The last Grand Slam tournament of the season is done.
And the top 10 on the WTA is … all a’jumble.
First and most conspicuously, US Open finalist Aryna Sabalenka is the new world No. 1.
That was already a done deal once she went a round further than Iga Swiatek, who was defending the title. And it probably is small consolation after letting the final against Coco Gauff get away – bigly.
But it’s still a big deal.
Not that many players get there.
Everyone in the top 20 moved this Monday. Except Elena Rybakina.
And at least we now know where the (WTA Finals) road leads!
ON THE UPSWING
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR): No. 2 ==========> No. 1 (Sabalenka leaves New York with a more than 1,200 point cushion over Iga Swiatek, who drops 1760 points of the 2,000 she earned a year ago by winning the tournament).
Coco Gauff (USA): No. 6 ==========> No. 3 (Gauff is not only at a career high No. 3 with her first major title. She’s also back at No. 1 in doubles this week. It’s quite a fortnight for the 19-year-old American, who’s just getting started).
Marketa Vondrousova (CZE): No. 9 ==========> No. 6 (A new career high for quarterfinalist Vondrousova, who had a shoulder issue, or who knows what kind of a run she had in her).
Karolina Muchova (CZE): No. 10 ==========> No. 8 (Muchova made the semifinals. But the road to get there left her a little too battered and bruised to aspire to more. Still a career high).
Madison Keys (USA): No. 16 ==========> No. 11 (It looked like Keys might have enough to get to another major final. But in the end, she bowed out in the semis and had a great tournament).
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT): No. 21 ==========> No. 16 (Ostapenko did Sabalenka a favour by ousting her in the fourth round. But that was all she had).
Wang Xinyu (CHN): No. 53 ==========> No. 39 (Wang is winning the battle of the “X Wangs” at the moment. She was at a career high coming into the US Open and, after making the fourth round, has set another summit after making the second week. She also made the doubles semifinals).
Peyton Stearns (USA): No. 59 ==========> No. 44 (Stearns was sort of the outsider in the last 16. But her run highlighted the plight of the unsponsored as she sported a couple of different brands on court).
Katie Boulter (GBR): No. 61 ==========> No. 50 (At 27, Boulter finally makes the top 50 for the first time, after a third-round effort in New York).
Bernarda Pera (USA): No. 73 ==========> No. 59 (The former No. 27 makes a move after making the third round in New York – notably with a first-round upset of Anastasia Potapova).
Yafan Wang (CHN): No. 114 ==========> No. 96 (After a looong absence, the 29-year-old is building back from scratch and gets back into the top 100 for the first time since Feb. 2021 by qualifying and winning a round).
Taylor Townsend (USA): No. 132 ==========> No. 104 (Townsend qualified and made the third round of the US Open in singles, and had good runs in the doubles and mixed as well. She isn’t quite back into the top 100, but said she’s going to focus on singles the rest of the season).
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN): No. 623 ==========> No. 243 (Her second-week appearance in New York lopped nearly 400 spots off her “actual” ranking. Not that she’ll ever need to use it. She won’t be coming back until 2024).
Jennifer Brady (USA): No. 433 ==========> No. 263 (Brady is another one whose ranking is improving in a hurry. She moves up 170 spots with her third-round effort in New York).
Marina Stakusic (CAN): No. 588 ==========> No. 439 (The 18-year-old, whose career high if No. 361, moves up nearly 150 spots with her first pro title at a $25K in Spain. She also adds a quarterfinal effort in another similar tournament).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Jessica Pegula (USA): No. 3 ==========> No. 5 (Pegula lost in the round of 16, but she’s still in the top five).
Caroline Garcia (FRA): No. 7 ==========> No. 10 (A shocker of a first-round exit vs Wang Yafan. But Garcia is still in the top 10 even with those WTA Finals points looming in the distance, needing to be defended. She was a US Open semifinalist a year ago. Garcia is at No. 25 in the race, and so might well not get the chance).
Victoria Azarenka (BLR): No. 18 ==========> No. 23 (Azarenka had a good run back in the top 20. But she exits after losing in the second round in New York).
Karolina Pliskova (CZE): No. 25 ==========> No. 34 (Pliskova has seemed like a shadow this year. But her ranking still hasn’t taken a major hit even if her second-round loss in New York drops her out of the top 30).
Paula Badosa (ESP): No. 48 ==========> No. 52 (Badosa called it a season when she withdrew from the US Open. Her rankins has dropped out of the top 50 but when she comes back, you’d imagine she’ll have a protected ranking).
Bianca Andreescu (CAN): No. 51 ==========> No. 64 (Andreescu missed the entire summer hard-court season, and now also is out of San Diego this week. Hard to guess whether she’ll play again in 2023).
Leylah Fernandez (CAN): No. 67 ==========> No. 74 (Another tough first-round loss for Fernandez, who got a wild card into San Diego this week but drew No. 7 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia in the first round. She did make the quarterfinals in doubles with Taylor Townsend).
Alizé Cornet (FRA): No. 79 ==========> No. 99 (Cornet knows she had points to defend. So after losing in the first round in New York she hopped back over to Europe and played a WTA 125 on clay. She made the semis, but it wasn’t enough to mitigate the third-round Slam points she lost from a year ago).
Zhang Shuai (CHN): No. 80 ==========> No. 122 (After not winning for so long but not seeing a corresponding dent in her ranking, Zhang finally decided to take herself off the Tour for a bit and take the bite from the points she had to defend. In the long run, it will be a plus even if she doesn’t believe it right now).
Rebecca Marino (CAN): No. 104 ==========> No. 129 (Marino had a tough first-round loss to Patricia Tig in New York, thus being unable to defend her points from last year. So she drops down, but is already on the beat in Asia, in Osaka this week).
Shelby Rogers (USA): No. 109==========> No. 139 (Rogers is another player who missed the hard courts – her money makers. And her ranking shows it).
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS): No. 127 ==========> No. 296 (Tomljanovic did everything she could to be back for the US Open, her first tournament of 2023. But winning one match was all it could take, and she forfeited her second round match. All those points from her run in 2022 drop).
Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP): No. 272 ==========> No. 461 (Muguruza hasn’t played since late January and drops third-round points from 2022. But she’s lately been seen on a tennis court. Is she planning a return in 2024?)