WASHINGTON, D.C. – We call this break between the grass-court and hard-court summer season the “Gap Month”.
Not many of the top players compete. And much of it is on clay, which is anachronous. So there are great opportunities for lower-ranked players to pick off titles and earn points.
And so it was that Marie Bouzkova – the long-suffering Marie Bouzkova, who has had so many heartbreaking losses in her young career – won her first career WTA Title at home in Prague.
And Caroline Garcia – resurgent since her Roland Garros doubles title with Kristina Mladenovic – wins in Warsaw (despite the presence of world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, whom she defeated along the way).
There are no changes in the top 20.
ON THE UPSWING
Caroline Garcia (FRA): No. 45 ========> No. 32 (Her second title in five weeks, and her ninth overall, moves Garcia up into seeded territory at the US Open. She has won 18 of her last 21 matches).
Marie Bouzkova (CZE): No. 66 ========> No. 46 (Bouzkova, 24, lost just 26 games in 10 sets in wins wins to the title. She had made three finals, and lost all of them in three sets. But against Anastasia Potapova Sunday, it was no contest. Bouzkova ties her career high of N. 46 – which, oddly, was also her best ranking in both 2020 and 2021. You’d expect her to better that in the weeks to come).
Anastasia Potapova: No. 59 ========> 48 (It’s been a rough couple of years for Potapova, of whom much was expected after her junior career. Still just 21, she’s on a roll and rises to the top 50 for the first time after making the final in Prague).
Ana Bogdan (ROU): No. 108 ========> No. 75 (Bogdan, at 29, has taken awhile to get there. In April 2018, she was named the WTA’s “breakthrough player of the month). And indeed by June of that year, she was at a career high No. 59. But she’s been in the 90-120 range for most of 2022, so the Warsaw final gives her a big boost).
Viktorija Golubic (SUI): No. 103 ========> No. 92 (Golubic, who was at a career high No. 35 back in February after making the Monterrey final, gets back into the top 100 with a quarterfinal effort in Warsaw. In the interim, her ranking took a hit after she had a great 2021 Wimbledon result fall off).
Panna Udvardy (HUN): No. 106 ========> No. 93 (At 23, Udvardy returns to the top 100, after being at a career high No. 81 back in April. As the No. 1 seed, she won a $60K ITF in Cordenons, Italy last week, over Elina Avanesyan in the final).
Linda Noskova (CZE): No. 112 ========> No. 94 (Still just 17, Noskova leaps into the top 100 and a career high after making the semifinal in Prague. In her favor were a couple of injury retirements; she lost to eventual champion Bouzkova. Noskova is at a $100K in Poland this week. Hopefully she’ll earn some love from the beleaguered WTA Tour website).
Wang Qiang (CHN): No. 141 ========> No. 113 (Wang, 30, reached No. 12 in the world after the 2019 US Open. But she’s been battling hard since then to get back to where she was. Wang got through qualifying and all the way to the semifinals in Prague, beating Rebecca Peterson and Magda Linette along the way in very tight matches).
Kateryna Baindl (UKR): No. 190 ========> No. 134 (At a career high No. 62 back in Feb. 2018, Baindl, who is 28, is battling back from injury and seems to be starting to hit her stride. She qualified in Budapest a couple of weeks ago and won a round. She got into Hamburg as a lucky loser. And last week in Warsaw, she also got in as a lucky loser and went all the way to the semifinals, defeating Petra Martic in the quarters).
Oksana Selekhmeteva: No. 170 ========> No. 140 (The 19-year-old hits a career high after qualifying in Prague, and reaching the quarterfinals).
Nadia Podoroska (ARG): No. 211 ========> No. 190 (Playing on a protected ranking after a long absence due to injury, the former Rolandn Garros semifinalist put a dent in her real ranking last week).
Nao Hibino (JPN): No. 251 ========> No. 194 (The 27-year-old, whose career high of No. 56 came in 2016, gets herself back into the top 200 with a run from lucky loser to quarterfinalist in Prague).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Arantxa Rus (NED): No. 75 ========> No. 86 (Rus, who was defending points from a WTA 125 final a year ago, lost in the first round in Warsaw to Sara Errani. She’s at an ITF in Gran Canaria this week, where she’s defending a title. She also is defending another $60K title there next week. So a big part of her season).
Lauren Davis (USA): No. 95 ========> No. 109 (Davis, 28, was idle last week, and so could not defend a semifinal at a 125K in Charleston, S.C. a year ago and drops out of the top 100).
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK): No. 78 ========> No. 110 (Also idle last week, Schmiedlova doesn’t defend her title from a WTA 125 in Belgrade a year ago, where she beat Rus in the final).
Chloe Paquet (FRA): No. 102 ========> No. 114 (Paquet, 28, has been working hard for years to make it into the top 100. It’s almost like a huge, invisible barrier for a lot of players. She got to … No. 101 back in April. But she backslides a bit this week).
Ekaterine Gorgodze (GEO): No. 126 ========> No. 147
Valentini Grammatikopoulou (GRE): No. 188 ========>No. 235 (The 25-year-old from Greece drops out of the the top 200 after losing in the first round of the Saskatoon $25K two weeks ago to 15-year-old Canadian Victoria Mboko. She had been defending a $25K title a year ago in Telavi, Georgia. She didn’t help herself with her loss to Rebecca Marino in the first round of qualifying at the Citi Open).
The points have come on from the $25K in Saskatoon two weeks ago, and Victoria Mboko is on the rise.