June 13, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – With the big 1000 done and dusted (and another to come), there has been plenty of movement at the top levels of the game even if there haven’t been many opportunities for those at a slightly lower level to compete.

That will be true throughout most of April, too, unfortunately.

But several players will hit career highs this week, including Indian Wells champion Elena Rybakina.

(For the complete WTA rankings picture, click here).

ON THE UPSWING

Caroline Garcia (FRA): No. 5========> No. 4 (Garcia had a more than discouraging loss in the fourth round in Indian Wells, but still squeezes back to tie her career high of No. 4 because Ons Jabeur went down in the third round, and dropped a little).

Elena Rybakina (KAZ): No. 10 ========> No. 7 (Rybakina is slowly catching up to where she should be, had those 2,000 points from winning last year’s Wimbledon counted. With those, she would be No. 3 right now. And that’s how she’s playing).

Petra Kvitova (CZE): No. 15 ========> No. 12 (An unexpected bump for Kvitova, who made the quarterfinals at Indian Wells. It’s as high as her ranking has been since Oct. 2021).

Barbora Krejcikova (CZE): No. 16 ========> No. 13 (The Czech, who won the Indian Wells doubles title with Katerina Siniakova, was ranked No. 2 in the world not so long ago. Her fourth-round effort at Indian Wells gets her a little closer to the top of the game).

Magda Linette (POL): No. 21 ========> No. 19 (At 31, Linette is into the top 20 for the first time, despite having been upset in her opening match by Emma Raducanu).

Bianca Andreescu (CAN): No. 36 ========> No. 31 (Andreescu’s third-round effort was worth five spots in the rankings, and she’s just 25 points out of the top 30. It’s slowly getting there. And being seeded at the majors this spring will definitely help her draws a little bit. She won’t be seeded in Miami next week, though. And she ended up draking … Raducanu in the first round).

Jil Teichmann (SUI): No. 39========> No. 32 (Teichmann upset her friend and doubles partner Belinda Bencic early in the desert, and made the third round).

Bernarda Pera (USA): No. 43 ========> No. 37 (A career high for the 28-year-old, who made the third round).

Varvara Gracheva (RUS): No. 66 ========> No. 54 (Gracheva has had a great few weeks, but still had to go to Miami is the top seed in qualifying because her new ranking status hasn’t kicked in. She’s at another career high).

Karolina Muchova (CZE): No. 76 ========> No. 55 (Muchova, a quarterfinalist at Indian Wells, still had to hustle to Miami to play the qualifying, as the deadlines came before her bump in the rankings. She used a protected ranking of No. 22 for much of the last months. But she was out of options there, and so has to take the hard road).

Emma Raducanu (GBR): No. 77 ========> No. 72 (Finally, a little bump in the rankings and a good tennis week in the desert for Raducanu, who made the fourth round. She squeezed into Miami on her own ranking – not that the tournament, owned by IMG which also manages her, wouldn’t have given her a wild card. She gets Andreescu in the first round. No picnic for either).

Rebecca Peterson (SWE): No. 103 ========> No. 76 (Peterson, 27, has a career high of No. 43 and pretty much goes about her business anonymously. But she qualified and made the fourth round at Indian Wells, which is a great effort and a nice boost in the rankings).

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR): No. 95 ========> No. 81 (The Ukrainian qualified at Indian Wells. Bu tthen pulled out before her third-round match against Aryna Sabalenka for “personal reasons”, described later as a panic attack. She has retired or withdrawn more than a half-d0zen times over the last year, which has obviously been a challenging one for the Ukrainian players given what’s going on at home).

Brenda Fruhvirtova (CZE): No. 163========> No. 142 (Fruhvirtova went back down to the $25K level and won an ITF in Bengaluru two weeks ago She has a wild card into the main draw in Miami).

Katherine Sebov (CAN: No. 199 ========> No. 172 (Sebov moves to a career high as the points from her win at the $25K ITF in Toronto two weeks ago come on. She got a wild card into the Miami qualifying, and made quick work of No. 6 seed Kamilla Rakhimova in the first round).

Timea Babos (HUN): No. 376========> No. 319 (The former No. 25 in singles, now 29, is resurrecting her singles career in South Africa, where she made one ITF final and second round in another. She is playing doubles in Miami with old partner Kristina Mladenovic; the two had great success not so long ago).

ON THE DOWNSWING

Maria Sakkari (GRE): No. 7 ========> No. 10 (Sakkari was a finalist in the desert last year, so “only” making the semis costs her three spots because the points get pretty valuable at those stages of tournaments. She’s still in the top 10, with a nice cushion ahead of No. 11 and beyond. But after a first-round bye, she gets either Andreescu or Raducanu in the second round in Miami).

Liudmila Samsonova (RUS): No. 12 ========> No. 15 (Samsonova made the fourth round last year in Indian Well; she was ousted in her opening match this year by Bernarda Pera – 8-6 in the third set tiebreak. She has basically nothing to defend in Miami, so can get it back).

Simona Halep (ROU): No. 19 ========> No. 25 (Halep drops her 2022 points from Indian Wells, where she made the semis. She has quarterfinal points to she won’t defend in Miami. There was supposed to be movement on her positive doping case last month, but we haven’t heard anything yet).

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Paula Badosa (ESP): No. 22 ========> No. 29 (Call it the Netflix curse, call it what you want, but Badosa’s ranking is really in freefall. She made the third round at Indian Wells, but made the semifinals a year ago. She also has quarterfinal points to defend in Miami. It’s not a good time).

Petra Martic (CRO): No. 30 ========> No. 41 (Out of the top 40 for Martic, who lost her opener, easily, to the qualifier Varvara Gracheva).

Leylah Fernandez (CAN): No. 49 ========> No. 53 (Fernandez, whose career high of No. 13 came last August, is out of the top 50 after making the third round at Indian Wells. She made the fourth round a year ago. Fernandez plays a qualifier in the first round in Miami).

Anett Kontaveit (EST): No. 61 ========> No. 70 (No, we don’t know where the former No. 2 is, either. She hasn’t played since retiring in the second round of Abu Dhabi about five weeks ago).

Rebecca Marino (CAN): No. 75 ========> No. 83 (Ousted in her opener at Indian Wells by Marketa Vondrousova, who had a good run, Marino drops points from the $60K ITF she played in Mexico a year ago. She ha Yulia Putintseva in the first round of Miami).

Daria Saville (AUS): No. 64========> No. 89 (Saville will be on a protected ranking when she returns from knee surgery. The points she drops are from making the fourth round out of the qualifying last year. She also made the quarterfinals in Miami, so that’s another chunk that will hurt).

Angelique Kerber (GER): No. 110 ========> No. 138 (The new mom is planning to come back, although we don’t know exactly when. She had 120 points from a year ago in the desert that drop off)

Clara Tauson (DEN): No. 121 ========> No. 139 (The former No. 33 is bouncing up and down in the rankings quite a bit these days. These are points from a third round at Indian Wells a year ago, when she was ranked No. 40).

Harriet Dart (GBR): No. 109 ========> No. 148 (Tough drop for Dart, who lost in the first round of the IW qualifying. She played her compatriot Katie Swan in the first round of Miami qualifying and got through the first round).

THE CANADIANS

THE ROAD TO ???

DOUBLES ROAD to ???

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