WTA’s Most Popular Players (and Australian Open infographics)

Very few sports can boast the athletic prowess, the big personalities and the glamour that follows the women’s professional tennis circuit.

From the gritty fighters to the graceful movers, the WTA is littered with players of all personalities and styles.  But everybody has their favourite.

Since 2012, the WTA has released their website data, detailing the most ‘clicked on’ players for each calendar year. Success generally breeds profile views, but interestingly enough, titles don’t always equate to popularity.

For the second year running, Simona Halep was the most viewed player after her best ever season, finishing at No.2 on the year-end WTA Rankings. Halep shot to the top of the popularity rankings in 2014 after a breakthrough season saw her reach the final of Roland Garros and reach the top 2 for the first time.

In 2015, Halep held off Serena Williams after a blistering season that saw her win three of the four Grand Slams on offer. Williams has remained near the top of the popularity rankings since records began.

Another evergreen favourite of the people, Maria Sharapova has stayed constantly near the top (although below Williams), the Russian proving to be one of the fan’s favourite players of the last decade.

21-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, has been a fan-favourite ever since she burst onto the scene and jumped 19 places to move to fourth on the popularity list in 2014. After a rocky 2015 season she slipped all but one place to cement her place in fifth, despite her WTA ranking sliding to 48 at the end of 2015.

But whilst Bouchard shot to fame in the last four years, it has come at the cost of two-time Australian Open champion, Victoria Azarenka. The Belarusian has relinquished her No. 1 position on the popularity rankings in 2012 and tumbled down the list to place at number 14 after the 2015 data was tallied.

WTA Most Popular Players

 

I was fortunate enough to see many of these players hit the courts at 2016 Australian Open. I returned for my third year of employment as part of the editorial team writing for ausopen.com.

It was again, a privilege to be a working journalist at one of the world’s premier sporting events.

For three weeks in January I worked on content for Tennis Australia, Australian Open and their associated social media channels.

To compliment the results and videos, I contributed a couple of infographics for the official Australian Open Facebook and Twitter accounts. Here are a few of them below.

 

10 years apart TWI

Novak Djokovic claimed his fourth Australian Open title exactly 20 years after his coach and mentor, Boris Becker did in 1996.

Maria v Williams updated

World No. 1, Serena Williams continued her dominating streak over Maria Sharapova at the 2016 Australia Open. Defeating the Russian in two sets, it was the 18th consecutive victory that the American has had between the two.

Roger v Novak

It was a semi-final for the ages when Novak Djokovic faced long-time rival and fellow Australian Open champion, Roger Federer at the 2016 Australian Open. Leading into the match, the head-to-head was locked at 22 wins a-piece, though it was the Serbian who edged ahead in the records winning 6-1 6-2 3-6 6-3 on his way to claiming the 2016 championship.

Zhang

In an incredible underdog story, China’s Shaui Zhang won her first ever main draw match at a grand slam after 27 attempts at the 2016 Australian Open. The world No. 186 progressed through qualifying to upset second seed Simona Halep in straight sets, before winning her next three matches to reach the quarterfinals. Zhang eventually lost out to Johanna Konta 6-4 6-1 but not before she captured the world’s admiration and attention on her incredible grand slam run.

Aussies at Aussie Open

The locals featured prominently at the 2016 Australian Open, with Daria Gavrilova and Bernard Tomic both making the forth round of the tournament before bowing out. As the data shows, Australians have continued to make runs into the second week of the tournament during the last decade, but a depth of talent proves that the Aussies are better placed than ever to exceed that record.

Ace,

Cobba.

 

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