April 19, 2024

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WTA Aussie Summer Rankings Report – as of Jan. 31, 2022

(Photo: Australian Open)

MELBOURNE, Australia – We didn’t update the rankings after the first two weeks of pre-Australian Open competition.

It takes a little time and, well, there was some drama going on down here in Melbourne.

So this wrapup will not only include the results of the just-completed first Grand Slam of the 2022 season, but also some notable changes from the first weeks of January.

One note: while we thought that the players’ Australian Open points would stay on until 52 weeks had passed since the 2021 edition (postponed to mid-February), that seems not to be the case.

(Photo: Luke Hemer/TENNIS AUSTRALIA)

For example, 2021 champion Naomi Osaka dropped 1870 points Monday – the 2,000 she earned for winning it last year, balanced by the 130 points she earned at this year’s event.

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty’s calculation doesn’t seem to be quite that straightforward, but we’ll get some clarity on that. She is currently 2,633 point ahead of No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka.

Meanwhile, the number of Grand Slam champions whose rankings have taken a major tumble is something I’m not sure we’ve seen before. It’s going to be … lit as all of them look for top-20 wild cards into the bigger events.

(Full rankings results here on the WTA Tour site)

ON THE UPSWING

Barbora Krejcikova (CZE): No. 4 =======> No. 3 (Krejcikova gets back to her career high with her quarterfinal effort at the Australian Open. She also won the doubles with Katerina Siniakova).

Iga Swiatek (POL): No. 9 =======> No. 4 (Swiatek also gets back to her career high, but the quick loss to Danielle Collins in the Australian Open semifinals might sting for a bit).

Danielle Collins (USA): No. 30 =======> No. 10 (A huge leap into the top 10 for the 28-year-old American, who becomes the No. 1 US female player and gets her season off to an incredible start).

Emma Raducanu (GBR): No. 18 =======> No. 13 (It’s fairly insane that the 19-year-old Brit stands at a career-high No. 13 after basically three results. But it’s all about when you make them. Having basically nothing to defend until her result at Wimbledon comes up in July, she can only get higher. She jumps five spots on the back of a nervy win over a rusty Sloane Stephens, and a tough three-set loss to Danka Kovinic during which she had to slice all her forehands because of a bad blister).

Jessica Pegula (USA): No. 21 =======> No. 16 (The unsung American is up to another career high after making the quarterfinals, where she got just two games against Ashleigh Barty. Still, it included an impressive win over Maria Sakkari. We it not for Collins’ great run, she’d be the No. 1 American.

Victoria Azarenka (BLR): No. 25 =======> No. 18 (Things didn’t end well physically for Azarenka, but her Australian Open result – a fourth round effort – puts her back in the top 20).

Belinda Bencic (SUI): No. 22 =======> No. 19 (The Swiss bowed out in the second round to Amanda Anisimova. But she, too, is back in the top 20).

Leylah Fernandez (CAN): No. 24 =======> No. 21 (Despite a shocker in the first round, a loss to Australian wild card Maddison Inglis, Fernandez moves up three spots to a career high and is now less than 30 points out of the top 20).

Madison Keys (USA): No. 51 =======> No. 28 (Keys is back closer to where she belongs after a great Australian summer.She dropped from No. 56 to Mo. 87 to start the season, moved back up to No. 51 after the second week, and then back into the top 30 after the AO finals effort).

Alizé Cornet (FRA): No. 61 =======> No. 37 (A first career Grand Slam quarterfinal, at age 32, vaults Cornet back into the top 40).

Amanda Anisimova (USA): No. 60 =======> No. 41 (The 20-year-old, who had a rough couple of years following the sudden death of her father and longtime coach, had a great Australian summer. She had been at No. 78 before winning the tuneup event at Melbourne Park. And then moved up more after making the fourth round, losing to eventual champion Barty.

Nuria Parrizas Diaz (ESP): No. 63 =======> No. 51 (Parrizas Diaz came out of nowhere last year and began winning matches at age 30. Now, she’s four points out of the top 50 after reaching the third round in Melbourne).

Marta Kostyuk (UKR): No. 66 =======> No. 52 (Still just 19, Kostyuk is an almost-forgotten talent who showed some of what had her winning the Australian Open juniors five years ago at age 14. She gave Paula Badosa everything she could handle before bowing out in the third round).

Sloane Stephens (USA): No. 67 =======> No. 57 (A very recent newlywed, it was a bit of a surprise that Stephens even made her way Down Under. But she did, showed flashes, and bowed out to Emma Raducanu in a roller-coaster match in the first round)

Kaia Kanepi (EST): No. 115 =======> No. 63 (The 36-year-old Estonian cut her ranking in half with her impressive run to the Australian Open quarterfinals. As it was, she had dropped from No. 71 down to No. 115 the week before, after not defending her finals points from the Gippsland Trophy tournament a year ago. So she got those back, and more).

Danka Kovinic (MNE): No. 98 =======> No. 74 (Kovinic reached the third round in Melbourne, after narrowly defeating Raducanu in a crazy match during which the young Brit could only slice her forehand. But then she went down quickly against Simona Halep).

Zheng Qinwen (CHN): No. 108 =======> No. 80 (Just 19, this beautiful ball-striker qualified and reached the second round in Melbourne. She had already moved up from No. 126 to No. 111 after the first week of the season).

Mirjam Bjorklund (SWE): No. 214 =======> No. 189 (Previously best known as the better half of top men’s player Denis Shapovalov, Bjorklund made her Grand Slam qualifying debut in Melbourne, at age 23. She reached the final round, and jumped into the top 200 for the first time).

Katherine Sebov (CAN): No. 348 =======> No. 321 (Sebov reached the final of a $25,000 ITF in Tunisia last week, getting her sinking ranking back on the right track).

Samantha Stosur (AUS): No. 487 =======> No. 484 (It’s not a hard decision for Stosur, who will be 38 next month, to hang it up in singles at the Australian Open. She can’t play any tournament of any significance with that ranking, and so it’s time. She dropped 100 spots from the beginning of 2022).

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ON THE DOWNSWING

Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP): No. 3 =======> No. 7 (Last year’s finalist went out in the second round to Cornet, and so drops four spots but is still in the top 10).

Anett Kontaveit (EST): No. 7 =======> No. 9 (In a bit of a shocker, Kontaveit was out in the second round to young Dane Clara Tauson).

Simona Halep (ROU): No. 15 =======> No. 23 (The 30-year-old Romanian gave it her all, but her relatively early exit to Cornet in the fourth round means an exit from the top 20).

Petra Kvitova (CZE): No. 19 =======> No. 24 (Kvitova, now 31, doesn’t quite seem to have the full appetite for the job that she once had, which is a completely normal state of affairs. And she won just four games in a first-round exit to Sorana Cirstea. It will be interesting to see how the rest of her 2022 shakes out).

Bianca Andreescu (CAN): No. 44 =======> No. 47 (No, we don’t know when the 2019 US Open champion will be back in action. But she’s not the only former major champion on the down side of things this week, especially after skipping the entire Australian Open swing).

Alison Riske (USA): No. 46 =======> No. 55 (Riske had moved up to No. 46 after the second week’s effort, but fell back down with a second-round loss to Jelena Ostapenko).

Karolina Muchova (CZE): No. 31 =======> No. 66 (The 25-year-old Czech, who would have been seeded in Melbourne, didn’t play at all as she continues to recover from an injury that has kept her out since last year’s US Open. In 2021, she went all the way to the semis of the Australian Open, losing to Jennifer Brady).

Naomi Osaka (JPN): No. 14 =======> No. 85 (The defending champion went out in the third round – a match tiebreak to Amanda Anisimova – and dropped 1870 of some 2600 points she had on her resumé. She hardly played in 2021, so there will be plenty of opportunities to make those up. But that’s her lowest ranking since Aug. 2016).

Sofia Kenin (USA): No. 13 =======> No. 95 (It’s crazy to think that Kenin will be fighting with Osaka for wild cards into the 1000-level tournaments (a fight she’s not going to win). But, at least, after a rather dramatic 2020 and 2021, at least she was back on court. She had an awfully tough draw against eventual finalist Madison Keys, going out in the first round).

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA): No. 88 =======> No. 98 (The former top-10 player’s singles career really is in the dumps, and a first-round loss to Belinda Bencic doesn’t help. On the plus side, she and Ivan Dodig won the Australian Open mixed doubles together).

Donna Vekic (CRO): No. 79 =======> No. 108 (Being out of the top 100 is going to complicate Vekic’s life a little bit. But her career, at 25, is sort of idling).

Jennifer Brady (USA): No. 28 =======> No. 110 (Last year’s finalist did not play this year, at home with her foot in a boot as recently as a month ago. She hasn’t played since retiring in the second round of the Cincinnati tournament last August. And again, along with Osaka and Kenin, will be looking and needing wild cards to get into the bigger events in 2022, once she returns).

Timea Babos (HUN): No. 164 =======> No. 212 (Babos, a former top-25 player and No. 1 doubles player, has been off the for awhile. She passed on coming to Australia because of the vaccination situation, and is playing low-level ITFs these days).

Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE): No. 109 =======> No. 238 (Hsieh, 36, would have been straight into the main draw in singles. And she was a top doubles team with Elise Mertens in 2021. But she took a pass on Australia (reasons unknown). And her singles ranking took a major hit after she didn’t defend her quarterfinals since points from last year).

Serena Williams (USA): No. 59 =======> No. 244 (Williams was ranked No. 41 at the start of the season. But she’s been off the Tour for awhile. And after all the talk and pressure a year ago about getting her 24th major title, there’s no talk about this any more. She dropped to No. 47 after the first week’s play, then to No. 59 after the second week. Is she even coming back at all? Only the shadow knows. But that ranking hurts – her lowest since Nov. 3, 1997. That was only her third week on the WTA Tour rankings charts).

Genie Bouchard (CAN): No. 308 =======> No. 331 (Bouchard has been out some nine months, and had shoulder surgery in the spring. She loses the points from her loss in the second round of qualifying a year ago at the Australian Open. No word on when she might actually take the court again, but she can use a protected ranking just inside the top 120).

Peng Shuai (CHN): No. 340 =======> No. 349 (Peng still has a ranking even though she hasn’t played in nearly two years. As to her safety, we should know more this week – if you trust the IOC, which is a big ‘if’).

Cici Bellis (USA): No. 240 =======> No. 351 (The young American, still only 22, announced a few weeks ago that she wasn’t going to try to come back from injury one more time, and has closed the door on her short and starcrossed career. She began the season at No. 217).

Venus Williams (USA): No. 347 =======> No. 464 (These are crazy numbers for the Williams sisters. But both have been off the grid, with no word on when they might come back and play. It can’t NOT hurt to see those numbers next to their names, though).

Other players on the move

There are number of players who have made some moves – some of them, roller-coaster moves – in the first month of the season.

The Canadians

Doubles rankings

The Race to …. ?

 

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