July 11, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

WTA Rankings Report – As of April 17, 2023

(US Open/Andrew Ong)

There were no WTA tournaments last week, because it was a Billie Jean King Cup week.

But, of course, tennis continued apace at the ITF level, for whose whose countries weren’t competing or who weren’t selected.

So the changes begin a little further down in the rankings; nothing new inside the top 50.

Of course, with all the top players competing in Stuttgart this week, that could well change a week from now – especially as players who made points at the Istanbul tournament a year ago can’t defend them, because of the cancellation of that tournament in the wake of the devastating earthquake there this past winter.

(For the full, updated WTA rankings picture, click here).

ON THE UPSWING

Viktoriya Tomova (BUL): No. 98 ========> No. 75 (The 28-year-old Bulgarian takes away any main-draw Slam concerns this summer by winning the $80,000 ITF in Zaragoza and reaching a new career high. It’s her 17th ITF title).

Tereza Martincova (CZE): No. 103 ========> No. 98 (Martincova, who reached the Zaragoza final, also pushes herself back into the top 100 after falling down below that mark for five weeks).

Nao Hibino (JPN): No. 122 ========> No. 114 (A winner at the Kashiwa ITF).

Jessica Ponchet (FRA): No. 133 ========> No. 124 (The 26-year-old with the funky game is making some sly moves in 2023, and reaches a new career high after making the Zaragoza semis).

Sonay Kartal (GBR): No. 259 ========> No. 216 (The other star of that “nine-year-old Emma Raducanu” video flashback, the 21-year-old wins a $25K at the Futures factory in Santa Margherita di Pula and moves up 43 spots).

Mirra Andreeva (RUS): No. 312 ========> No. 243 (The 15-year-old Australian Open junior finalist and currently ITF junior No. 3 qualifies and goes all the way to the title at the ITF tournament in  Chiasso, Italy – a new career high. She defeated Nadia Podoroska in the semifinals).

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Timea Babos (HUN): No. 327 ========> No. 283 (The 29-year-old former No. 25, and No. 1 in doubles, plays the $25K ITF in Jackson, Mississipi and wins it, moving back into the top 300 as she tries to rebuild her career after some tough years).

Fiona Ferro (FRA): No. 493 ========> No. 455 (Another who is trying to build back up after taking a break and while she’s dealing with a court case in France for alleged sexual abuse by a coach, qualifies in Zaragoza and Chiaggo, but loses in the first round in the latter and the second round in the former. Still, at her level of rankings that means nearly a 40-spot jump).

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS): No. 639 ========> No. 595 (Down at the ITF level, for lack of playing opportunities for the women in general, Pavlyuchenkova moves up 44 spots by winning a round in Zaragoza. The former world No. 11 defeated Andrea Gamiz and lost to Arantxa Rus).

ON THE DOWNSWING

Wang Xiyu (CHN): No. 54 ========> No. 60 (Idle last week, Wang doesn’t defend her points from making the final of a $100K in Palm Harbor, Fla. last year. Wang was on a run last spring; she also has finals points this week from a $60K in Charlottesville, Va. a $100K final the next week and another semifinal at another $100K the week after that. That’s 268 points – nearly a third of her total – and she’d come close to dropping out of the top 100 if she doesn’t defend them).

Katie Volynets (USA): No. 75 ========> No. 103 (Volynets, aiming high in playing the Stuttgart qualifying, loses her points from winning the $100K ITF in Palm Harbor last year and falls, briefly, out of the top 100. Part of the pain of making the transition from the ITFs to the big leagues. But she’s in a situation similar to Wang as she earned a lot of points on that spring Har-Tru circuit a year ago).

Louisa Chirico (USA): No. 168 ========> No. 188 (Defending a run from the qualies to the semis in Palm Harbor last year, Chirico falls in the second round of the $25K ITF in Boca. She has the points from a $60K title in Charlottesville coming up for renewal this week, too).

(USTA/Pete Staples)

Alexandra Eala (PHI): No. 215 ========> No. 257 (The much-touted IMG prospect from the Philippines, the reigning US Open junior champion, loses in the first round of the Chiasso ITF and drops her points from winning a $25K in Thailand a year ago).

Polona Hercog (SLO): No. 763 ========> No. 951 (Anyone know where the 32-year-old former world No. 35 is? She hasn’t played in nearly a year, since retiring in the first round of a WTA 125 in Germany with a knee issue. Reports out of Slovenia indicate she plays to come back in May or June of this year, but nothing firmly confirmed as of yet).

THE CANADIANS

THE ROAD TO … SHENZHEN?

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