Serena Williams Ends the Year Well
Serena Williams had a mixed 2014. She only played four games in the second round of the 2014 French Open before getting beat by Garbiñe Muguruza. Next, during Wimbledon, she was beat by Alizé Cornet in round three. She had to leave the Wimbledon doubles tournament early due to a mysterious virus. But, just when we thought she might be starting to slide, at the 2014 U.S. Open, Serena came back. She won her 18th major.
Serena was named the 2014 Women's World Champion for the fifth time by the International Tennis Federation. This would be a feat in itself but Serena Williams is 33 years old, the oldest woman to ever hold the No. 1 spot, making her the holder of yet another record.
Li Na Retires
This might not be a great moment, but it was a big one: Li Na retired from tennis. The winner of the 2014 Australian Open and China's best player has hung up her (professional) racquet. She will be missed.
In addition to being one of the best women tennis players in the world, Li Na was definitely the best player in Asia. After winning the 2014 Australian Open, Li Na was ranked no. 2 in the world, the highest ranking ever attained by an Asian player. She was a trailblazer. She made tennis more popular in China and throughout Asia. Unfortunately, an injury to her knee cut her career short. She had four knee surgeries and countless shots to alleviate swelling and pain. Li Na made the hard decision to retire; however, she plans to help grow tennis in China, including opening a Li Na Tennis Academy which will provide scholarships for future Chinese tennis stars.
Wozniacki Runs the NYC Marathon
Caroline Wozniacki shows us that great tennis players are simply great athletes. Wozniacki ran the New York Marathon, finishing in 3 hours and 26 minutes… in her very first marathon ever.
Wozniacki should be proud that she beat the goal she set for herself, between 3:45 and 3:30. With her finishing time she qualified for the Boston Marathon. She should also be proud that she raised more than $80,000 for Team for Kids, a charity which supports fitness programs for children. Both Serena Williams, a good friend of Wozniacki, and Andy Murray contributed to her charity.
Wozniacki made great time in her run and made it back to the top 10 in WTA rankings. She currently holds the No. 8 spot. We're excited to see what she does in 2015 both in tennis and running.
Fantastic Young Players Make the Future Exciting
The amount of amazing young women playing the game today. We saw the 17 year old Belinda Bencic from Switzerland make it to the U.S. Open quarter finals. We watched No. 20 Garbine Muguruza (Spain) beat Serena Williams in the French Open as well as beating both Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep this year. Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard both made it to Grand Slam finals and cracked the top ten. Simona Halep (Romania) finishing No. 3 and Eugine Bouchard (Canada) at No. 7.
While 2014 was a great year for young wome players we can't wait to see what 2015 holds in store for them.
15-Year Old Wins a U.S. Open Match
While all of the young women mentioned above are playing fabulously, there is one who deserves her own spot: CiCi Bellis. At age 15, American CiCi Bellis won a match at the U.S. Open, beating Dominika Cibulkova, ranked No. 13 in the world. This win made her the youngest player to win a US Open since Anna Kournikova won in 1996 at age 15. CiCi is young but if she keeps playing the way she is now, she has a very bright future ahead of her.
Honorable Mention: Serena's U.S. Open Win
Serena's U.S. Open tournament was amazing. She won all 14 sets that she played and didn't drop more than three games in any of them. Her win marked her third US Open win in a row, the first woman to do that since Chris Evert's run in 1975-1978.