LONDON – The uncertain certainty that is the WTA Tour these days continued last week, although No. 1 Berlin seed Ons Jabeur made good on that distinction and won her second grass-court tournament – the third of her career.
She also moved up one spot, to a career high No. 3.
It might have been more, but the Tunisian was defending last year’s Birmingham title, so she didn’t gain too many points.
She can go at it again this week in another 500-level event in Eastbourne. Even though the biggest thing about her being there is that she is to team up with Serena Williams on the doubles court.
Williams will be making her first competitive appearance since retiring in her match at Wimbledon, nearly a year ago.
Another to hit a career high is the idle Danielle Collins (to No. 8) after Jessica Pegula dropped some points from a year ago.
Pegula’s mother, Kim, is reportedly quite ill back home in Buffalo. She had been – for a brief time – the American No. 1.
ON THE UPSWING
Maria Sakkari (GRE): No. 6 =======> No. 5 (Sakkari drops Arynan Sabalenka, who lost in the first round in Berlin, down to No. 6 as there are, in all, six changes of position amongst the top nine.
Coco Gauff (USA): No. 13 =======> No. 12 (Gauff moves up a spot to another career high after making the Berlin semifinals. She pulled out of her event this week).
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT): No. 16 =======> No. 14 (Ostapenko is up two spots even though she lost in the R16 in Birmingham. She also won the doubles with Lyudmyla Kichenok on a walkover).
Veronika Kudermetova: No. 24 =======> No. 22 (A career high for the Russian, who made the quarterfinals in Berlin. She, too, pulled out of her tournament this week).
Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA): No. 32 =======> No. 29 (Is there a hotter player on tour right now? Haddad Maia won Birmingham, following up her first WTA Tour title in Nottingham and break the top 30 for the first time. Her winning streak coming into Eastbourne sits at 10).
Aliaksandra Sasnovich: No. 38 =======> No. 34 (The Belarussian is having a great spring, and is within four of her career high after making the Berlin quarterfinals. Unfortunately, she lost in the first round of Bad Homburg on Sunday; that’s her last shot on the grass, as she’s banned from Wimbledon).
Zhang Shuai (CHN): No. 54 =======> No. 41 (The good news for Zhang is that she made the Birmingham final, after getting past Sorana Cirstea in a held-over semifinal. The bad news is that she had to retire against Haddad Maia in the singles final, and default in the doubles final).
Bianca Andreescu (CAN): No. 69 =======> No. 64 (Andreescu’s match win in Berlin helped her move up five spots in the rankings. She faces Roland Garros semifinalist Martina Trevisan in the first round in Bad Homburg. Trevisan took a break after Paris; her only grass-court tennis was the doubles last week at a WTA 125 in Gaiba, Italy).
Dalma Galfi (HUN): No. 98 =======> No. 81 (Galfi, a former top junior, has taken awhile to move up the rankings. But a title at the $100K ITF in Ilkley last week moves her up to a career high).
Daria Saville (AUS): No. 104 =======> No. 96 (When Saville was last in the top 100, her name was still Gavrilova. So coming back from a major foot injury and getting there is a significant feat. She qualified and won a round in Berlin to do it. Saville came back down to earth in Eastbourne, where she lost in the first round of qualifying. Still, it’s her first time back in the top 100 since 2019; she began 2022 ranked No. 421).
Katie Boulter (GBR): No. 141 =======> No. 127 (It’s grass time, so Brit Katie Boulter, who is on the comeback trail after back woes, is getting her share of wild cards. But she’s taking full advantage. And her quarterfinal result in Birmingham moves her up 14 spots).
Léolia Jeanjean (FRA): No. 160 =======> No. 146 (The Frenchwoman’s upward mobility continues, after she qualified in Berlin. She’ll look to take the Wimbledon qualifying by storm this week).
Jaimee Fourlis (AUS): No. 182 =======> No. 153 (A career high for the 22-year-old Aussie, who qualified and made the quarterfinals at a $60K ITF in Madrid. She’s returning from injury and doing better than she did before).
Sara Bejlek (CZE): No. 269 =======> No. 213 (The 16-year-old from the Czech Republic won an ITF in Ceska Lipa last week and reaches a career high. Bejlek won the Roland Garros junior doubles a few weeks ago with countrywoman Lucie Havlickova).
Katherine Sebov (CAN): No. 333 =======> No. 288 (Sebov is back in the top 300 as she’s been grinding it out at the ITF level. She reached the semifinals at the $60K in Madrid last week).
Carol Zhao (CAN): No. 352 =======> No. 305 (Zhao’s title in Incheon a week ago – just coming on the computer now – moves her up nearly 50 spots).
Alexandra Eala (PHI): No. 413 =======> No. 340 (The 17-year-old, who trains at the Rafa Nadal Academy and has gotten a ton of hype, moves up to a career high with a quarterfinal and a final in two ITFs in Madrid).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Alizé Cornet (FRA): No. 34 =======> No. 44 (Cornet’s first-round loss in Berlin means she was unable to defend her points from her semifinal last year. On the plus side, she and Jil Teichmann made the doubles final).
Liudmila Samsonova: No. 29 =======> No. 47 (Samsonova was a surprise winner out of the qualifying at the inaugural Berlin event a year ago. Defending proved a tough ask; Samsonova did win a round. But that’s it. And she lost her first-round match in Bad Homburg Sunday).
Anastasia Potapova (RUS): No. 77 =======> No. 87 (Potapova didn’t play last week, so couldn’t defend her 2021 Birmingham quarterfinal. She’ll try to make it up this week in Bad Homburg).
Heather Watson (GBR): No. 102 =======> No. 120 (Watson drops the points from last year’s semifinal run in Birmingham. She lost in the Eastbourne qualifying, but got in as a lucky loser and will face fellow lucky loser Rebecca Marino in the first round of the main draw on Monday).
Coco Vandeweghe (USA): No. 122 =======> No. 160 (Vandeweghe, 30, is going in the wrong direction after qualifying in Birmingham – but losing first round).