The Polish, world n ° 1 and the Frenchwoman after a spectacular return to the front of the stage have, like Ons Jabeur or Coco Gauff marked the year 2022 of the women’s circuit.
Iga Swiatek on another planet
Two Grand Slam titles (Roland-Garros and the US Open), four WTA 1000s (Doha, Indian Wells, Miami and Rome), 37 consecutive victories (the longest streak on the WTA circuit since 1990) before being brutally ejected at 3e round against Alizé Cornet), 67 wins during the season (9 losses) the highest total on the women’s circuit since Serena Williams in 2013,Iga Swiatek hovered over the season. The Pole registering as the first since the German Angelique Kerber in 2016 to win two Grand Slam titles in the same season. For a fabulous year concluded with a grimace in the semi-finals of the Masters (beaten by the Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka). A defeat quickly put away. “ This season was special, I will never forget it summed up the Polish woman, firmly established at the top of the world rankings.
Ashleigh Barty, a dream outing
Titled in Melbourne, after experiencing many disappointments there and resisting the weight of waiting for a country in need of a title since Chris O’Neil in 1978, the Australian surprised the world of tennis by announcing her retirement in the wake of a final (against the American Danielle Collins) and a mastered tournament (not a lost set). At 25, the one who had already left the women’s circuit to satisfy her desires elsewhere, in cricket, decided to put away her rackets. His one-handed backhand pattern and offensive play earned him a 3e and last Grand Slam title (after Roland-Garros 2019 and Wimbledon 2021), before bowing out wearing the crown of his dreams. And in the first place in the world.
Caroline Garcia, six months at lightning speed
75e in May after experiencing physical problems, the Lyonnaise has had a string of successes (Bad Hombourg on grass, Warsaw on clay and Cincinnati on hard courts; the Lyonnaise is the only player to achieve this in 2022, as Novak Djokovic on the men’s circuit) to rush to the Masters carried by a semi-final at the US Open (the first of his career in Grand Slam). And in Fort Worth (beaten in pools by Iga Swiatek), the Lyonnaise joined Amélie Mauresmo on the list, the only French woman to win the event. Before going to participate in the maintenance of the France team in the world group of Fed Cup. Epilogue of a crazy year that hoists Caroline Garcia at the 4e place in the world and opens up great prospects for her, at 29, since she will not have many points to defend during the first quarter.
Promises named Ons Jabeur and Coco Gauff
The Tunisian (like the Norwegian Casper Ruud) lived her first two Grand Slam finals. Punctuated by two defeats, at Wimbledon and the US Open. Installed at 2e world place, Ons Jabeur (28) reached a new level in 2022, with titles in Madrid and Berlin (another final in Rome). A player who, over her victories, has become a model, a source of inspiration in Tunisia. Another figure ready to upset the hierarchy, the American Coco Gauff (18 years old) experienced, in 2022, the first major final of her young career at Roland-Garros. The opportunity to see the extent of the possibilities and the maturity of a player inspired by the Williams sisters.
Serena Williams emotion and question mark
The US Open set the final stage. Serena Williams, watched by Tiger Woods, carried by a boiling stadium was faithful to his electrifying legend and making New York roar, spanning the first two rounds before stumbling, not without having given everything against the Australian Ajla Tomjanovic. “ The queen of queens “, as she was presented sparkling with diamonds when she entered the court Arthur Ashe had on the front page of US Vogue sketched the idea of letting the end credits scroll (“ I’m not good at goodbyes, I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time, I’m ready for what’s next “). Without ever formalizing his desire to turn the page. Before letting the possibility of a return float when the American legend confided to the San Francisco Standard: “ I am not retired. The chances (of a return) are very high. You can come to my house and you will see that I have a tennis court. To stay stuck between emotion and question mark. At 41 and with 23 Grand Slam crowns…
Elena Rybakina, Kazakh pioneer
A brilliant first. Elena Rybakina mastered her emotions and Ons Jabeur to turn her first appearance into a Grand Slam final in a fairy tale at Wimbledon. Of Russian origin, naturalized Kazakh at 18 to finance her career, she offered Kazakhstan the first Grand Slam title in its history. By illustrating the variety of women’s tennis (12e player winning a first major title since the end of Serena Williams’ unchallenged dominance in 2017). The return to earth was more painful, as illustrated by a loss at 1er round of the US Open against Clara Burel.
Alizé Cornet, the late harvest
The Nice (32 years old) gave the impetus to a smiling blue season of French women’s tennis (with in particular the surprise appearances of Diane Parry and Léolia Jeanjean in the 3e round of Roland-Garros) had an incredible season reaching his first Grand Chelkem quarter-final in Melbourne, qualifying for the 3e round of each Grand Slam, by reaching the round of 16 at Wimbledon (by stopping Iga Swiatek, the world No. 1 driven by a crazy series), by offering the participation record with 63 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments (series opened at the 2007 Australian Open). During this career, she gave her full potential in Grand Slams, notably dominating Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep (at the Australian Open), Jelena Ostapenko (at Roland-Garros), Iga Swiatek (at Wimbledon) and Emma Raducanu (at the US Open). Enough to cast doubt on the end of her career that she had imagined at Roland-Garros in 2023…