the US Open, Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami and Dubai. Those are big tournaments, which will earn a top 10 prize money ranking at the end of the year. Still, you have to think as great a competitor as she is, she would prefer to turn those quarters into semis and finals. Two wins, a runner-up in Tianjin and a handful of quarters is very impressive, so I would hope she looks on 2018 as a success.
In fact, it was a successful season on and off the court for Pliskova as she married Michal Hrdlicka. Different athletes deal with nuptials during the season in different ways. It didn’t seem to me to affect her. Put it this way, if she were distracted in 2018, then I would marvel at what she might do when 100% focused. But again, I think she was fine dealing with all of that. She seems pretty chill. Not much gets to her. As an aside, I hope she also continues to work with Rennae Stubbs as a coach. That’s a pairing of coach and player that I very much will root for in 2019, should it last. Stubbsy!!! One last thing though…I root for Karolina, but I didn’t like her smashing the umpire’s chair after her loss to Maria Sakkari in Rome. Can’t do that ever again. Not cool. But other than that, it was continued brilliance from the young Czech.
CARLOTA CIGANDA (LPGA)
2018 Prize Money: $1,244,610
Don’t be fooled by Carlota Ciganda’s lack of a 2018 tournament victory to mistake her year as anything less than consistent excellence. The former Ladies European Tour Order of Merit, Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year had a fantastic 2018 LPGA season. She was 14th or better 12 times, including 9 top tens, 6 top fives and 2 runners-up. Those kind of numbers will easily put you in the top ten of the year end money list. The depth of competition on tour has never been as deep as it is today, so much respect for what Carlota did in 2018, including finishes 5th in birdies (386) and 2nd in rounds under par (68).
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