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The previous seven days on the WTA Tour were much quieter than the last couple of weeks. Of course, the previous edition of my WTA rankings updates was largely focused on the Australian Open and what impact the event had on the rankings. With that said, this week boasted a calmer series of events. Three tournaments were completed between January 30th and February 5th, which included two 250-level tournaments and one 125-level tournament.
These events are obviously a few levels below the Australian Open, although they are still important for players who might not be at the top of the tree just yet. And for a few individuals, as you are about to find out, this was an important seven-day period for racking up points and climbing the ladder. For others – not so much. But that’s always the case when looking at the new rankings adjustments on a week-to-week basis.
Anyway – enough about the tournaments and overview from the last week. I think it’s time we dived in with the main information to see who has moved following the February 6th update.
WTA Rankings Updates – Week Commencing February 6th
Since there weren’t any top-level events played in the last seven days, there have been literally zero movements at the top of the tree. In fact, the WTA top 30 hasn’t changed at all, which means I will be looking at the rankings changes below this level. So without further ado, let’s begin by discussing the week’s biggest climbers.
The Week’s Biggest Climbers – Tsurenko and Parks Surge
I’ve listed Tsurenka and Parks here as they have boasted the largest climb in the rankings of any other players inside the top 100. Starting with Alycia Parks, her huge performance at the 250-level event in Lyon has seen the American rise by 28 spots this week. In case you missed it, Parks managed to win the 250 event in Lyon last week, beating Caroline Garcia in the final – the 5th best player in the world.
Parks has now secured a new ranking of number 51, which is absolutely fantastic considering that it is so early in the 2023 season. This is her career-high ranking, and at 22 years of age, the sky’s the limit for this promising player. Yet with that said, despite a rise of 28 spots in the rankings, Parks still wasn’t the official climber of the week. She was upstaged by the Ukrainian player, Lesia Tsurenko. In reaching the final of the 250-level event in Thailand, Tsurenko has taken the ‘climber of the week’ title by moving up 36 places.
This puts her at a new ranking of 100, which is obviously a major breakthrough to be inside the top 100 for any player. Then again, she is 33 years of age, and she has previously had a career-high ranking of 23, which was achieved back in 2019. So it’s not like Tsurenko hasn’t reached these heights before, and I’ve no doubt that she will be looking to build on this momentum as the season moves forward.
Besides these two players, I must also give credit to Lin Zhu of China. This player is putting in great performances week in and week out at the moment. And by beating Tsurenko in the final of the Thailand Open, she has jumped 13 spots to number 41.
The Week’s Biggest Fallers – Rough Week for Maria and Cocciaretto
The previous seven days haven’t played host to any catastrophic rankings drops. Then again, there haven’t been any major tournaments played over the last week to provide an opportunity for such movement. But regardless of that, it’s still been a rough seven-day period for quite a few players inside the WTA top 100. Looking through the entire ladder, the player that has suffered the biggest drop this week is the German, Tatjana Maria.
She competed in the 250-level event in Thailand last week. Yet despite being the number 6 seed, she lost in the quarter-finals to Tsurenko. Because of this performance, Maria failed to defend points from this particular week in regard to her 2022 season. And by failing to defend these points, Maria has dropped seven places to her new ranking of 70. This makes her the official ‘faller of the week’, unfortunately. But as I say, this wasn’t a rankings drop that is absolutely disastrous.
Following Tatjana Maria, another player that has endured a pretty poor week concerning rankings is the Italian, Elisabetta Cocciaretto. She has dropped five spots, taking her from 49 in the rankings to number 54. Of course, this means that she is no longer a top 50 player, which is something she will be hoping to reverse in the coming weeks.
Top Rankings Stories – Parks Suddenly on the Radar
In my personal opinion, I believe that the story of Parks winning the event in Lyon is the main story of the week. With that said, I’ve also chosen this story because Parks hasn’t exactly been on the radar concerning American tennis. When people talk about stars on the WTA Tour, specifically for Americans, they talk about Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula, and Madison Keys. However, the fact that Alycia Parks has won the event in Lyon this week means that she is now challenging the main pack of top-ranked Americans.
As listed above, Parks has jumped 28 places up the ladder by securing this win in France. And now, she is officially inside the top 10 as far as American players go. This may seem a bit low still, but given the strength of American tennis on the WTA Tour, I believe that this is significant. As for the way in which she secured her first WTA title, she did so in style. Along the way, Parks beat the 4th seed, 7th seed, and ultimately the 1st seed when she took down Garcia in straight sets.
Given that Garcia is a top 5 player, things are certainly looking promising for Alycia Parks for the remainder of the season.