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 #4 players for 2018: Elina Svitolina (WTA) and Brooke Henderson (LPGA).
ELINA SVITOLINA (WTA)
2018 Prize Money: $5,737,247
Titles: WTA Finals, Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Brisbane International
Awards: WTA Diamond Aces
Elina Svitolina might not receive the kind of headlines and attention as some other players, but the Ukrainian star continues to collect titles. She added 4 more singles crowns in 2018, pushing her career singles titles to 13. Among her 4 wins were two where she successfully defended a tournament she also won in 2017, Dubai and Rome. She defeated Simona Halep both years in Rome. But the biggest win of her career would come at the year end WTA Finals.
I hope that WTA Finals victory is exactly the kind of springboard Elina Svitolina needed to take that next step in confidence to be a Major champion. She has all of the tools. And when she reaches finals, she is tough to beat with a 13-2 record in championship matches. Problem is she hasn’t broken through to get to even one singles semifinal at a Major. She is far too good to only have 3 quarterfinal appearances in Majors for her career, including none at the US Open or Wimbledon. So, since I believe in Svitolina’s talent I’m going to call it now. Despite her record at Majors, she will reach a Major final in 2019. Book it.
BROOKE HENDERSON (LPGA)
2018 Prize Money: $1,473,247
Titles: CP Women’s Open, LOTTE Championship presented by Hershey
Awards: Bobbie Rosenfeld Award (Canada’s Best Female Athlete)
Back in 2016 the precocious Brooke Henderson became an LPGA Major champion, the first Canadian LPGA Major winner in 48 years, when she won the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Despite becoming the second youngest Major winner with that victory, I have to think that there was something equally special when Brooke won the CP Women’s Open, the Canadian Women’s Open, and became the first Canadian to win it since its inception 45 years ago in 1973.
Lookout for Brooke Henderson for Player of the Year in 2019. I’ll always pick Ariya Jutanugarn first, but Henderson is right there with anybody on tour and should be a force for years to come. She has distance off the tee and a sweet putter, finishing 2018 top ten in distance and putts per GIR. Those two things alone can win a player a lot of money…and a lot of hardware.
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