Getting to the top of professional tennis is tough; staying there is even harder. The 2023 WTA tour saw several players achieve new heights, such as Coco Gauff, while other top players struggled.
Previously, I predicted who would win majors next year. We will know if I am correct soon enough. The Australian Open starts in just over a month.
In this article, I predict which players I suspect will improve their rankings for 2024 and which players might slump.
Buy: Coco Gauff leads a pack of young stars
At the 2023 US Open, Coco Gauff met the exorbitantly high expectations of the public and tennis pundits by winning her first singles major. Since working with Brad Gilbert, Gauff has improved her forehand and serve and seems to have adopted a more aggressive brand of tennis. It is hard to imagine that her major total will stop at one. Coco Gauff excels on slower surfaces but is a potent threat on any surface. I expect Gauff to rise into the top 3 and potentially win a second major next year.
Chinese youngster Zheng Qinwen also made significant breakthroughs in 2023. Zheng reached her first major quarterfinal in 2023 and rose to a career-high of 15 in the world. Zheng has a big game and is improving her physicality. It will be interesting to see how, if at all, a recent coaching change will affect her performance. However, I suspect that she will continue her upward trajectory and make a deep run at a major in 2024. I predict she will rise into the top 10.
2023 also saw a number of young Czech players make waves. Linda Noskova opened the year by reaching her first final at Adelaide, defeating Ons Jabeur, Daria Kasatkina, and Victoria Azarenka along the way. The Fruhvirtova sisters experienced some growing pains during 2023, but they have huge upsides. I expect at least one of these players to make a deep major run in 2024.
Sell: Will Sakkari slide in 2024?
Maria Sakkari turned around a disappointing 2023 season by winning her first WTA 1000 title in Guadalajara. However, Sakkari also fell in the first round at three of the four majors. Sakkari’s results have grown more inconsistent over the past two years, and I suspect that she may have reached her peak. I do not expect her to finish in the top 10 again.
Caroline Garcia struggled in 2023, and I don’t expect her to turn it around in 2024. Garcia has always been a confident player. When she starts to pick up wins, she can be unbeatable. However, her high-risk game can go off and she can lose to anyone in the top 100. Garcia finished the year at number 20, and I believe she will continue to slide in 2024.