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By Chris Oddo | Wednesday April 9, 2014

 
Eugenie Bouchard

What will the WTA look like when Serena Williams is gone? A glance at these 17 players might give a good indication.

Photo: Christopher Levy
 

What will the WTA look like when Serena Williams and Li Na--currently the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked players in the game--are retired? Look no further than the WTA's current crop of blossoming youngsters for a good indication. As of this week, there are 17 players aged 20 or younger inside the top 100. From many different backgrounds, and with many different playing styles, these young players will very likely take up a good portion of the WTA's top 20 someday.

>>>What's Next for Serena Williams?<<<

Here's a list of those 17 aforementioned players, with a few relevant statistics thrown in. Read on after the jump to see our list of the top five...


BREAKDOWN OF WTA PLAYERS AGED 20 OR YOUNGER IN TOP 100

NAME

AGE

DOB

RANK

2013 RANK

W-L

2014
W-L

NOTABLE

RESULTS

Belinda Bencic, Switzerland

17

03/10/97

91

212

7--7

5--3

1st career semi in Charleston

Donna Vekic, Croatia

17

06/28/96

95

86

20--20

4--7

2 career finals

Madison Keys, USA

19

02/17/95

42

37

35--31

8--7

2 Semis and a top 5 win

Anna Schmiedlova, Slovakia

19

09/13/94

65

74

5--14

2--8

2 top 50 wins on clay

Elina Svitolina, Ukraine

19

09/12/94

36

40

24--30

11--8

4 top 20 wins this in '14

Allison Van Uytvanck, Belgium

20

03/26/94

86

129

7--12

3--6

2 career QFs

Eugenie Bouchard, Canada

20

02/25/94

19

32

43-31

12--7

Grand Slam semifinalist!

Annika Beck, Germany

20

02/16/94

44

58

32-36

10--7

1 career final, 3 semis

Laura Robson, Great Britain

20

01/21/94

62

46

38-51

0--2

4th round at Wimbledon 4th round at US Open

Zarina Diyas, Kazakhstan

20

10/18/93

93

163

9--14

3--2

2 career QFs

Caroline Garcia, France

20

10/16/93

74

75

17-32

7--8

Defeated Bouchard in Acapulco

Lauren Davis, USA

20

10/09/93

64

72

27-32

10--6

Beat Azarenka at Indian Wells

Garbine Muguruza, Spain

20

10/08/93

40

64

31-27

14--7

2 finals, 1 title in 2014

Monica Puig, Puerto Rico

20

09/27/93

54

55

17-24

4--6

2-4 vs top 20

Jana Cepelova, Slovakia

20

05/29/93

51

94

21-27

9--7

1st final in Charleston

Kristina Mladenovic, France

20

05/14/93

87

56

31-47

4--10

2-3 vs top 10 with wins over Halep and Kvitova

Ajla Tomljanovic, Croatia

20

05/07/93

70

78

18-25

9--8

4 top 50 wins this season



We think all these players have really bright futures ahead of them, but the following are the five that we consider to have the potential to be impact players on the tour:

1. Eugenie Bouchard

Bouchard has already demonstrated a knack for winning very early in her career, as she reached this year's Australian Open semifinals and came away from the experience somewhat unsatisfied (always a good thing). She's also one of a handful of players on this list with a winning career record (43-31), and some pretty good results against the top 20 (6-9, career). The hunger is there. The maturity is there. The shots are there. Bouchard is definitely headed for the top ten, and if she continues to evolve as a player, she could very well be a future No. 1 and a Grand Slam champion.

2. Belinda Bencic

Bencic has played 14 career matches and she's already 3-3 vs. the top 50. She's already blessed with an incredibly diverse arsenal of shots (she goes down the line with the backhand incredibly well), and possesses that very rare, very hard-to-coach intensity and desire to be the best. Bencic is just a month past turning 17, and she already looks like she's ready to make a big splash on tour. Furthermore, there is room for added power in her game, as her mechanics are sound, and her body is still developing and adjusting to the grind of tournament weeks on tour. There's a long way to go for Bencic, but this young woman has a lot of upside and could be a future superstar of the game.

3. Elina Svitolina

She's the highest-ranked teenager on the WTA Tour, and she's already reeled in four top 20 wins in 2014. She'll need to get in better shape so that she can keep progressing deeper into draws with top players in them, but Svitolina, at 19, is already demonstrating the potential to be one of the game's top players.

4. Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza is blossoming in a big way in 2014, as she has already reached two finals, won a title, and fought her way into the round of 16 at the Australian Open. She possesses a big game, lots of fire and intensity, and is still a way from her competitive prime. Top ten for sure, and who knows beyond that.

5. Madison Keys

With the current dearth of big-time servers on the WTA Tour, could the 19-year-old American with the golden right arm one day become the type of player that dominates matches with her serve? Right now Keys dominates points with her serve, but has yet to establish the kind of consistency and grit that would elevate her game even further. Still, she's reached a few semifinals in her career and does own a victory over Li Na to go with three other top 20 wins. Keys will need time to grow into her body and to get her agility and footwork on par with her hitting prowess, but with the right coaching and the right attitude, she could be a true star.

Final Thoughts:

Laura Robson is an incredibly gifted player that just needs to get healthy and find her consistency to be a force on tour. Ajla Tomljanovic has made great strides this season and is an incredibly powerful ball striker. Donna Vekic, still 17, is headed for a big future. Lauren Davis is a fighter and will have a solid if not brilliant career. Annika Beck has been on the rise all season, and is turning a lot of heads. Monica Puig plays with tons of energy and will be a factor on tour for years to come. Caroline Garcia, pegged as a future number one several years ago, is a beautiful player to watch, and only needs time and patience to reach her potential...

 

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