Mover of the Week
She didn’t make the biggest jump in the rankings this week but her play deserves praise and has earned her a spot in the top 20. As a result, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova is our Mover of the Week. The Russian made it to the finals of the Pan Pacific Open, knocking down former #1 Angelique Kerber in the semifinals to get there. Kerber hadn’t dropped a set the entire tournament until that match. The 26-year-old Russian had her breakthrough year in 2011 but has had sporadic success until recently. Her inconsistent play was briefly on display in the semifinal against Kerber, where she went from leading by a set and 5-2 to trailing 0-3 in the final set. However, Pavlyuchenkova won six of the final seven games to reach her first Premier final since Moscow in 2015.
In the final against Caroline Wozniacki, the Russian faced the Danish defending champion who was in her seventh WTA final of the year. It was evident that Wozniacki was on a mission to finally win one. Pavlyuchenkova started the match with a double fault; things went downhill from there. The first set lasted only 20 minutes as Pavlyuchenkova struggled to find her rhythm and get on the board. In the second set, Pavlyuchenkova looked more comfortable and the match became more competitive. It went with serve in the second set until the 12th and final game. The score, in the end, was 6-0 7-5. After reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, coupled with her performance this year overall, it appears Pavlyuchenkova is back on the rise and moves from #23 to 19th in the world.
Loser of the Week
Naomi Osaka was having an exciting summer which culminated in her formidable showing at the US Open. In the first round of the Open, Osaka stunned the defending champion Angelique Kerber in a one-sided upset 6-3 6-1. Osaka made it through to the third round where she was defeated by Kaia Kanepi. After the US Open Osaka was ranked 46. After a second round loss to Kurumi Nara at the Japan Open Osaka went up two spots to 44. However, at the Pan Pacific Open, she was defeated by Kerber in the first round 6-3 6-4. As a result, her ranking dropped 17 places leaving her outside the top 50 at world #61. Still, the Haitian-Japanese player is only 19-years-old and one of the most promising young guns on Tour. She is justly known as an offensive player with a blistering serve that can reach 125 mph.
The Brazilian, Beatriz Haddad Maia reached her maiden WTA final at the Korea Open, winning the first set before ultimately losing to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, 6-7 6-1 6-4. The 21-year-old Haddad Maia was surprisingly composed in her first WTA final; after an early break in the first set she got back on serve in the sixth game, and continued to play impressively. Haddad Maia produced two set points on return in the 10th game. She wasn’t able to take them but won the first set in a tiebreak all the same. Twice coming back from a mini-break down to win the first set.
But after Ostapenko began the second set with a 3-0 lead, she could not be stopped. Haddad Maia’s impressive run sees her climb 13 spots from #71 to #58. Other impressive performances include the Belgian Yanina Wickmayer who reached her second WTA quarterfinal of 2017 by knocking out Guangzhou top seed Peng Shuai in straight sets, 6-4 6-4. She beat the Frenchwoman Alize Cornet in the quarterfinal before falling in the semis to the Serbian Aleksandra Krunić. The 27-year-old Wickmayer is now 18 rungs higher on the WTA ladder at #98. And finally, from the Netherlands, 25-year-old Richel Hogenkamp, has risen 20 spots to secure a place in the top 100 at #99. She made it to the semifinals in Seoul before losing to the eventual finalist Haddad Maia.
- Garbine Muguruza, 6115 points, no change
- Simona Halep, 5965 points, no change
- Elina Svitolina, 5640 points, no change
- Karolina Pliskova, 5520 points, no change
- Venus Williams, 4756 points, no change
- Caroline Wozniacki, 4640 points, no change
- Johanna Konta, 4520 points, no change
- Svetlana Kuznetsova, 4410 points, no change
- Dominika Cibulkova, 3810 points, no change
- Jelena Ostapenko, 3781 points, no change
- Madison Keys, 3402 points, moves up one place
- Angelique Kerber, 3340 points, moves up two places
- Agnieszka Radwanska, 3335 points, moves down two places
- Petra Kvitova, 3256 points, moves down one place
- Kristina Mladenovic, 3095 points, no change
- Coco Vandeweghe, 2764 points, no change
- Sloane Stephens, 2711 points, no change
- Anastasija Sevastova, 2295 points, no change
- Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 2190 points, moves up four places
- Caroline Garcia, 2175 points, no change
- Elena Vesnina, 2140 points, moves down two places
- Daria Gavrilova, 2135 points, moves down one place
- Serena Williams, 2030 points, moves down one place
- Shuai Peng, 1860 points, no change
- Barbora Strycova, 1825 points, no change
Who was your Mover of the Week? Let us know in the comments below!
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