October 2, 2022

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU EVER NEEDED

WTA Rankings Report – As of Sept. 19, 2022

Two WTA 250 tournaments last week were late-arriving pop-up tournaments in Chennai, India and Portoroz, Slovenia.

Portoroz had hosted a tournament before, while Chennai had been the site for a long-running men’s tournament.

The Chennai final, a great battle between No. 3 seed Magda Linette and 17-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova was packed. Portoroz, featuring Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and recent US Open doubles champion Katerina Siniakova, a bit less so.

But that these cities were able to put together pro events in such relatively short notice is impressive enough that the attendance, in the end, is just a bonus.

There is no change in the top 14, with all of the players idle after the long North American summer.

ON THE UPSWING

Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA): No. 18 ==========> No. 16 (Tbe Brazilian, who is having a tremendous season, moves up two with a quarterfinal effort in Portoroz. She’s in Tokyo this week).

Elena Rybakina (KAZ): No. 25 ==========> No. 22 (Rybakina made the final in Portoroz, giving her a slight boost in the rankings. With those Wimbledon points that were not awarded for her win, she’d have more than double her current points, and stand in the No. 5 spot in the rankings).

(WTAtv)

Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU): No. 41 ==========> No. 33 (Begu played the clay-court WTA 125 in Romania this week, and came out the winner. She’ll back it up with another 125 on clay in Budapest this week).

Leylah Fernandez (CAN): No. 40 ==========> No. 38 (Fernandez moves up a couple of spots without doing anything. She’s not scheduled to play until next month in San Diego).

(WTAtv)

Kateřina Siniaková (CZE): No. 82 ==========> No. 49 (An impressive leap for Siniakova, who jetted all the way to Slovenia after her win in doubles at the US Open last Sunday. And who also found herself having to play both her quarterfinal and semifinal matches on Saturday, before facing the Wimbledon champion Sunday in the final and winning in three hours. Her career high is No. 33; it’s her first singles title since 2017)

Magda Linette (POL): No. 67 ==========> No. 51 (Linette, who appeared hampered by pain in her leg, let one slip away against teenager Linda Fruhvirtova in the Chennai final. Still, she moves up 16 spots, and the former world No. 33 is back in the top 50).

Ana Bogdan (ROU): No. 65 ==========> No. 54 (At 29, Bogdan has reached a career high in singles, after beating Tomljanovic, Zidansek and Haddad Maia, all in three sets, to make the semifinals in Portoroz).

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Linda Fruhvirtová (CZE): No. 130 ==========> No. 74 (Fruhvirtova had already played three three-setters to get to Sunday’s Chennai final where she – you guessed it – battled through another three-setter. An impressive effort from the teenager, who supplants Coco Gauff as the youngest player in the WTA’s top 100. her countrywoman Linda Noskova had done it for a few weeks earlier this year).

An emotional Fruhvirtova hits the deck after finishing off her victory over Magda Linette in Chennai Sunday (WTAtv)

Emma Raducanu (GBR): No. 83 ==========> No. 77 (Nice to see Raducanu’s ranking headed back in the right direction after the steep dropoff after the US Open. She lost in the second round in Portoroz when yet another injury cropped up. Raducanu is in Seoul, Korea this week, as the No. 6 seed. She could face fellow teenager Fruhvirtova in the second round – unless the Czech decides to give her body a break after the supreme effort in Chennai. That doesn’t seem to be how the Fruhvirtovas roll, though).

Rebecca Marino (CAN): No. 90 ==========> No. 81 (A quarterfinal in Chennai, and another rise in the rankings for the Canadian, who is the No. 8 seed in Seoul this week).

Katie Swan (GBR): No. 174 ==========> No. 131 (Swan, just back after a long absence due to injury, made the semifinals in Chennai and rises up to a career high. She’s in Seoul this week).

Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER): No. 213 ==========> No. 144 (Friedsam’s career high of No. 45 was a while ago, in Aug. 2016. But she put a nice dent in it and is back into the top 150 after qualifying in Portoroz and going all the way to the semifinals).

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Carol Zhao (CAN): No. 187 ==========> No. 174 (As with Rebecca Marino, Zhao is moving up slowly but surely. A little over three months ago she was at No. 359).

Nadia Podoroska (ARG): No. 298==========> No. 202 (Podoroska has been playing on a protected ranking, but she took a step towards the right part of the WTA area code with a run to the semifinals in Chennai).

A good step forward for Bouchard in her comeback from shoulder surgery, as she makes the Chennai quarterfinals.

Eugenie Bouchard (CAN): No. 902 ==========> No. 520 (Things move quickly in this part of the rankings list. And Bouchard’s effort to get to the quarters in Chennai was rewarded by a leap of 382 spots. She got a pretty cake, ITF-like draw, especially in the first two rounds. But that’s not her fault and she beat those players at a WTA 250, which is worth far more in terms of ranking points. She has Tatjana Maria in the first round in Seoul this week).

ON THE DOWNSWING

Jeļena Ostapenko (LAT): No. 15 ==========> No. 19 (Ostapenko didn’t play last week, and therefore drops her points from the Luxembourg final last year. She’s in Seoul this week, where she’s a former champion. And she’s got some work to do, with a semifinal effort at the Fall 2021 version of Indian Wells coming up for defence next month).

Alison Riske (USA: No. 23==========> No. 26 (Riske is in Tokyo this week).

Yulia Putintseva (KAZ): No. 36 ==========> No. 41

Vondrousova at the 2019 French Open (EPA/JULIEN DE ROSA)

Markéta Vondroušová (CZE): No. 53 ==========> No. 65 (The Czech lefty’s ranking is sliding as she’s out due to a long-term injury; she hasn’t played since Stuttgart in April).

Jaqueline Cristian (ROU: No. 87 ==========> No. 68 (Cristian moves up nearly 20 spots by winning the high-level ITF at Le Neubourg last week).

Clara Tauson (DEN): No. 59 ==========> No. 93 (Tauson’s presence on the WTA Tour has been intermittent this year (beyond showing up at Wimbledon to cash the cheque) because of a reported back issue. She lost in the first round in Portoroz, and dropped all the points she earned from winning the title in Luxembourg a year ago).

Mladenovic was out early at the US Open, but stayed on the practice with her brother as she went deep in the doubles draw with countrywoman Caroline Garcia.

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA): No. 122 ==========> No. 135 (It wasn’t SO long ago that the 29-year-old Mladenovic was top 10 in singles. She lost in the second round of the ITF in Le Neubourg, then headed to Seoul where she’ll play both singles and doubles).

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THE CANADIANS

As well, with the title in Chennai, Gaby Dabrowski moves up one spot, and back into the top 10 in doubles.

THE ROAD TO TEXAS