2024 vision: What the WTA season could bring

Last season highlighted the strength and depth of women's tennis. What has this campaign got in store?

Aryna Sabalenka / Demi-finale Roland-Garros 2023©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT
 - Alex Sharp

Four different Grand Slam champions, an exhilarating race to finish year-end No.1, 2023 was as good as it gets.

The tennis world never stands still and its already time to look into the possibilities and key protagonists for the 2024 campaign.

Iga's legacy to build and build

It's very hard to see Iga Swiatek away from the key battles for the most prestigious prizes.

The three-time Roland-Garros champion curtailed her trophy-laden 2023 with maiden WTA Finals glory – swatting away all her rivals with a ruthless edge to regain her No.1 ranking to sit at the summit for a second year.

In that form, the Pole is simply unstoppable. So driven, with intense tunnel vision, such supreme athleticism, it appears Swiatek can still elevate to hall-of-fame levels.

Since the current ranking system opened in 1975, only five women have chalked up year-end No.1 spots for at least three successive years. The legendary quintet is Chris Evert (1975-77), Martina Navratilova (1982-86), Stefanie Graf (1987-90), Serena Williams (2013-15) and Ash Barty (2019-21). It’s the kind of company Swiatek's game and stats belong with.

Get set for another stellar season and plenty of calls of "Jazda" from team Swiatek.

Iga Swiatek, Roland-Garros 2023, trophy shoot© Corinne Dubreuil/FFT

Mums back in town

There are three marquee names, former world No.1s who are now mothers too, ready to burst back on the scene again in 2024.

After 15 months away from the sport, four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka will be welcomed back Down Under in order to compete at the Australian Open. Class is permanent and fans will be delighted to see Osaka return.

2016 Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber already used a special ranking to kick-start her comeback at the United Cup, before heading to Melbourne.

Caroline Wozniacki became one of the stories of 2023, dazzling on her seamless return from maternity leave to roar into the US Open Last 16. The Dane hasn't duelled since New York, so the comeback will be re-started in Australia.

Three modern greats, the rest of the draws will need to be wary going toe-to-toe with these been-there-done-it champions.

Elina Svitolina's triumphant return last season also indicates the former world No.3 is destined to catapult into the business end of more key events.

Who can rinse and repeat?

It's certainly crowded at the top.

The women's game is basking in a roster brimming with quality and a plethora of styles and personalities. Every tournament throws up big-time first rounds. To lift the most prestigious prizes, the elite have to be switched on from the get go.

In 2023 Aryna Sabalenka featured in two Grand Slam semi-finals and two major finals. Now that is pretty unrivalled consistency. Great champions back it up – over to you Aryna.

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova has a marker on her back, Roland-Garros runner-up Karolina Muchova will be eager to build on that platform.

US Open champion Coco Gauff is used to playing with plenty of pressure and will need to retain her fearless, instinctive game from New York to make more major leaps in 2024.

The likes of Sabalenka, Gauff and Elena Rybakina have all posted pretty impressive victories over Swiatek. The margins at the top are minuscule and their matches, simmering rivalries, will be 'must watch' entertainment.

Within all these storylines there is Paris Olympics glory. Reigning gold medallist Belinda Bencic will be absent through pregnancy, so there is an extra special prize on offer on the grounds of Roland-Garros at beginning of August.

Fresh starts the name of the game

The 'Minister of happiness' Ons Jabeur delights fans across the globe and surely, it's the Tunisian's turn to taste Grand Slam glory.

Three major finals, three runner-up trophies. It would be some story to witness the world No.6's crafty game secure her dream.

The competition is only getting stronger, as Leylah Fernandez knows. The 2021 US Open finalist struggled to stay up top since then, however, the 21-year-old recaptured her belief and game at the tail end of 2023. The Canadian guided her country to Billie Jean King Cup silverware in November and will be raring to go for the upcoming season. Watch this space.

Teenage sensations such as Mirra Andreeva, Linda Noskova and Linda Fruhvirtova are names to keep tabs on, 2021 US Open winner Emma Raducanu has persevered through gruelling rehab to be back, Roland-Garros 2019 semi-finalist Amanda Anisimova is back.

At every turn, every tournament trouble lurks for the top names in 2024.