Active Premier Mandatory Champions: WTA stars who have won the prestigious Premier Mandatory tournaments

Leye Aduloju in WTA 30 Mar 2019
  • The WTA Premier Mandatory tournaments are the most prestigious in women's tennis outside the Grand Slams and the WTA Finals
  • 21 players have won at least one of the four Premier Mandatory tournaments
Serena Williams

From Serena Williams to Bianca Andreescu, we look through the active players that have won WTA Premier Mandatory titles.

The Premier Mandatory tournaments make up the highest level of women's professional tennis outside the four Grand Slams and the season-ending WTA Finals. They came into being in 2009, following a restructuring of the WTA Tour. There are currently four Premier Mandatory tournaments, staged at Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing. 

21 different women have won at least one of these Premier Mandatory tournaments, with Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka leading the pack with six titles.

We look at the active players that have been Premier Mandatory champions since 2009.

Serena Williams- 6 Premier Mandatory titles

Serena Williams shares the record for most Premier Mandatory titles with Victoria Azarenka, but the legendary American didn't win one of these titles until 2012. It didn't help that she didn't play the Indian Wells between 2002 and 2014 as she boycotted the event for alleged racial abuse. 

Serena did win multiple titles at Indian Wells and Miami prior to 2009, but the tournaments were still classed as Tier 1 events during that period. She eventually opened her Premier Mandatory account in Madrid in 2012, when she defeated Victoria Azarenka in the final. The legendary American dominated the Premier Mandatory scene in 2013, sweeping through titles in Miami, Madrid and Beijing, while she added two more Miami crowns in 2014 and 2015. While she has gone on to enjoy more Grand Slam success, the American hasn’t won a Premier Mandatory title since her 2015 triumph at Key Biscayne.

Victoria Azarenka- 6 titles

While Serena Williams had to wait till 2012 to break her Premier Mandatory duck, Victoria Azarenka got off the mark three years earlier in 2009- the season the tournaments came into being. Azarenka won the Miami Open title in 2009, and has added two more titles in Florida- in 2011 and 2016, a couple more at Indian Wells (2012 and 2016), and another one in Beijing in 2012. The only Premier Mandatory title that has remained elusive to the Belarusian has been the Madrid Open, where she was a beaten finalist in 2011 and 2012.

Maria Sharapova- 3 titles

Maria Sharapova is one of four women with three Premier Mandatory titles, the second most titles after joint leaders, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka. Sharapova won Indian Wells in 2006, when the tournament was a Tier 1 event, but she did not claim a Premier Mandatory crown until 2013, also at Indian Wells. She won a couple more in 2014- in Madrid and Beijing- but she has not had Premier Mandatory success since then.

Petra Kvitova- 3 titles

Petra Kvitova has taken a particular liking to Madrid over the years, with her three Premier Mandatory titles coming in the Spanish capital in 2011, 2015 and 2018. Her best effort elsewhere was a runner-up finish in Beijing in 2014. Kvitova doesn't have the greatest record at big American meets at Indian Wells and Miami, as she is yet to go beyond the quarter finals in any of those two Premier Mandatory tournaments.

Caroline Wozniacki- 3 titles

After losing finals in Madrid in 2009, and Indian Wells in 2010, Caroline Wozniacki eventually opened her Premier Mandatory trophy haul in Beijing in 2010, and made it consecutive titles at this level when she won Indian Wells in 2011. The Dane went without a Premier Mandatory title for over seven years, but she finally added to her tally with her title run in Beijing in 2018.

Simona Halep- 3 titles

Unsurprisingly, two of Halep's three titles have come on the clay of Madrid, with the Romanian going all the way in the Spanish capital in 2016 and 2017. Her other Premier Mandatory success was at Indian Wells in 2015. Halep has been to a couple other finals- in Madrid in 2014 and Beijing in 2017- while she has also made four more semi-finals across Indian Wells and Miami but she has been unable to add to her tally.

Vera Zvonareva- 1 title

Vera Zvonareva claimed the first ever Premier Mandatory title at Indian Wells in 2009, when she defeated Ana Ivanovic in the final, but that remains her only success at that level till date. That Indian Wells success was part of the highlights of a wonderful couple of seasons for the Russian, who reached two major finals in 2010 and got to No  2 in the world. However, she made just the one other final, in Beijing in 2010, while reached the Miami Open semi-finals in 2011. Zvonareva has not won a match at Premier Mandatory level since Indian Wells 2012, but that has largely been because of time spent away from the sport through injuries and maternity leave. 

Svetlana Kuznetsova- 1 title

As part of the Russian revolution in 2009, Svetlana Kuznetsova won her solitary Premier Mandatory title in Beijing, just after she won her first Grand Slam title at the US Open. The Russian had earlier been victorious in Miami in 2006 when the tournament was a Tier 1 event. Kuznetsova has subsequently contested finals at Indian Wells, Miami and Madrid in recent seasons, but the two-time Grand Slam champion has been unable to add to her Beijing success.

Garbine Muguruza- 1 title

Garbine Muguruza won her only Premier Mandatory title in Beijing in 2015, defeating Timea Bacsinszky in the final. While she has gone on to claim two Grand Slams title and become world No. 1 since then, Muguruza has struggled at Premier Mandatory level, with her best effort after that Beijing performance being Indian Wells quarter finals in 2017 and 2019. 

Elena Vesnina- 1 title

Elena Vesnina has claimed just three WTA singles titles (and a lot more in the doubles arena), but the biggest by far was her stunning success at Indian Wells in 2017, when she defeated Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams, and then Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final to claim the title- a result that took the Russian to a career- high ranking of 13th. That was the only time Vesnina made it beyond the fourth round of a Premier Mandatory tournament. She has not played since the 2018 French Open as she has been on maternity leave.

Johanna Konta- 1 title

Johanna Konta joined the Premier Mandatory winners circle with her Miami Open success in 2017, the year she also reached the Wimbledon semi-finals and peaked at No. 4 in the world. Konta had reached her maiden final in Beijing the previous year, and in just her sixth main draw appearance at Premier Mandatory level, the Brit took out Simona Halep, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki in consecutive rounds to claim her biggest title. Konta hasn't quite been able to reproduce that form over the last year and a half, and has only been to the fourth round of a Premier Mandatory tournament once since then.

Carolina Garcia- 1 title

Caroline Garcia enjoyed a real purple patch towards the end of 2017, surging into the top-ten after claiming an unprecedented Wuhan-Beijing double, and reaching the semi-finals of the WTA Finals in her debut appearance at the season-ending showpiece. Garcia had only ever made one Premier Mandatory quarter final prior to her Beijing success- in Madrid in 2014- but she produced a scintillating run in the Chinese capital, taking down Elise Mertens, Alize Cornet, Elina Svitolina, Petra Kvitova and Simona Halep to become the third first-time Premier Mandatory champion in the 2017 season.

Naomi Osaka- 1 title

Naomi Osaka's stunning rise really took off at Indian Wells in 2018, when the Japanese star not only claimed her first Premier Mandatory title, but also, her first tour-level title of any sorts. She has since gone on to become No. 1 in the world, and claim two major titles- and counting...

Sloane Stephens- 1 title

The trend of first-time Premier Mandatory titlists continued in Miami in 2018, as Sloane Stephens became the fifth first-time champion in six tournaments at that level. Stephens had produced a stunning comeback from a foot injury at the end of the previous season, winning the US Open in just her fifth tournament back after an 11-month lay-off, and she consolidated on that breakthrough with a solid 2018 that included success in Miami, as well as big finals at Roland Garros and Montreal. Before Miami 2018, Stephens had only ever made two quarter finals at Premier Mandatory level, while she had missed four of the previous six tournaments due to her injury, but she turned full circle in Miami, defeating Garbine Muguruza, Angelique Kerber, Azarenka and Jelena Ostapenko to claim the title.

Bianca Andreescu- 1 title

This one came out of almost nowhere, as Canadian teenager, Bianca Andreescu stunned the Indian Wells field to become the first wildcard to win the title. Andreescu was making her main draw debut at a Premier Mandatory tournament, but the 18-year-old produced a magnificent fortnight, featuring wins over Muguruza, Svitolina and Kerber to claim her first WTA title.

Other players who have won Premier Mandatory titles

Agnieszka Radwanska claimed three Premier Mandatory titles, while Kim ClijstersDinara Safina and Flavia Pennetta both won one each. All three have since retired from the sport. Jelena Jankovic and Aravane Rezai also won Premier Mandatory titles, Jankovic at Indian Wells 2010 and Rezai in Madrid the same year, and while both have never officially announced their retirements, they have both been inactive for quite some time now. Jankovic has not played since the 2017 US Open, and has undergone back and eye surgery since then while expressing doubt over a potential return to the tour, while Rezai's most recent tour-level main draw involvement was at the 2013 French Open.

Karolina Pliskova and Ashleigh Barty will meet in the latest Premier Mandatory final in Miami- who will join the list of titlists? Read the full match preview.

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Active Premier Mandatory Champions: WTA stars who have won the prestigious Premier Mandatory tournaments

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