There are two weeks’ worth of rankings moves in one this week.
Because the Madrid Open went through last weekend, having started the previous Thursday, the WTA did not update its rankings on May 3.
So there are plenty of moves up and down the rankings spectrum.
Notable moves come from Madrid champion Aryna Sabalenka, who moves form No. 7 to a career high No. 4 with the win. And is only 330 points behind Simona Halep at No. 3 after the Romanian drops 530 points from a year ago.
Tournament points dropping: 2019 Prague 250, 2019 Madrid 1000.
ON THE UPSWING
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR): No. 7 ===========No. 4 (A new career high for the Belarussian, who has done all this without a deep run at a Slam. No doubt that’s the next step.
Petra Kvitova (CZE): No. 12 ===========No. 10 (Back in the top 10).
Iga Swiatek (POL): No. 17 ===========No. 15 (Swiatek ties her career high after making the third round of Madrid).
Ons Jabeur (TUN): No. 25 ===========No. 24 (She only moves up one spot. But it’s another career high for the Tunisian. And being the No. 24 seed in Paris is a lot better than being the No. 25 seed. Because you don’t have to face a top-eight player in the third round – if you get that far. She can make even more of a move this week in Rome).
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS): No. 41 ===========No. 30 (We’re unconvinced about the animal print Lacoste. But Pavlyuchenkova’s encouraging performance in Madrid, where she reached the semis, puts her in position to be seeded at Roland Garros).
Jessica Pegula (USA): No. 33 ===========No. 31 (It’s a new career high after a third-round effort in Madrid. And should get her seeded in Paris).
Paula Badosa (ESP): No. 62 ===========No. 42 (Badosa’s effort to get to the semis in her homeland move her up 20 spots and up to a career high. A year ago she was barely inside the top 100).
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT): No. 54 ===========No. 47 (Back into the top 50 for the former No. 12, as she made the third round in Madrid. She also qualified for Rome this week).
Leylah Fernandez (CAN): No. 72 ===========No. 70 (It’s more a matter of what other players did, because Fernandez lost in the first round of Madrid qualifying. But she moves into the top 70 and to a new career high. Fernandez also lost in the first round of Rome qualifying to Christina McHale. She’s not having much fun since she won her first tour title in Monterrey in March).
Viktorija Golubic (SUI): No. 84 ===========No. 72 (Golubic, a 28-year-old from Switzerland whose career high ranking is No. 51, came up just short in two WTA Tour finals so far in 2021. But she won the 125K in St-Malo last week to give her ranking a boost).
Madison Brengle (USA): No. 86 ===========No. 81 (A lot of American players have remained stateside to play some ITF events. And Brengle made the final of the $100K Charleston ITF last week).
Clara Tauson (DEN): No. 94 ===========No. 91 (The 18-year-old Dane lost in the first round of Saint-Malo after qualifying, but it was enough to get her to a career high. She also reached the semis of the doubles with Aliaksandra Sasnovich).
Jasmine Paolini (ITA): No. 103 ===========No. 93 (Paolini lost in the first round of Madrid qualifying, turned it around and headed to Saint-Malo, and made the final to tie her career high).
Claire Liu (USA): No. 172 ===========No. 129 (The 20-year-old American had a great two weeks, winning ITFs in both Charlottesville and Charleston to get to a new career high).
Ana Konjuh (CRO): No. 205 ===========No. 193 (The former No. 20 has gotten her share of wild cards. But she’s also out there grinding on the ITF circuit. And she’s back in the top 200 for the first time in nearly three years. … She began the season at No. 476.
Katie Boulter (GBR): No. 293===========No. 258 (Boulter was out quite awhile with back issues. And while she has had a protected ranking that’s at her career high of No. 82, she’s also working to get it back to where she should be. She qualified and reached the semis of the Charlottesville ITF two weeks ago).
Carol Zhao (CAN): No. 421 ===========No. 364 (The Canadian’s semifinal in Portugal and final in Salinas both come on at the same time, moving her up 57 spots).
Victoria Duval (USA): No. 499 ===========No. 439 (Another player on the comeback trail, Duval conquered Hodgkin’s a few years ago but has suffered a series of physical issues since them. She’s trying again, and gets a nice bump after qualifying and making the second round in Charleston last week).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Bianca Andreescu): No. 6 ===========No. 7 (Andreescu missed Madrid because of COVID. And now she has pulled out of Rome at the last minute because, she said on social media, of a snafu with Italian government red tape and a potential need to have to isolate upon arrival)
Kiki Bertens (NED): No. 10 ===========No. 17 (Despite missing a lot of time with Achilles surgery and slowly coming back, Bertens’ ranking hasn’t really taken a hit until this week, when her points from the 2019 Madrid title dropped off and she lost in the second round of last week’s edition).
Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP): No. 46 ===========No. 51 (She worked hard to get into the top 50. Then she shows up at the draw in Madrid, having been given a wild card – and sits and watches as she’s picked to play … Simona Halep in the first round).
Jil Teichmann (SUI): No. 40 ===========No. 54 (Teichmann’s points from going from the qualies to the title in Prague in 2019 drop off – and with no 2021 edition of Prague to try to defend them. Teichmann only made the second round at the much higher-level tournament in Madrid. So she’s out of the top 50 for now).
Sloane Stephens (USA): No. 51 ===========No. 65 (Rough year for the American, who drops after losing in the second round in Madrid. She was a semifinalist in 2019. Worse than that, she was in the hot seat as the No. 1 seed in qualifying in Rome. Worse than that, she lost in the second and final round. And even worse than that, there were two lucky losers selected from among the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 seeds (all of whom lost in the final round of qualifying). The other two – Laura Siegemund and Kristina Mladenovic – drew the long straws).
Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP): No. 93 ===========No. 102 (Having announced she’s cancer-free after treatment for Hodgkin’s, the beloved Spaniard was in Madrid practicing last week and plans to return to finish off her career the way she intended to – before her off-court match began).
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR): No. 92 ===========No. 103 (The former No. 30 isn’t exactly going in the right direction at the moment. She lost in Madrid qualifying, made the Saint-Malo quarters, but drops after failing to defend her third-round effort in Madrid a year ago.
Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU): No. 143 ===========No. 157
Kateryna Kozlova (UKR): No. 137 ===========No. 158 (The former No. 62 is struggling to keep the ranking going in the right direction).
Timea Bacsinszky (SUI): No. 337 ===========No. 357 (The 31-year-old hasn’t retired officially. But she also hasn’t played sinc Sept. 2019. The points from a semi at an ITF in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France in 2019 drop off this week).