Mover of the Week
After dismissing Maria Sharapova in the third round and getting her revenge on Jelena Ostapenko in the semifinals in Beijing Simona Halep would no longer be denied. Halep is the new world #1 making history as the 25th since the WTA began its rankings system in 1975 but the first Romanian ever to hold the top spot. Astonishingly, the 26-year-old is the fifth woman this year to climb to the top after Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams, Karolina Pliskova, and most recently, Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.
Since the beginning of 2017, Halep has won the Madrid Open, was a finalist at the French Open, the Italian Open and the Cincinnati Open, and reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. And after Wimbledon, Halep became the active player with the longest streak of consecutive weeks inside the World Top 10 rankings. Indeed, Halep has been inside the top 10 since January 27, 2014, and has not looked back since. Now at last at the summit of the rankings her next focus will surely be finally to win that elusive Slam. For now though, she can and should justly enjoy her newfound position.
Loser of the Week
Defending champion of the China Open Agnieszka Radwanska failed to make it past the third round this year and has dropped seven spots to #18. Radwanska was once as high as world #2 but has spent 2017 struggling with her form and has also had to endure a nasty foot injury. As a result, the year has seen her move away from the top 10. In fact, the 28-year-old Polish player is out of the Top 15 for the first time since 2008.
Last year it was her win in Beijing that helped her to qualify for the WTA Finals. This year it seems rather fitting that it should be the tournament to compound her misery. She has been out of the running for Singapore for some time, and will now be looking ahead to 2018 for a turnaround. She may well achieve it. Radwanska is too talented a player to be languishing at #18 when the top 10 is her proper home.
France’s Caroline Garcia deserves great credit for winning her second WTA title in as many weeks. That she won it by defeating the newly crowned #1 Simona Halep in the final in Beijing 6-4 7-6 is all the more impressive. The implications of Garcia’s victory are also far-reaching. Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Wozniacki, Venus Williams and Jelena Ostapenko have already secured their spots at the WTA Finals. Britain’s Johanna Konta had hoped to join them and reach the WTA Finals for the first time in her career. Now, however, Konta and Garcia are left vying for the final qualification place. Indeed, Konta as at a disadvantage and faces having to make the final in Moscow to make it to Singapore.
China’s Qiang Wang is back in the top 50, moving up four places to #48. Although the 25-year-old hasn’t made it past the second round of a Grand Slam yet, she played well last week on home soil reaching the round of 16 at the Wuhan Open. Ultimately Karolina Pliskova had too much for her winning their match comfortably. She received a tough draw at the China Open, losing in the first round to Caroline Wozniacki, but her good play in Asia has earned her a well-deserved spot in the top 50.
Other major movers of note include Maria Sharapova who is back within the Top 100 up 18 places to #86. Romania’s second best Sorana Cirstea goes from #44 to #37 after upsetting former #1 Karolina Pliskova to reach the quarterfinals in Beijing. And Daria Kasatkina moves into the top 30, at #29, after making the quarterfinals at the China Open ousting Agnieszka Radwanska en route.
- Simona Halep, 6175 points, moves up one place
- Garbine Muguruza, 6135 points, moves down one place
- Karolina Pliskova, 5605 points, moves up one place
- Elina Svitolina, 5465 points, moves down one place
- Venus Williams, 4642 points, no change
- Caroline Wozniacki, 4640 points, no change
- Jelena Ostapenko, 4510 points, moves up one place
- Svetlana Kuznetsova, 4005 points, moves up one place
- Caroline Garcia, 3860 points, moves up six places
- Johanna Konta, 3795 points, moves down three places
- Dominika Cibulkova, 3330 points, moves down one place
- Angelique Kerber, 3181 points, no change
- Kristina Mladenovic, 3035 points, moves up one place
- Madison Keys, 2823 points, moves down one place
- Coco Vandeweghe, 2819 points, moves up one place
- Sloane Stephens, 2722 points, moves up one place
- Petra Kvitova, 2532 points, moves up one place
- Agnieszka Radwanska, 2370 points, moves down seven places
- Elena Vesnina, 2300 points, moves up one place
- Anastasija Sevastova, 2295 points, moves down one place
- Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 2245 points, no change
- Daria Gavrilova, 2040 points, no change
- Ashleigh Barty, 2031 points, no change
- Serena Williams, 2030 points, no change
- Shuai Peng, 1915 points, no change
Who was your Mover of the Week? Let us know in the comments below!
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