It’s the time to shine for yet another 18-year-old as Clara Tauson of Denmark wins her second title of the season.
Her first came in Lyon – also indoors on hard court – back in March.
Tauson, who won the 2019 Australian Open junior girls’ title over Leylah Fernandez in the final, hasn’t gotten nearly as much hype as many of the teens out there.
She doesn’t have the big agency behind her, or the big endorsements. She just keeps plugging away.
Tauson defeated Alexandrova, Vondrousova, Bouzkova and Ostapenko in the final to take the title. All but the match against Bouzkova were in three sets; she dropped the second set of each.
Beyond that, some idle players made moves in the rankings, after other players dropped some points from a year ago. Or two years ago.
Among the points dropping are those from last fall’s Rome event, and the 2019 points from the Toray Pan Pacific, Guangzhou and Seoul.
ON THE UPSWING
Barbora Krejcikova (CZE): No. 7 =========> No. 5 (Idle last week and this week, the Roland Garros champ moves up to a career high No. 5 in the rankings. She’s a top-five player. Who’d have thunk it a year ago?)
Iga Swiatek (POL): No. 7 =========> No. 6 (Swiatek hits a career high and is the No. 1 seed at the tournament in Ostrava this week).
Jessica Pegula (USA): No. 25 =========> No. 23 (A career high for Pegula – and she didn’t even have to do anything).
Alison Riske (USA): No. 38 =========> No. 32 (One of the few players out there on the European circuit right now, Riske’s season was hampered by foot problems early. But she’s coming on strong for a good finish after making the final in Portoroz).
Clara Tauson (DEN): No. 70 =========> No. 52 (She began the season at 152, so she’s jumped exactly 100 spots. Now she’s just 50 points out of the top 50 after winning her second WTA Tour title of the season in Luxembourg. Unlike the first title in Lyon, she didn’t have to come through qualifying. Tauson is 37-13 on the season, all levels combined.
Jasmine Paolini (ITA): No. 87 =========> No. 64 (The win in Portoroz was the 25-year-old’s first WTA Tour title. And she jumps to a career high. She defeated Alison Riske in the final after coming back to win over Yulia Putintseva in the semis, losing the first set 1-6).
Martina Trevisan (ITA): No. 79 =========> No. 66 (Paolini’s countrywoman, 27, is right behind her. She also reaches a career after winning the $80K in Valencia, Spain. She’s pushing up on half a million in prize money in 2021, too).
Lucia Bronzetti (ITA): No. 167 =========> No. 148 (Yet another Italian is at a career high after qualifying and making the quarters in Portoroz).
Oksana Selekhmeteva (RUS): No. 322 =========> No. 270 (The 18-year-old Russian – they’re all 18 these days – reaches a career high as she qualified and got to the final of a $80K ITF in Valencia, Spain last week, losing to Martina Trevisan).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Naomi Osaka (JPN): No. 5 =========> No. 8 (Osaka made some noise at the Met Gala last weekend. But she’s not making any on the tennis court; who knows when she will return. Her 470 points from the 2019 Toray Pan Pacific Open finally drop. And in two weeks, 1,000 points from her win at the Beijing tournament in 2019 also will drop, putting her at about No. 13. Still, considering, not that painful).
Simona Halep (ROU): No. 11 =========> No. 14 (The happy newlywed founds herself down at No. 14 after her points from winning Rome a year ago fall off. But she probably doesn’t care that much).
Elise Mertens (BEL): No. 16 =========> No. 18
Karolina Muchova (CZE): No. 22=========> No. 25 (Muchova was a very late scratch from Ostrava this week, forcing a reshuffling of the draw that made Paula Badosa the No. 9 seed. Her points from her title in Seoul in 2019 now disappear).
Victoria Azarenka (BLR): No. 32 =========> No. 35 (Azarenka made the quarters in Rome a year ago, straight off her run to the US Open final).
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE): No. 35 =========> No. 43 (The Czech lefty’s semifinal points from last fall in Rome drop off).
Danka Kovinic (MNE): No. 63 =========> No. 80 (Kovinic, who hasn’t done much lately – she has lost in the first round of the main draw in seven of her eight tournaments since making the semifinal in Charleston – qualified and got to the third round in Rome last fall).
Johanna Konta (GBR): No. 65 =========> No. 81 (Konta missed Wimbledon because of COVID-19, pulled out of Montreal before her third-round match against Coco Gauff, lost in the first round in Cincinnati and missed the US Open. She drops third-round points from Rome last fall).
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS): No. 76 =========> No. 89 (Not sure what the 36-year-old is up to. Since making the semis in St. Petersburg last March, she has played just four tournaments – Miami, Eastbourne, Rome and Wimbledon. And she’s lost in the first round in each one, all but one in three sets).
Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE): No. 83 =========> No. 93 (Hsieh, who went over the $1 million mark in earnings for 2021 in New York, loses points from the 2019 Toray Pan Pacific).
Anna Blinkova (RUS): No. 100 =========> No. 126 (The 23-year-old Russian, whose career high of No. 54 came just before the pandemic hit, drops again and her career definitely seems to be in a bit of a lull. She’s won back-to-back matches just … once in the last 12 months, since she reached the third round in Rome. And those points now drop).
Samantha Stosur (AUS): No. 189 =========> No. 325 (It’s hard to know if Stosur’s done in singles. At 37, probably. She won the US Open women’s doubles with Zhang Shuai, but now is headed home. And as far as Australia is and with the hotel quarantine, she’s not coming back this year. There’s a little one at home, and she won’t get these moments back. And she’s been there, done that).
Cana-Kiwi Erin Routliffe’s doubles ranking moved from No. 108 to No. 78 with her third-round effort at the US Open. And with last week’s final in Luxembourg she moved up to No. 67 – another career high.
Race to Guadalajara
The race is a little wider than it looks, because Ashleigh Barty is headed home, and who knows what Naomi Osaka will do.