February 27, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

WTA Rankings Report – As of Feb. 5, 2024

The women returned to action with a 250-level tournament in Hua Hin, and a 500 in Linz, Austria that was a bit sparse and therefore a great opportunity to earn big ranking points – even for winning just a round.

On the Canadian side, the news isn’t great for Bianca Andreescu, who had a good result a year ago in Thailand but is still MIA with a back issue.

And there are some familiar names from a decade ago out there – or not out there – who have made moves in the wrong direction.

For the complete, updated WTA rankings, click here

ON THE UPSWING

Jelena Ostapenko (LAT): No. 12 ==========> No. 11 (Ostapenko moves up one spot in the rankings – which was going to happen win or lose in the Linz Final. But with the win, she’s less than 50 points away from returning to the top 10. Ostapenko’s first-round opponent in Abu Dhabi is a qualifier).

Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS): No. 21 ==========> No. 19 (Alexandrova moves back into the top 20 with her effort in Linz. Had she won, she would have tied her career high at No. 16. But her semifinal vs. Donna Vekic Saturday took too much out of her).

Donna Vekic (CRO): No. 34 ==========> No. 28 (Back into the top 30 with her semifinal effort in Linz).

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS): No. 42 ==========> No. 34 (The Linz semifinalist makes a nice jump, and is at her highest ranking since just before the 2022 French Open).

Katerina Siniakova (CZE): No. 49 ==========> No. 42 (Siniakova moves up seven spots just by winning a round in Linz, as she was in a very densely packed section of the rankings. Nice work if you can get it).

Clara Burel (FRA): No. 52 ==========> No. 44 (Burel, 22, recovered well from that TOUGH, tough loss to Mirra Andreeva at the Australian Open. She makes the Linz quarterfinals, and moves into the top 50 for the first time in her career).

Katie Boulter (GBR): No. 53 ==========> No. 48 (A career high for the 27-year-old Brit, who won a round in Linz).

Wang Yafan (CHN): No. 78 ==========> No. 68 (Wang continues her impressive 2024 by moving up another 10 spots with her semifinal in Hua Hin).

Clara Tauson (DEN): No. 91 ==========> No. 80 (The former No. 33, still only 21, fell off the map for awhile. But she is coming back strong, after qualifying and winning a round in Linz. She plays Nadia Podoroska in the first round in Cluj-Napoca this week).

(Photo: Instagram/WTA)

Diana Shnaider (RUS): No. 109 ==========> No. 73 (The Russian, who had been trying to balance a pro career with her college education and last year was playing No. 1 singles for North Carolina State, has definitely justified her decision to go full-time pro in winning her first career WTA title in Hua Hin. It’s another step closer to her career high of No. 60 reached last fall, after a final in Ningbo and a semi in Jiagxi. Clearly Asia agrees with her).

Arina Rodionova (AUS): No. 101 ==========> No. 97 (Finally, after so many years on Tour and at age 34, Rodionova finally cracks the top 100. Better late than never. But while Grand Slam titles are the ambition for some, that’s not everyone. And this is a huge milestone).

McCartney Kessler (USA): No. 177 ==========> No. 152 (Already at a career high last week, Kessler improves on that with a title at the ITF in Rome, Georgia. She arrived at the Australian Open with the USTA reciprocal wild card outside the top 200, and has cut a chunk off that in a matter of weeks).

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Tamira Paszek (AUT): No. 387 ==========> No. 339 (Yes, the former No. 26, now 33, is still playing. Although it’s been at the lower levels and very much under the radar. She wins the ITF in Le Gosier, Guadeloupe and makes a nice jump).

Ena Shibahara (JPN): No. 487 ==========> No. 433 (Shibahara ended a successful partnership with Shuko Aoyama in the doubles court to go for it this year in singles, and see what she can do. The 25-year-old qualified at the ITF in Burnie, Australia and went all the way to the semifinals. She’ll try to do the same this week – or better – in a similar tournament).

(Photo: Carson Branstine/Twitter)

Carson Branstine (CAN): No. 843 ==========> No. 622 (Branstine has been playing at the lower levels as she wraps up her college career and goes out in the pros. She qualified and won an ITF in Monastir, Tunisia two weeks ago, so those points come on now. She’s playing the qualifying at an ITF in Antalya this week).

ON THE DOWNSWING

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Lesia Tsurenko (UKR): No. 31 ==========> No. 37 (Idle last week, Tsurenko drops her points from making the Hua Hin final a year ago. She faces No. 8 seed Liudmila Samsonova in the first round of Abu Dhabi this week).

Zhu Lin (CHN): No. 45 ==========> No. 57 (Lin made the Hua Hin final, which she won last year. So despite a great week, she drops 12 spots. She is to face Wang Xinyu in the first round of Abu Dhabi this week).

Nadia Podoroska (ARG): No. 67 ==========> No. 84 (It doesn’t seem like Podoroska is starting the season at 100 per cent. But she’s playing. She loses in the first round in Linz and drops her points from winning a WTA 125 in Cali a year ago. She’ll play Clara Tauson in the first round in Romania this week).

Camila Osorio (COL): No. 87 ==========> No. 101 (Osorio slips out of the top 100 after being idle last week, and losing her points from a semifinal at the WTA 250 in Lyon a year ago. She faces No. 7 seed Viktoriya Tomova in the first round of Cluj-Napoca this week).

Alycia Parks (USA): No. 72 ==========> No. 110 (Tough blow for Parks, who drops out of the top 100 after losing in the first round of qualifying in Linz last week. She was working with an Australian coach in Melbourne, where she upset Leylah Fernandez in the second round. But she doesn’t seem to have a full-time setup and all that raw talent is still a work in progress. She’s in Cluj-Napoca this week, with No. 8 seed Ana Bogdan as her first-round opponent).

Bianca Andreescu (CAN): No. 115 ==========> No. 144 (Andreescu went to Hua Hin after last year’s Australian Open and made the semifinals before retiring with an injury. Those points drop; she hasn’t played since Montreal last year and from what we’re hearing, won’t be back on Tour until April at the earliest. She really doesn’t have any significant ranking points to defend since Miami).

Mirjam Bjorklund (SWE): No. 178 ==========> No. 197 (Bjorklund, who is engaged to Canadian player Denis Shapovalov, will be out a few months as she has a surgical procedure. So this number will continue to drop).

Danka Kovinic (MNE): No. 200 ==========> No. 234 (The Montenegran, now 29, hasn’t played since last year’s US Open).

Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL): No. 478 ==========> No. 558 (At 29, the former No. 37 is at a crossroads after working so hard to come back from injury the last several years. She drops points from a second round in Lyon a year ago. Shortly after that, she missed eight months in 2023 with a back issue that has pushed back her efforts to start the 2024 season).

Ormaechea a decade ago in 2014, when things seemed so promising.

Paula Ormaechea (ARG): No. 404 ==========> No. 680 (Once ranked at No. 59, the 31-year-old just returned to action a couple of weeks ago, after being out since Wimbledon. She drops points from making the final of a WTA 125 in Colombia a year ago).

THE CANADIANS

The Singles Race

The Doubles Race

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