February 27, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

WTA Rankings Report – As of Jan. 8, 2024

MELBOURNE, Australia – First official rankings update for the 2024 season, although it’s about Tuesday down here when it’s officially Monday back in North America.

And some players had yet to take the court for the season, through this first week.

But there have already been some pretty big moves – notably on the downside, where players who had great results early in the season before the Australian Open were unable to defend those points, in many cases.

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

ON THE UPSWING

Elena Rybakina (KAZ): No. 4 ==========> No. 3 (Rybakina matches her career high – although she’s way behind the top two – by winning the 500 in Brisbane).

Daria Kasatkina (RUS): No. 18 ==========> No. 15 (The Russian beat Marta Kostyuk and Magda Linette before losing to Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinals in Brisbane. She gets Claire Liu and then Anna Kalinskaya in Adelaide, not a bad draw to make another move).

Elina Svitolina (UKR): No. 25 ==========> No. 23 (Svitolina made the Auckland final, moving her to her highest ranking since her return from maternity leave).

Varvara Gracheva (FRA): No. 42 ==========> No. 39 (The newly-minted Frenchwoman moves into the top 40 for the first time).

Mirra Andreeva (RUS): No. 58 ==========> No. 47 (Andreeva makes a nice leap with a run to the Brisbane quarterfinals, and is one off her career high).

Wang Xiyu (CHN): No. 71 ==========> No. 62 (Wang got to the semis in Auckland, losing in three sets to Svitolina).

Arina Rodionova (AUS): No. 113 ==========> No. 105 (A career high for the 34-year-old, after years of grinding and a 34-tournament 2023 during which she won seven ITF tournaments, to get back from being outside the top 300. Still wasn’t good enough to get a main-draw wild card from her federation, even though that ranking, if she’d had it at the deadline, would have gotten her in).

Nuria Parrizas Diaz (ESP): No. 123 ==========> No. 107 (The late-blooming Parrizas was a shooting star for awhile, getting into the top 50 as she was passing the 30 mark. She sort of fell down to earth. But she picked up some space by winning the WTA 125 in Canberra last week).

Julia Riera (ARG): No. 137 ==========> No. 123 (The 21-year-old Argentine, not well known yet, will be onen to watch in the AO qualifying. It’s been awhile – other than Nadia Podoroska – that Argentina had an up-and-comer on the women’s side to cheer for).

Timea Babos (HUN): No. 192 ==========> No. 178 (The 30-year-old sort of fell off the map, after her fruitful doubles partnership with Kristina Mladenovic ended abruptly. The former No. 25 spent most of 2023 on the ITF circuit; she moves up after qualifying in Brisbane, although she lost in a third-set tiebreak in the first round of the main draw to Linda Noskova).

Amanda Anisimova (USA): No. 373 ==========> No. 339 (Anisimova took some personal time in 2023, which is why her ranking is so low. She’s playing on a PR of No. 61 and it shouldn’t take too long to get it back up there).

Ena Shibahara (JPN): No. 548 ==========> No. 484 (Shibahara, who made the WTA Finals in doubles last year but decided to focus on singles this year, at age 25, moves into the top 500 with … She is in Australia, though, playing with Desirae Krawczyk. The money is tough to look away from).

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ON THE DOWNSWING

Coco Gauff (USA): No. 3 ==========> No. 4 (Gauff defended her points in Auckland by defending her title – the first time she’s done that in her career – but drops because Rybakina added a lot of points).

Madison Keys (USA): No. 13 ==========> No. 18 (Keys earned a lot of points at the United Cup last year. But she’s out for the entire Aussie summer with a shoulder strain. At any rate, with the change in format, she might not have played it anyway).

Leylah Fernandez (CAN): No. 34 ==========> No. 36 (Fernandez drops two. But with four players ranked ahead of her not in the Australian Open main draw, she should still squeeze into the final seeed spot).

Linda Noskova (CZE): No. 40 ==========> No. 51 (Noskova reached the Adelaide 500 final a year ago, but she “only” made the semis in the equivalent tournament in Brisbane this year. … So she slips outside the top 50. It was a big week at the time. After beating Kalinskaya and Potapova in qualifying, she ran through Kasatkina, Azarenka and Jabeur before losing to Sabalenka in the final. She had been ranked No. 102 going in; she had to hustle to Melbourne to play the qualifying – after all that – and ended up being beaten by Canadian Katherine Sebov).

Martina Trevisan (ITA): No. 46 ==========> No. 60 (Trevisan won two matches at United Cup last year (beating Sakkari, for one) and earned 145 points. She lost in the first round in Brisbane to Rodiova, hence the drop).

Paula Badosa (ESP): No. 68 ==========> No. 74 (At least she’s back, and she says she’s healthy. A year ago, she made the semis in Adelaide, but that’s where the issues started. She gifted a walkover in the semifinals – and then missed the Australian Open altogether. Back in Australia, in her first match back since Wimbledon, Monday night in Adelaide, she lost in three sets).

Rebeka Masarova (ESP): No. 65 ==========> No. 94 (Masarova went from the qualifying all the way to the final in Auckland a year ago. She defeated Sloane Stephens and Muchova along the way. This year, she lost in the first round to No. 7 seed Petra Martic, and her ranking takes a tumble).

Bianca Andreescu (CAN): No. 100 ==========> No. 108 (Missing the entire Australian summer with a reported back issue, Andreescu might not be back until Indian Wells. She …)

Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU): No. 79 ==========> No. 111 (Begu is another player who is missing the entire Aussie summer. She hasn’t played since losing in the first round of both Cincinnati and the US Open last summer).

Kaia Kanepi (EST): No. 161 ==========> No. 175 (Now 38, Kanepi is still kicking on, trying her luck in the AO qualifying this week).

Danka Kovinic (MNE): No. 154 ==========> No. 198 (Another injured player who will miss the Aussie summer).

Ysaline Bonaventure (BEL): No. 193 ==========> No. 272 (Bonaventure missed a chunk of time and will return on a protected ranking. She drops points from making the semis in Auckland a year ago).

Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL): No. 348 ==========> No. 403 (Van Uytvanck, now 29, tried to come back from a back injury but couldn’t quite make it happen. She continues to try, but it’s hard to say whether she’ll be successful).

Venus Williams (USA): No. 419 ==========> No. 473 (Williams is still acting like a tennis player – it is part of her brand. But there has been very little tennising of late. Will she be back for another go-round? Time will tell).

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