Almost 1300 players could be found on the latest WTA ranking list, in a great mixture of experienced players and the upcoming stars that will rule the tennis world in the years to come. There are 10 players older than 35 and they represent the last bastion for those born in the late70s and early 80s, hoping to stay on the Tour for a year or two more and show their quality against much younger rivals.
Patty Schnyder is the only 40-year-old player on the WTA list and she will stay on the list until fall 2019, announcing her second retirement after a great 2018 that propelled her into the top-300. Patty reached one semi-final on the ITF level and she wrote history at the US Open, becoming the oldest player who has qualified for the Grand Slam main draw at the age of 39 years and eight months, losing to Maria Sharapova in the opening round.
The Hungarian Great Arn is the second player born in the 70s who still has the ranking, advancing into three back-to-back semi-finals in August and September to spend another year in the top-500 after missing all the action between 2014-2016.
Americans Venus Williams and Alexandra Stevenson are the only players on the WTA list born in 1980 but they are separated by miles in terms of points, with Venus standing in the top-40 and Stevenson outside the top-1000. Alexandra has turned 38 just a few days ago and she failed to qualify in 13 out of 14 events she played in 2018, winning just one main draw match and collecting eight points overall to keep herself in the rankings, 16 years after achieving her career-best position in 2002 when she cracked the top-20.
23 years after her first season with the year-end ranking, Venus is still the top-40 player despite a mediocre 17-11 score in 2018 after a stellar season she had a year ago. Struggling with injuries, Venus played only 11 tournaments in the season behind us, reaching the semis at Indian Wells and the quarters in Miami to grab the majority of her points, also missing all the action after the US Open.
The everlasting Serena Williams and Rika Fujiwara are the only players born in 1981 still left on the ranking list, with Serena cracking the top-20 despite the fact she played only seven tournaments in 2018! Serena lost in the final of Wimbledon and US Open and she will seek the first Grand Slam crown since the Australian Open 2017 next year, hoping for a better and more productive season ahead of us.
Serena, Venus, Schnyder and Junri Namigata are the only players older than 34 who are still ranked in the top-300 and it will be interesting to check the same list in 12 months time and notice the most significant changes.
The teenage sensation Cori Gauff leads the opposite side of the list, standing as the youngest ranked player and the only born in 2004! Super talented American had an amazing season, winning Roland Garros and finishing second in the junior rankings behind much older Clara Burel.
Cori qualified for two ITF pro events, winning two main draw matches to stay on 14 points and inside the top-900, targeting the place in the top-100 next year at the age of 15! The 15-year-old Daria Lopatetska is the best-ranked player among the youngest competitors on the list and also the third-youngest among those who are yet to turn 17 behind Marta Kostyuk and Whitney Osuigwe.
The Ukrainian completed at only four pro events but she won the back-to-back titles in her very first appearances on the pro level, reaching another semi-final and quarter-final for the place in the top-460. The remaining 10 15-year-old players on the list are yet to crack the top-750 and we will keep an eye on them in the following year.
The youngest players on the WTA ranking list:
#869 Cori Gauff (14y 9m)
#1029 Anastasia Berezov (15y 1m)
#971 Ane Mintegi Del Olmo (15y 1m)
#763 Connie Ma (15y 6m)
#1235 Elsa Jacquemot (15y 7m)
#459 Daria Lopatetska (15y 7m)
#834 Daria Kudashova (15y 8m)
#1235 Yuna Saito (15y 9m)
#1235 Ryoko Ikeda (15y 9m)
#797 Punnin Kovapitukted (15y 10m)
#974 Aubane Droguet (15y 11m)
#1021 Salma Djoubri (15y 11m)
The oldest players on the WTA ranking list:
#278 Patty Schnyder (40y)
#473 Greta Arn (39y 8m)
#38 Venus Williams (38y 6m)
#1034 Alexandra Stevenson (38y)
#628 Rika Fujiwara (37y 2m)
#16 Serena Williams (37y 2m)
#339 Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (36y 9m)
#1138 Anastasia Rodionova (36y 7m)
#287 Junri Namigata (36y 5m)
#1049 Eleni Daniilidou (36y 2m)