October 22, 2021

THE ONLY TENNIS SITE

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Fernandez

Fernandez holds up the Monterrey trophy after winning her first career WTA Tour title. (Screenshot: WTAtv)

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Some great moments this week at tournaments in St. Petersburg, Russia and Monterrey, Mexico.

In Russia, an all-Russian final saw Daria Kasatkina pull out her second title of the season, and take another step on the way back from a drop in fortunes the last two years.

And in Monterrey, 18-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez bossed her second career final like, well a boss and earned her first-ever WTA title.

She beat qualifier Viktorija Golubic (who had a whole lot of tennis in her legs in making her second singles final out of the qualifying in a three-week span) 6-1, 6-4.

Fernandez didn’t drop a set all week.

Now, she has almost no turnaround before her first-round match against Mihaela Buzarnescu in the qualifying of the Miami Open.

Those are the problems of the unexpected champions. But the way she’s going she won’t have to have to qualify for too much longer.The cutoffs were fairly low for last week’s events. And as a result there was no movement in the top 30 at all.But plenty elsewhere.

Mostly for the Russians.

(All screenshots: WTAtv)

ON THE UPSWING

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS): No. 39 =========> No. 35 (The 35-year-old Russian made the final (all-Russian) four in St. Petersburg).

Daria Kasatkina (RUS): No. 61 =========> No. 42 (The 23-year-old Russian, formerly in the top 10, makes a nice leap after winning the 500 tournament in her homeland. She then decided to pass on Miami).

Ann Li (USA): No. 72 =========> No. 67 (The 20-year-old American made the semifinals in Monterrey and set a new career best ranking. But she has pulled out of the Miami Open this week).

Leylah Fernandez (CAN): No. 88 =========> No. 72 (With her new ranking, she wouldn’t have had to travel lightning-quick to Miami after pulling off her first career WTA title in Monterrey Sunday. But those are first-world problems. What a week she had).

Viktorija Golubic (SUI): No. 102 =========> No. 81 (With finals from the qualifying twice in the last three weeks, the 28-year-old from Switzerland gives herself some breathing room to NOT have to qualify in Paris. She was ranked No. 130 before this impressive little run).

Margarita Gasparyan (RUS): No. 126 =========> No. 88 (A lower back problem forced her to retire in the second set of her final against Kasatkina. But she got all the way there as a wild card. It’s only her second week inside the top 100 since Nov. 2019).

Anna Kalinskaya (RUS): No. 130 =========> No. 115 (Still outside the top 100 at 22, Kalinskaya made a little move – but she has friends in high places at IMG and will be in the Miami Open main draw on a wild card).

Vera Zvonareva (RUS): No. 145 =========> No. 122 (The 36-year-old seems to have been operating forever on an injury ranking of No. 78. But that is going to run out eventually; in the meantime she’s creeping closer to it with her true ranking by making the St. Petersburg semis. She’s out of Miami, though).

Anastasia Gasanova (RUS): No. 241=========> No. 183 (The … lively 21-year-old Russian leaps into the top 200 for the first time after going from the qualifying to the quarterfinals in St. Petersburg. She upset No. 5 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a third-set tiebreak after losing the first set 6-1 and saving match points in the second. And that came after a tough first round against Kazatska. She had nothing left for Zvonareva in the quarters).

Ana Konjuh  (CRO): No. 350 =========> No. 338 (The 23-year-old moves up a little this week. But she received a wild card into Miami, so if she can do anything there, she can really make a dent in the rankings after losing so much time to injury).

ON THE DOWNSWING

Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP): No. 90 =========> No. 93 (She’s still on the list after finishing cancer treatment. And there are rumblings she might consider coming back for unfinished business, after announcing that 2020 – which turned out to be an aborted year) would be her last).

withdraw

Eugenie Bouchard (CAN): No. 116 =========> No. 118 (A great week in Guadalajara was followed by a big first-round struggle in Monterrey. And with her recent withdrawal from a number of tournaments – as responded here last week – who knows where she goes from here).

Canadian rankings

The road to Shenzhen

Kasatkina up to No. 6, just a few points behind Serena Williams.