Mover of the Week
The comeback trail for Petra Kvitova has been a long one, with some great moments but also some big disappointments. But the two-time former Wimbledon champion can look back at last week as one of the high points. After losing a first round thriller to Petkovic in Melbourne she was looking to kick start her season in St Petersburg. And Kvitova did just that after a week of hugely impressive tennis that will give her great confidence going forward.
Beginning with a dominant win against Vesnina in which she dropped just two games, Kvitova went from strength to strength. Though she suffered a mid-match wobble against Begu in her second match, losing the second set 1-6, but the former world #2 quickly snuffed out the Romanian’s chances. She then destroyed reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-0 6-2, before battling past spirited resistance from Julia Gorges of Germany.
That left her in the final against Kristina Mladenovic of France, the world #10 and defending champion. Kvitova was undaunted and completed her second straight sets top ten win of the week, defeating Mladenovic 6-1 6-2. To have triumphed at a tournament with such a strong field will surely give Kvitova real confidence going forward this year. She can never be ruled out of a big, possibly title winning run at a Major and as her form and fitness return to her she will likely become a real contender in the months ahead.
Loser of the Week
The diminutive Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova has endured a difficult past few months on the WTA Tour. From the career highlights of making the Australian Open final in 2014 (lost to Li Na) and winning the 2016 WTA Finals, she has tumbled down the rankings. Injuries haven’t helped, forcing her withdrawal from some tournaments and disrupting her preparation for others, and consistency has been an elusive beast for Cibulkova since 2016.
Last year, however, one of her most impressive performances came in St Petersburg when she reached the semifinals before losing to Yulia Putintseva in a tight three setter. This year her trip to Russia’s second city was less successful. Though she played well enough in her first round match, defeating Cirstea of Romania, she then lost to defending champion Kristina Mladenovic in the second round.
That defeat saw her fall four places in the rankings to #30. She is now in real danger of losing her seedings across the Slams and a fast turnaround is needed by the Slovakian is she wants to start heading back towards the top 20 and possibly even the top 10. Whether she has that turnaround in her, however, is yet to be seen.
Hungary’s Timea Babos had another good week as her impressive start to the season continues. She was in excellent form all week at the Taiwan Open and she won through to the final where she defeated Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine. Having won the doubles at the Australian Open and reached the final in the mixed, Babos will be hoping her good form in all disciplines continues. In the singles she is now back up to world #35, just ten spots off her career high of #25.
Kristina Mladenovic may have actually fallen three places in the rankings, down from #10 to #13 but she still deserves credit for ending a losing streak that stretched back to July. She got that win against Cibulkova and then went on to record two more against Siniakova and home hope Kasatkina. Mladenovic will now be hoping to take this upturn in form forward as she looks to break back into the top ten.
- Caroline Wozniacki, 7965 points, no change
- Simona Halep, 7616 points, no change
- Elina Svitolina, 5835 points, no change
- Garbine Muguruza, 5690 points, no change
- Karolina Pliskova, 5445 points, no change
- Jelena Ostapenko, 5000 points, no change
- Caroline Garcia, 4495 points, no change
- Venus Williams, 4277 points, no change
- Angelique Kerber, 3031 points, no change
- Julia Goerges, 2900 points, moves up two places
- Johanna Konta, 2825 points, no change
- Sloane Stephens, 2813 points, moves up one place
- Kristina Mladenovic, 2770 points, moves down three places
- Madison Keys, 2644 points, no change
- Anastasija Sevastova, 2540 points, no change
- Ashleigh Barty, 2486 points, no change
- Coco Vandeweghe, 2434 points, moves up one place
- Magdalena Rybarikova, 2363 points, moves up one place
- Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2362 points, moves down two places
- Elise Mertens, 2215 points, no change
Who was your Mover of the Week? Let us know in the comments below!