Tennis

WTA Insider: 2017 Clay Court Power Rankings

WTA Insider | Looking to handicap the French Open field? Check out an Insider analysis ranking the best clay court performers of the last three seasons.

Published April 20, 2017 12:16

The spring hardcourt season has come to a close and, unsurprisingly, the tour’s best hardcourt players dominated the first three months of the season. As the European clay season set to begin next week at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix and the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup, the Insider team crunched the numbers to determine which players are primed to make their stamp on the terre battue. As it turns out, surface specialization is still very much alive.

The WTA Insider Clay Court Power Rankings is based on an empirical formula that isolates a player’s success rate on clay. To measure a player’s recent aptitude on clay, the Insider team applied the following formula:

100% of points earned on clay in 2017
100% of points earned on clay in 2016
75% of points earned on clay in 2015
50% of points earned on clay in 2014

The resulting sum accounts for a player’s “Clay Index.”

As of the week of April 17th, here are the current Top 10:
(Note: The Insider Clay Court Power Rankings have been applied to players who are scheduled to play the upcoming clay season. As such, Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova, who would have featured on this list if they were scheduled to play, have been set aside.)

No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza (WTA Rank: No.6)
Clay Index: 3282.50
Career winning percentage on clay: 66% (35-18)
Recent Results: 2016 French Open champion, 2016 Internazionali BNL d’Italia semifinalist, 2014 and 2015 French Open quarterfinalist.

Simona Halep

No.2 Simona Halep (WTA Rank: No.5)
Clay Index: 3151.25
Career winning percentage on clay: 68% (75-36)
Recent Results: 2016 Mutua Madrid Open champion, 2016 Internazionali BNL d’Italia semifinalist, 2014 French Open, Mutua Madrid Open finalist

No.3 Maria Sharapova (WTA Rank: Unranked)
Clay Index: 2935.75
Career winning percentage on clay: 83% (130-26)
Recent Results: 2015 Internazionali BNL d’Italia champion, 2014 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Mutua Madrid Open, French Open champion

No.4 Samantha Stosur (WTA Rank: No.17)
Clay Index: 2493.75
Career winning percentage on clay: 66% (124-63)
Recent Results: 2016 French Open, Mutua Madrid Open semifinalist

Sara Errani

No.5 Sara Errani (WTA Rank: No.110)
Clay Index
: 2175.75
Career winning percentage on clay: 67% (163-80)
Recent Results: 2016 Volvo Car Open semifinalist, 2014 Internazionali BNL d’Italia finalist 2014-2015 French Open quarterfinalist

No.6 Lucie Safarova (WTA Rank: No.28)
Clay Index
: 2060.75
Career winning percentage on clay: 60% (101-66)
Recent Results: 2016 J&T Banka Prague Open champion, 2015 French Open finalist, Mutua Madrid Open quarterfinalist

No.7 Timea Bacsinszky (WTA Rank: No.22)
Clay Index: 1940.25
Career winning percentage on clay: 60% (56-38)
Recent Results: 2016 French Open quarterfinalist, 2016 GP SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem champion, 2016 Internazionali BNL d’Italia quarterfinalist, 2015 French Open semifinalist

Carla Suarez Navarro

No. 8 Carla Suárez Navarro (WTA Rank: No.23)
Clay Index: 1912.50
Career winning percentage on clay: 68% (113-53)
Recent Results: 2015 Internazionali BNL d’Italia finalist, 2014 French Open quarterfinalist

No.9: Angelique Kerber (WTA Rank: No.1)
Clay Index
: 1799.50
Career winning percentage on clay: 61% (66-43)
Recent Results: 2015-2016 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix champion, 2016 Volvo Car Open semifinalist (2015 champion)

No.10: Kiki Bertens (WTA Rank: No.20)
Clay Index: 1758.25
Career winning percentage on clay: 62% (46-26)
Recent Results: 2016 French Open semifinalist, 2016 Nürnberger Versicherungscup champion, 2016 GP SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem semifinalist

Hear a more in-depth analysis of the WTA Insider Clay Court Power Rankings courtesy of WTA Senior Writer Courtney Nguyen and WTA Web Editor David Kane on the latest episode of the WTA Insider Podcast: