April 14, 2024

Open Court


WTA Rankings Report – June 21, 2021

(Photo: Volvo Car Open/Chris Smith)

Two first-time winners lit up the first full grass-court week last week as Ons Jabeur made history as the first Arab woman and first Tunisian to win a WTA Tour title.

And Liudmila Samsonova, a Russian who represented Italy during her junior years, ran from the qualifying to the title in Berlin.

The 22-year-old beat five top-50 players, including Madison Keys, Victoria Azarenka and Belinda Bencic in the final, to pull off the title.

With it, she also earned a last-minute wild card into the Wimbledon main draw.

At No. 105 on the entry list, Samsonova might have earned the spot on her own but for five players ranked between No. 97 (Stosur) and No. 104 (Buzarnescu and Kozlova) who squeezed in ahead of her.

She took care of any future concerns in that area with her title on Sunday.

Jabeur finally broke the duck on winning a title. And she and Ellen Perez nearly got the doubles, too. Watch her fly a little now.


Belinda Bencic (SUI): No. 12 ==========> No. 11 (With her effort to get to the final in Berlin, Bencic squeezes past Petra Kvitova).

Victoria Azarenka (BLR): No. 16 ==========> No. 14 (Azarenka made the semis in singles in Berlin and won the doubles, which bumped her doubles ranking 13 spots to No. 42).

Azarenka and Sabalenka (seen here at Indian Wells in 2018) won the doubles in Berlin. Look out for them in Tokyo.

Donna Vekic (CRO: No. 54 ==========> No. 50 (Vekic is back into the top 50. But she pulled out of Eastbourne late in her continuing recovery from knee surgery, to be at her best for Wimbledon).

Alizé Cornet (FRA): No. 63 ==========> No. 56

Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL): No. 64 ==========> No. 57 (Another player on the comeback from knee surgery, Van Uytvanck won the ITF in Nottingham, and had to defeat fiancée Greet Minnen in the quarterfinals along the way).

Liudmila Samsonova (RUS): No. 106 ==========> No. 63 (A career high in a shot, after her incredible run in Berlin last week. She also gets straight into Wimbledon now, with a wild card).

Samsonova at the 2016 Australian Open juniors, when she was representing Italy.

Heather Watson (GBR): No. 70 ==========> No. 65 (The Birmingham semifinalist gets Iga Swiatek in the first round of Eastbourne this week – and you never know, she could cause a surprise).

Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL: No. 113 ==========> No. 103 (The 33-year-old vet reaches the semis in Nottingham last week, but retired after the first set to Arina Rodionova).

Arina Rodionova (AUS): No. 168==========> No. 149 (Rodionova went from the qualies to the final at the $100K in Nottingham last week, losing to Alison Van Uytvanck).

Coco Vandeweghe (USA: No. 203 ==========> No. 165 (Slowly but surely, the 29-year-old American is getting that ranking back up after two years of injuries).

Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA): No. 218 ==========> No. 188 (Working back from the bottom after serving a doping suspension, the 25-year-old Brazilian lefty won a $25K in Portugal last week).


Sofia Kenin (USA): No. 5 ==========> No. 6 (We haven’t seen hide nor hair of Kenin during the grass-court season – and she drops her points from winning the now-relocated Mallorca Open in 2019)

Barbora Krejcikova (CZE): No. 15 ==========> No. 17 (After winning singles and doubles in Paris, Krejcikova rested up this week and processed it all. But her 100  points from winning a clay-court ITF two years ago last week fell off).

Krejcikova at Wimbledon in 2016. She’ll come in this year as a seeded player even though she hasn’t played it in singles since 2017 – and has a total of one qualifying match win in singles in her career.

Petra Martic (CRO): No. 25 ==========> No. 29 (The drop might mean Martic faces a tougher third-round match at Wimbledon. But she’ll have to get there first).

Kristyna Plisova (CZE): No. 92 ==========> No. 107 (The lefty twin of Karolina is out of the top 100 for the first time Aug. 2016, and seems to kind of be over it at this point).

Venus Williams (USA): No. 103 ==========> No. 112 (It’s not going in the right direction for Williams, who just turned 41. She got a wild card into Wimbledon, though, a fair deal since she’s won it five times).

Samantha Stosur (AUS): No. 146 ==========> No. 151 (Her protected ranking of No. 97 allowed her to get into Wimbledon. But you feel as though this might be her final go-round, at age 37). 

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