The 2020 WTA Tour season was one of surprises as two new Grand Slam champions in Sofia Kenin and Iga Swiatek were crowned and the former finished top of the WTA top 10 prize-money earners in 2020.
Ashleigh Barty finished as the year-end No 1, but she doesn’t feature in the top 10 and neither does 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams.
10 Elise Mertens (Belgium) – $1,123,558 (Singles: $999,904 Doubles: $123,654)
The Belgium finished at No 10 in the WTA Rankings and is the only player in the top 10 not to hit the $1m mark for singles earnings.
However, she finished runner-up in two WTA International events (Prague and Linz) and reached the quarter-final at the US Open and fourth round of the Australian Open. She also pocketed a handsome couple of cheques from doubles.
9 Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) – $1,239,684 (Singles $1,112,700 Doubles $126,984)
World No 10 Sabalenka won three titles in 2020 – the Qatar Open before the hiatus and the Ostrava Open and Linz Open at the backend of the campaign. She doubled up in Ostrava as she also won the doubles alongside Mertens.
As for her Grand Slam performances, she reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne and at Flushing Meadows.
8 Jennifer Brady (United States) – $1,319,956 (Singles $1,245,741 Doubles: $74,215)
The American finished the year at a career-high No 24 in the WTA Rankings and has only won one singles title to date.
But it was that singles title that set her on a magical run as she won the Lexington Challenger in August and then ended up being a surprise semi-finalist at the US Open, losing against eventual champion Naomi Osaka.
7 Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic) – $1,505,967 (Singles: $1,505,967 Doubles: $6,550)
The two-time Wimbledon winner didn’t win any titles in 2020 with her best display a runners-up trophy in Qatar, but her performances in the Grand Slams earned her plenty of cash.
Kvitova was a semi-finalist at Roland Garros, a quarter-finalist at the Australian and reached the fourth round at the US Open.
6 Simona Halep (Romania) – $1,937,890 (Singles $1,928,119 Doubles: $9,771)
World No 2 Halep started 2020 like she meant business as she reached the last four at Melbourne and then won the Dubai Championships.
After opting to sit out the US Open, the Romanian won the Prague Open and Italian Open before making it to the fourth round of the French Open.
5 Garbine Muguruza (Spain) – $1,942,072 (Singles: $1,942,072)
The Spaniard started the year with a $1.5m cheque after finishing runner-up to Sofia Kenin at the Australian Open while she also made the quarter-finals in Qatar.
She disappointed in the final two Grand Slams of 2020, but did reach the semi-final of the Italian Open.
4 Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) – $1,991,783 (Singles: $1,959,453 Doubles: $32,330)
The two-time Australian Open winner enjoyed a career resurgence during the second half of the 2020 season as she won the Cincinnati Masters before finishing runner-up to Osaka at the US Open with the latter result earning her a $1.5m cheque.
The Belarusian, who finished the year at No 15 in the WTA Rankings, also appeared in the quarter-finals of the Italian Open.
3 Iga Swiatek (Poland) – $2,261,213 (Singles: $2,179,271 Doubles: $73,626 Mixed: $8,316)
At the start of 2020 Swiatek had only earned $675,189 in prize money and when all was said and done she had earned another $2,261,213 to take her career earnings to $2,936,402.
Her big payday came at Roland Garros where the winner’s cheque was worth $1.9m while she was also a doubles semi-finalist, which was worth about $66,000.
2 Naomi Osaka (Japan) – $3,352,755 (Singles: $3,352,755)
The Japanese player picked up a $3m cheque after winning a second US Open title while she also finished runner-up to Azarenka at the Cincinnati Masters.
In fact, Osaka played only four tournaments in 2020 and finished with a 16–2 record.
1 Sofia Kenin (United States) – $4,302,970 (Singles: $4,187,581 Doubles: $115,389)
It was a productive year for the American as she became a Grand Slam winner at the start of the year after beating Muguruza in the Australian Open final while she also finished runner-up to Swiatek at the French Open and was a quarter-finalist at Flushing Meadows.
Kenin also won the Lyon Open just before the hiatus in March and finished the year at a career-high No 4 in the WTA Rankings.
In case you were wondering, Williams was at No 11 on the list with having earned $1,091,151 while world No 1 Barty was one spot below the 23-time Grand Slam winner in 12th place having earned $1,078,902 this year.