June 23, 2024

Open Court


ROLAND GARROS – Two weeks of Grand Slam tennis, and two weeks of Challengers and WTA 125s and ITF tournaments all get added in Monday.

And those rankings will determine, in large part, who gets to take part in the Paris Olympics.

So it’s a big day.

With Swiatek’s fourth Roland Garros title, she is more than 3,700 points ahead of the world No. 2. Unassailable.

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Coco Gauff (USA): No. 3 =========> No. 2 (She’ll be disappointed with her showing against Swiatek in the Roland Garros semifinals. Still, the 20-year-old American, with some help from an ailing Aryna Sabalenka, gets to a career high No. 2 on this Monday. And wins the doubles with pickup partner Katerina Siniakova, which has to help a little).

Jasmine Paolini (ITA): No. 15 =========> No. 7 (She wasn’t able to give Swiatak a match in the Paris final. But a huge leap for the appealing 28-year-old Italian. She cuts her ranking in half and gives hope to all undersized players out there. Can’t discount a medal possibility at the Olympics – in singles AND doubles).

Emma Navarro (USA): No. 24 =========> No. 18 (Another new career high for Navarro, after she reached the fourth round in Paris).

Marta Kostyuk (UKR): No. 20 =========> No. 17 (Inside the top 20 for the first time, despite a second-round loss at Roland Garros. She plays countrywoman Daria Snigur in the first round of Nottingham).

Mirra Andreeva (RUS): No. 38 =========> No. 23 (Huge leap for the 17-year-old Russian, after making the Paris semis. She will be have a good seed at Wimbledon and that will help her make another good run).

Leylah Fernandez (CAN): No. 34 =========> No. 33 (Moves up one spot with her third-round effort in Paris).

Sofia Kenin (USA): No. 56 =========> No. 45 (Kenin made the third round in Paris, which was a good effort because no one is expecting much from her these days. She moves back into the top 50).

Tatjana Maria (GER): No. 65 =========> No. 56 (The indefatigable 36-year-old lost in the first round of Roland Garros. But she made the final of the grass ITF in Surbiton this week. The former Wimbledon finalist should be able to make some moves this month, during the grass season. She gets Emiliana Arango in the first round of Nottingham).

Varvara Gracheva (FRA): No. 88 =========> No. 71 (Gracheva, just 23 and a French citizen for the last year, did absolutely nothing in 2024. Literally; she lost seven matches in a row in seven hard-court tournaments from the Australian Open through Miami. And her ranking had dropped from a career high of No. 39 at the start of 2024. But she found a happy place on the clay, found her groove a little bit coming into Paris, and reached the fourth round after upsetting Maria Sakkari in the first round).

Katie Volynets (USA): No. 108 =========> No. 77 (Volynets had to qualify in Paris and did. And she won a round. And in the second week she won the Makarska WTA 125 tournamentn and now is just three short of her career high).

Sara Errani (ITA): No. 95 =========> No. 88 (Errani was a marvel, at 37, qualifying in Paris and winning a round. She also reached the doubles final with Jasmine Paolini, although they were denied in the final. Watch out for those two when they return to Paris for the Olympics. Her career would make a good documentary).

Olga Danilovic (SRB): No. 125 =========> No. 107 (Still just 23, the Serbian lefty qualified in Paris and went all the way to the fourth round, defeating Danielle Collins in the second round and Donna Vekic in the third round before losing to Vondrousova. She’s only about 30 ranking points from the top 100; her career high of No. 93 was a nearly a year ago, just before Wimbledon 2023.

Paula Badosa (ESP): No. 139 =========> No. 118 (Bad draw luck for Badosa, who seems to be getting back from her back woes but, as in Miami, ran into bestie Aryna Sabalenka fairly early. At least it was the third round. Reunited with love Stefanos Tsitsipas after a brief break, the two never did end up playing mixed doubles together, with Tsitsipas’s runs in both singles and men’s doubles – and the rain).

Naomi Osaka (JPN): No. 134 =========> No. 125 (The best match on the women’s side at Roland Garros came in the second round, when Osaka had EVERY chance at defeating eventual champion Iga Swiatek. And on clay, no less. She didn’t, and the rest was history. But she’ll be encouraged by that effort as she gets to another surface she doesn’t love, the grass. Osaka will meet No. 4 seed Elise Mertens in the first round of ‘s-Hertogenbosch).

Anca Todoni (ROU): No. 179 =========> No. 136 (Watched Todoni for the first time ever in Paris, where she lost to eventual fourth-rounder Danilovic in three sets, in the first round of qualifying. And didn’t realize she was just 19. Excellent ball-striker. She reached the semis of an ITF the first week of RG. And she wins the WTA 125 in Bari on Sunday to leap to another career high after already being at her best ranking on the last list).

Marina Stakusic (CAN): No. 183 =========> No. 174 (Stakusic won a couple of rounds in Roland Garros qualifying. And she won a round of qualifying at Surbiton as she takes on her first grass-court season. So it’s a new career high for the Canadian, who is piling up the experience every week. She lost in the first round of ‘s-Hertogenbosch qualifying to Galfi).

Amanda Anisimova (USA): No. 231 =========> No. 190 (All doesn’t seem … great for the 22-year-old former Roland Garros semifinalist. But with her protected ranking of No. 61 in Paris, she did manage to win a round before losing to in a hot minute to No. 17 seed Liudmila Samsonova. She lost in the first round of qualifying at ‘s-Hertogenbosch Saturday, to fellow American Elizabeth Mandlik).

Victoria Mboko (CAN): No. 308 =========> No. 287 (After going off the grid for awhile, the Canadian – still junior-aged at 17 – is gone from the Canadian system and training at the Henin Academy in Belgium. She made the final at a 64-draw ITF in Slovenia the first week in Paris. and moves into the top 300 for the first time, at a career high. She had been entered into the Roland Garros juniors – as a backup, one would assume. But the deep run in Otocec took care of that idea. She’s playing the qualifying at a $100K ITF in Biarritz this week).

(Photo: FFT/Roland Garros)

Tereza Valentova (CZE): No. 337 =========> No. 311 (The 17-year-old Czech made the final at an ITF in Annenheim the first week of Paris. Then she came to Roland Garros and … won the junior event on Saturday. That won’t help her WTA ranking. But it’s a huge thing nonetheless. She also won the doubles title with Renata Jamrichova of Slovakia)

Carson Branstine (CAN): No. 493 =========> No. 344 (The 23-year-old American, patriated to Canada because of a Toronto-born mom when she was a junior, has an interesting journey. She was injured through her college career and finally got healthy enough to play at her third school – Texas A&M. She finished her college career, then headed out on the low-level pro circuit to start the next phase. And then she suddenly returned for the NCAAs this year, helping Texas to win the women’s championships. And now she’s back on the circuit. Branstine wins the $60K ITF in South Carolina Sunday and leaps up to No. 344 – more than 120 spots higher than her previous career high).

Maria Sakkari (GRE): No. 7=========> No. 9 (A shocker from Sakkari, who was eliminated in the first round in Paris by Lepchenko. She wasn’t defending any points, so it was a huge opportunity lost to gain ground. She loses ground mostly because of Paolini’s impressive run).

Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA): No. 14 =========> No. 20 (Still in the top 20, but only just after she lost a shocker in the first round in Paris to Elisabetta Cocciaretto. Haddad Maia made the semis in Paris a year ago).

Elise Mertens (BEL): No. 27 =========> No. 32 (She is on the bubble to be seeded at Wimbledon, after her third-round loss didn’t make up for last year’s run to the round of 16. On the plus side, she returns to the No. 1 spot in doubles on Monday. She’ll play wild card … Naomi Osaka in the first round of ‘s-Hertogenbosch).

Karolina Muchova (CZE): No. 16 =========> No. 35 (Muchova has stayed at the top of the rankings for a fair while, despite not having played since losing in the semifinals of last year’s US Open to eventual champion Gauff. But she drops her points from making the Roland Garros final a year ago – remember how good that was? The good news is that Muchova was spotted hitting on a hard court this week some four months after underdoing wrist surgery in February, so hopefully that means her return is immiment. Her crafty game is missed).

Sloane Stephens (USA): No. 35 =========> No. 47 (The 31-year-old American performed … poorly in a first-round loss to Yulia Putintseva in Paris. She won just three games, and drops her points from a fourth-round effort a year ago that included a win over Putintseva in the third round Stephens remains … an enigma).

Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP): No. 43 =========> No. 55 (A tough draw, as it turns out, for the Spaniard on clay as she was out-crafted by Bianca Andreescu in the first round. She drops points from making the round of 16 a year ago, which included a walkover over Elena Rybakina in the third round. And then she lost in the first round of a WTA 125 in Makarska the second week).

Lesia Tsurenko (UKR): No. 45 =========> No. 59 (We’d have to do a deep dive to see if the Ukrainian is the active leader in injury retirements. But she added another to her resumé in Paris (her third of the season), when she retired at 6-5 in the first to Donna Vekic. The 35-year-old drops points from a fourth-round effort a year ago where she … retired, down 1-5 to Swiatek).

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Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK): No. 54 =========> No. 80 (A great ball striker, the 29-year-old Slovak is maddenly inconsistent. And that’s why her ranking roller-coasters soo much. She lost in the first round in Paris, and in the second round in Makarska. And with her fourth-round points from a year ago dropping off, there goes the ranking again. She came into the tournament in good form, too, winning the WTA 125 on clay in Parma).

Bernarda Pera (USA): No. 80 =========> No. 106 (The former No. 27 is out of the top 100 after losing to Gracheva in the second round of Roland Garros. She made the fourth round a year ago. Pera will play wild card Suzan Lamens in the first round of ‘s-Hertogenbosch and given she did basically nothing on grass last year, has only everything to gain).

Kayla Day (USA): No. 99 =========> No. 130 (It’s tough when those big results come around a year later to be defended. Day had a great run a year ago – out of the qualifying she beat Kdistina Mladenovic and No. 20 seed Madison Keys before falling in the third round. This year, she was straight into tbe main draw this year but lost in the first round to lucky loser Hailey Baptiste. And then she lost in the first round of the ITF in Surbiton to qualifier Harmony Tan, as the No. 8 seed. And so, she drops out of the top 100. She plays wild card Heather Watson in the first round of Nottingham).

Being top 10 on this day. means you can basically choose who you want to play doubles with in Paris for the Olympics – as long as your tennis federation doesn’t decide to stomp its big boots on things.

So congrations to American Nicole Melichar-Martinez, Aussie Ellen Perez, Cana-Kiwi Erin Routliffe (who sadly won’t be playing for Canada and many others. Mayb even Vera Zvonareva?

American Emma Navarro enters the top 10.

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