"The following looks at the 2012 year-end top 10 players on both tours and discusses what would make positive or negative seasons for them in 2013.
Good year: Wins two Grand Slams while managing to beat Serena Williams the majority of the times they play. In 2012, she was clearly the world’s best fast court player until Williams revival at Wimbledon. Azarenka had the most impressive year of any player of her generation in 2012, but if the world No. 1 wants to lead past the veteran elite for good she is going to have to continue to improve and consistently find ways to beat the likes of legends Serena and Maria Sharapova. The 23 year old is almost there with the Russian, but isn’t even close with Serena, whom she lost to five times in 2012.
Bad Year: No Slam titles, she can’t find her way past Serena and other standout veterans like Sharapova and Li Na. She also loses critical matches to members of her generation like Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova.
Good year: Another Slam title (anywhere) and she consistently goes deep at the other tournaments while not suffering any blow out defeats like she did on occasion in 2012 to Serena and Azarenka. Her first win over Serena since 2004 would do wonders for her confidence, as would her first full year of solid, big serving since 2007.
Bad Year: Fails to win another major, gets roughed up by Serena and Azarenka and begins to lose ground to the younger set of Kvitova, Radwanska and Wozniacki.
Goodyear: She wins another two majors to up her total to 17, just one shy of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova and there by puts herself in the discussion of the top two players ever (in my mind, Steffi Graf is currently the best ever,followed by Navratilova and Evert). She wins Roland Garros, the only Slam she has won a single time (in 2002) and the tournament that troubles her the most.
Bad Year: Fails to win a Slam, becomes injured for the umpteenth time and misses a chunk of the season. She suffers another early, inexplicable loss on red clay at Roland Garros, which essentially ends the 31-year-old chances of ever raising the French trophy again.
Good year: Wins her first Grand Slam title and turns around her rivalries with Williams, Sharapova and Azarenka. Manages to sneak past those three and grab for the No. 1 ranking for a brief time.
Bad Year: Consistently comes up short against the top 3 and fails to reach another Slam final. Shell shocked when her younger sister, Urszula, passes her in the rankings.
Good year: Wins her second Slam title, and manages to play and compete well for the whole season because she is no longer getting sick every other month. Shows both Azarenka and Radwanska just who the best player of their generation is and finally reaches No. 1.
Bad Year: Fails to reach a Slam final, cannot figure out what is causing her immune system to constantly break down and tires too quickly to be able to achieve her massive potential.
The best of the Rest
Good year: No. 5 Angelique Kerber
improves by five percent and plays gutsier ball at the majors, which brings the German to her first final and maybe her first Slam title…Sarah Errani
adds a little more oomph to her strokes and whizzes past the field to win Roland Garros… Li Na
flourished under new coach Carlos Rodriguez and wins her second (and final Slam)… Sam Stosur
finally has a terrific Australian summer and makes a deep run into the second week at Melbourne…Caroline Wozniacki
continues to improve her serve and forehand,re-enters the top five and steals the US Open title.
Bad Year: Kerber
repeats her 2012 Slam performances and can’t come up with the goods against the other elites at crunch time…Errani
comes back to earth and is a non-factor on every surface except for clay… The enigmatic Li
begins to ignore Rodriguez, eventually fires him and loses interest on the sport… Stosur
has another atrocious Australian summer when she replicates 2012 winning only one match down under … Wozniacki
continues to be stubborn, ignores the counsel of outside coaches and retains the bad habit of pushing the balls at the majors.
I guess any of TF members has own thoughts about what will be a good/bad season for top 10 players in 2013