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 #5 players for 2018: Angelique Kerber (WTA) and Nasa Hataoka (LPGA).
ANGELIQUE KERBER (WTA)
2018 Prize Money: $5,686,362
Titles: Wimbledon, Apia International Sydney
Awards: WTA Fan Favorite Major Match of the Year (vs Simona Halep, Australian Open SF
I wonder if, in 2017, the fame and weight of being world #1 and Player of the Year in 2016 contributed to diminished results for Angelique Kerber. After a 2 Major, 3 win, 8 finals 2016, she reached only 1 International level final in 2017, losing that to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Monterrey. Angie found her way back to Major championship success in 2018, defeating Serena Williams in the Wimbledon Ladies Singles final.
It was Kerber’s second victory of the year, following her triumph at the Apia International Sydney. Also, Angie now needs only Roland Garros to complete the career Grand Slam, having already won Wimbledon in 2018, as well as both the US Open and Australian Open in 2016. Although she has reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals twice, including this past season, it is where she has her current lowest match winning percentage. So I don’t know if Kerber will complete the career Grand Slam. But it doesn’t really matter. To hold the trophy at three out of four Majors is something most players will never do. One thing I can say about the 30-year old world #2, when she starts rolling she can be very Sloane Stephens-ish or Petra Kvitova-ish…just seemingly unbeatable. For that reason, I am not counting Angie out when it comes to completing the career Grand Slam.
NASA HATAOKA (LPGA)
2018 Prize Money:$1,454,261
Titles: Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Toto Japan Classic
The youth movement on the LPGA continued in 2018 with the great success of 19-year old Nasa Hataoka. Nobody in the top 5 of the year end money list is over 25. In fact, only one player is even 25. The rest are 23 or under. The youngest is Hataoka. To think, she might be only just beginning to put all of her abilities together. She could be unstoppable if she continues to grow as a player. For now, she won two events in 2018, the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and the Toto Japan Classic.
Nasa just needs to give herself more chances. She ranked 47th in greens in regulation. However, when she did reach, she was 2nd in putts per GIR. Of course, it seemed at times this year that Nasa was trying to take putting completely out of the equation. She had two holes in one this season…and nearly had a couple more!
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