January 29, 2023

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU EVER NEEDED

WTA Rankings Report – As of Jan. 9, 2023

MELBOURNE, Australia – The first rankings report of the new year includes a 500 tournament in Adelaide and a 250 in Auckland.

But not a whole lot else, as the lower circuits have yet to really get going.

But the big mover, even though she lost in the Adelaide final to Aryna Sabalenka, was 18-year-old Linda Noskova.

Ranked No. 102 at the Australian Open entry deadline, she still has to play the qualifying even with her new career-high ranking today.

ON THE UPSWING

Madison Keys (USA): No. 11 =======> No. 10 (If the maximum points on offer at the United Cup weren’t quite what they ended up being in reality, Keys did enough at No. 2 singles to jump back into the top 10, with the help of a drop from currently suspended Simona Halep. It’s her first week in the top 10 since Aug. 2019 (and even that was only a week). Before that, it was March, 2017).

Paula Badosa (ESP): No. 13=======> No. 11 (Badosa only netted 24 extra points from her United Cup stint. And he has a title from the Sydney 500 to defend this week. She’s playing the Adelaide 500, where she was added as a No. 9 seed, to try to do that).

Martina Trevisan (ITA): No. 27 =======> No. 22 (Trevisan moves up to a career high No. 22 after the United Cup gave her 145 ranking points).

Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU): No. 34 =======> No. 28 (Begu is back in the top 30 and guaranteed to be seeded in Melbourne after a surprise run to the semifinals in Adelaide. If you’re not having a great day, she will beat you).

Bianca Andreescu (CAN): No. 46 =======> No. 42 (Andreescu moves up four spots after winning a round in Adelaide. She opted not to play the qualifying in the second Adelaide tournament, in which she would have had to qualify).

Lucia Bronzetti (ITA): No. 54 =======> No. 50 (The No. 2 on the Italian United Cup squad moves into the top 50 for the first time in her career after winning some matches during that event).

Linda Noskova (CZE): No. 102 =======> No. 56 (Despite that leap to a career high, Noskova still has to play the Australian Open qualifying this week. She opens Tuesday against Canadian Katherine Sebov, two days after going from the qualifying to the final in Adelaide).

Marta Kostyuk (UKR): No. 69 =======> No. 57 (Kostyuk made the quarters at the first Adelaide event; she fell in qualifying over the weekend in the second one).

Emma Raducanu (GBR): No. 78 =======> No. 75 (Raducanu’s season opener in Auckland ended in tears as beat teen Linda Fruhvirtova in the first round, only to have an injury she attributed to the slick indoor courts in Auckland made necessary by the persistent rain. It’s not helpful with the AO coming up so quickly).

Marketa Vondrousova (CZE): No. 92 =======> No. 78 (Vondrousova was out a long time in 2022. She is using a protected ranking to get into some of the tougher tournaments, but her effort in Adelaide helps move her real ranking up the charts).

Rebeka Masarova (ESP): No. 120 =======> No. 94 (Masarova, then representing Switzerland (she was born in Basel) was a big deal when she was a junior – a junior Roland Garros champion when she defeated a very, very young Anisimova in the final. But her pro career has been marred by injury. And now she’s playing for spain. She went from the qualifying to the final in Audkland, beating Sloane Stephens and Karolina Muchova along the way before getting trounced by Coco Gauff in the final. It’s a career high and her first trip to the top 100, at age 23).

Kateryna Volodko (UKR): No. 320 =======> No. 257 (If the name’s not familiar, the player is. The 36-year-old is the former Kateryna Bondarenko, who has been married for years but only more recently has taken her husband’s name. She won a $40,000 (new category) ITF in Thailand last week. Volodko’s singles ranking stood at No. 563 last August, she’s playing a lot, and slowly getting it back up there).

ON THE DOWNSWING

Simona Halep (ROU): No. 10 =======> No. 12 (Halep has been out of action since losing in the first round of the US Open to qualifier Daria Snigur, as she navigates the logistics of a positive doping test. She drops points from winning a 250 at Melbourne Park before last year’s Australian Open, and has a round of 16 result from the big event coming up that she also won’t defend).

Amanda Anisimova (USA): No. 23 =======> No. 29 (Animisova, along with Bianca Andreescu, ended up on the outside for the main draw this week in Adelaide 2, because top guns Swiatek and Pegula withdrew after the draw was made. Anisimova chose to play the qualifying as the No. 1 seed, but lost in the final round to Jil Teichmann. She did get in as a lucky loser. But who didn’t, really. A year ago she won a 250 played on site at Melbourne Park, a tournament in which she looked down and out in the first round to Alison Van Uytvanck but ended up battling all the way to the title – and a round of 16 effort in Melbourne that included wins over Belinda Bencic and Naomi Osaka).

Naomi Osaka (JPN): No. 42 =======> No. 47 (Who knows what’s up with Osaka. But it’s still kind of shocking that she’s still in the top 50 despite having played just 11 events in the last 52 weeks. She won just one match after a first-round win in Madrid last April. The points drop from a semifinal effort at one of the Melbourne 250s a year ago. She should drop out of the top 50 after the points from her third-round effort at the Australian Open fall off in a few weeks).

Shelby Rogers (USA): No. 47 =======> No. 53

Kaja Juvan (SLO): No. 91 =======> No. 106 (Out of the top 100 as her points from a quarterfinal in Adelaide a year ago drop off. She didn’t play last week).

Clara Tauson (DEN): No. 96 =======> No. 108 (Tauson’s face still appears when you do a player search on the ITF website. Every single time. But she has played little the last 12 months and drops out of the top 100).

Kamilla Rakhimova (RUS): No. 94 =======> No. 110 (Another one who drops out of the top 100 after losing in the first round of Adelaide qualifying. A year ago in Melbourne at the 250,s he qualified and reached the quarters).

Ann Li during her first-round qualifying match at the Australian Open on Jan. 9, 2023

Ann Li (USA): No. 129 =======> No. 167 (Li, 22, made a semifinal in Melbourne a year ago, but lost in the first round of qualifying in Auckland to Genie Bouchard last week. She got off to a good start in the Australian Open qualifying Monday, defeating Raluca Serban 6-3, 6-1 to move onto the second round).

Sofia Kenin (USA): No. 227 =======> No. 280 (Kenin is existing on wild cards and her protected ranking of No. 4, which she is using at next week’s Australian Open. It’s a tournament she won in 2020. Kenin lost to Coco Gauff in the second round in Auckland last week; a year ago, she made the quarters in Adelaide).

THE CANADIANS

 

 

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