Mover of the Week
Germany’s Julia Goerges ended a six-year title drought by defeating Daria Kasatkina 6-1 6-2 in the Kremlin Cup final. This was the 28-year-old’s third title but her first since 2011 in Stuttgart. Indeed, prior to the final in Moscow, Goerges had lost six straight finals. But at the Kremlin Cup, she played superbly all week. Beginning with straight sets wins against Polina Monova, Yulia Putintseva and Lesia Tsurenko she made it to the semifinals in imperious fashion. She was made to work by 20-year-old Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva, eventually coming through a 6-2 2-6 7-5 winner to reach the final, but was superb against Kasatkina.
The win in Moscow gives Goerges a nine spot ranking jump from #27 to back inside the world’s Top 20 at #18. It is where the powerful German belongs. The 28-year-old may have had some struggles with consistency, but is not far off the elite when she is at her best has made the round of 16 at every Major except Wimbledon. Now just three spots off her career high ranking and potentially entering the prime years of her career, she may be able to get even closer to the Top 10 than she managed in 2012.
Loser of the Week
Little has been seen of 2016 WTA Finals champion Dominika Cibulkova in what has been a disappointing year for the Slovakian. All the more so after the highs of last season. She has so far compiled just a 26-22 record in 2017. She has also failed to add to her eight career titles. A loss in the first round of the China Open to Elise Mertens 7-6 6-1 seemed to sum up her season. She hasn’t played in the weeks since. Last week she fell fourteen places in the rankings from #12 to #26. Being out of the Top 15 is certainly cause for concern, especially compared with where the 28-year-old Slovakian found herself at the end of the season last year.
At the 2016 WTA Finals Cibulkova lost a three-set match to Angelique Kerber, and another match to Madison Keys, but then beat Simona Halep to advance to the semifinals. Then she defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach the title match. Cibulkova was then brilliant as she brushed world #1 Angelique Kerber aside in straight sets to win the WTA Finals title in her very first appearance at the tournament. One rather hopes it wasn’t her last.
Germany’s Carina Witthoeft won her maiden WTA title in Luxembourg last week. The German impressed throughout in Kockelscheuer coming through some tough battles. She conquered Lepchenko in the first round but had to win two tiebreaks to progress and defeated Parmentier in three sets in the semis. Former singles gold medallist Monica Puig then fell in straight sets in an emotional final for the Puerto Rican, But it has been a breakout 2017 for the 22-year-old German after making the quarterfinals in Gstaad, Den Bosch and Nuremberg and the semifinals in Budapest. Witthoeft is close to entering the Top 50 moving from #73 to #51 in the world.
There has been widespread concern about Kristina Mladenovic’s slumping summer. Yet the Frenchwoman has managed to crack the world’s Top 10 for the first time in her career in strange circumstances, to say the least. After the beginning of her year, one might have expected Kristina Mladenovic to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore such was her form. The 24-year-old won her first career singles title in St Petersburg, reached three other finals and made the quarterfinals at her home Grand Slam. But since then Mladenovic has hit on some terrible form. Indeed, she has lost her last ten matches, last picking up a win in Washington in early August.
That terrible form has cost her any chance at qualifying for the WTA’s season-ending championships and shows little sign of turning around. She lost again at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow in her first match to Aliaksandra Sasnovich 2-6 6-2 2-6. Despite that loss, however, her ranking has actually climbed three spots putting her at world #10.
Anastasija Sevastova climbed six spots to #15 despite losing her first match in Moscow. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova moved up four places to #14 despite her first round loss at the Kremlin Cup, and Ashleigh Barty is now three notches above last week’s ranking at #20. Other players who made impressive jumps this week include Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko who went from #50 to #43. Tsurenko was impressive as she made it to the quarterfinals in Moscow, ultimately losing to eventual champion Goerges. Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania rose twelve spots to #44 whilst fellow Kremlin Cup semifinalist France’s Pauline Parmentier cracked the Top 100, rising 19 spots to #82.
- Simona Halep, 5675 points, no change
- Garbine Muguruza, 5635 points, no change
- Karolina Pliskova, 5105 points, no change
- Elina Svitolina, 5000 points, no change
- Venus Williams, 4642 points, no change
- Caroline Wozniacki, 4640 points, no change
- Jelena Ostapenko, 4510 points, no change
- Caroline Garcia, 3795 points, moves up one place
- Johanna Konta, 3610 points, moves up one place
- Kristina Mladenovic, 2885 points, moves up three places
- Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2856 points, moves down three places
- Coco Vandeweghe, 2819 points, moves up two places
- Sloane Stephens, 2722 points, moves up two places
- Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 2425 points, moves up four places
- Anastasija Sevastova, 2295 points, moves up six places
- Madison Keys, 2213 points, no change
- Elena Vesnina, 2195 points, moves up three places
- Julia Gorges, 2060 points, moves up nine places
- Angelique Kerber, 2042 points, moves down eight places
- Ashleigh Barty, 2031 points, moves up three places
- Serena Williams, 2030 points, moves up three places
- Magdalena Rybarikova, 1999 points, moves up four places
- Barbora Strycova, 1965 points, moves up two places
- Daria Kasatkina, 1950 points, moves up four places
- Daria Gavrilova, 1865 points, moves down three places
Who was your Mover of the Week? Let us know in the comments below!
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?