WTA Rankings Updates January 30th 2023 – Sabalenka, Rybakina, and Linette Climb

The last rankings update I shared for the WTA Tour was before the first Grand Slam of the year – the Australian Open. That seems a long time ago, despite the fact that it was only a couple of weeks back. Then again, so much tennis was played over the last two weeks that it seems like more time has passed than just a fortnight. Anyway – I don’t want to digress too far from the purpose of providing this update.

Of course, with Grand Slams having the highest number of points available of any other WTA event, this has been one of the most exciting rankings updates of 2023 so far. For those who aren’t overly sure how this works, Grand Slam winners get 2000 points, runners-up get 1300, semi-finalists get 780, and the points keep dropping from there. So naturally, with so many points up for grabs, there has been considerable movement in the WTA rankings following the completion of the Australian Open.

WTA Rankings Updates January 30th 2023

This was actually the only WTA-sanctioned event that took place from the middle to the end of January. Therefore, most of the rankings adjustments are directly linked to the results from the 2023 Australian Open. And with that said, I reckon it’s about time I discussed the biggest rankings changes with you. So let me start running through the changes as of January 30th, 2023.

WTA Rankings Updates – Week Commencing January 30th

As mentioned earlier, there were some big changes this week in the WTA rankings. And let’s not forget – the Australian Open covered two weeks of competitive tennis, making it more significant than tournaments played over the course of just one week. I say this from the perspective of its weight regarding the subsequent rankings changes. 

With that in mind, I wish to start by highlighting the week’s biggest climbers following the completion of the Australian Open 2023.

The Week’s Biggest Climbers – Rybakina, Sabalenka, and Linette Take the Spoils

Like every update I do concerning the WTA rankings, I’ve focused on the top 100 here to keep things as relevant as possible. And looking at the biggest changes in the rankings this week, as you can see, the key names include Linette, Sabalenka, and Rybakina. Let me address each one to give you the overall scoop. Starting with the Australian Open champion, Aryna Sabalenka, she capped off a phenomenal run in Australia and took home 2000 points. 

This has taken her from number 5 in the world to number 2, yet she is still 4000 points behind the world number 1, Swiatek. Following Sabalenka, it was the finalist, Elena Rybakia who received the second most points from the event – 1300. This has taken her up the rankings by 15 spots, showing a jump from 25 in the world to number 10. Naturally, this is a huge breakthrough for this young player, and she is officially a top-10 player as of January 30th, 2023.

Last but not least, the Polish player, Magda Linette, has enjoyed a leap of 23 places too following her performance in Melbourne. Amazingly, Magda Linette was not even seeded at this event, yet she made it all the way to the semi-finals before losing to Sabalenka. With this said, there were actually three other players who posted even greater jumps in the rankings this week. We had Donna Vekic rise by 31 spots to take a new ranking of 33, and this was matched by Linda Fruhvirtova who is now ranked 51.

However, the official ‘climber of the week’ goes to Lin Zhu. She made the 4th round at the Australian Open and has subsequently jumped 33 spots to number 54 in the world – an impressive achievement.

The Week’s Biggest Fallers – Keys, Collins, and Cornet Suffer

Grand Slam events provide opportunities for massive breakthroughs, as displayed by the rankings changes above. However, these are also events where players need to defend points, and if they fall short they can drop in the rankings quite severely. No player has felt this more than the American, Danielle Collins in the previous two weeks. As a reminder, Collins made the final of the 2022 Australian Open, meaning she had tons of points to defend. Sadly, she lost in the third round to Rybakina. 

As a result of this, Collins has dropped 29 rankings places this week, making her the week’s biggest faller. Her new ranking is 40, which is a seriously steep drop from 11 in the rankings prior to the Australian Open. And joining Collins with such a harsh drop is the French veteran, Alize Cornet. She lost in the first round to Leylah Fernandez, and since Cornet made the quarters last year, she lost a load of points. This has resulted in a drop of 23 places to a new position of 58. 

As for movement towards the top, it wasn’t a great rankings run for Madison Keys over the past fortnight either. Keys made the semi-finals in 2022, yet she bowed out in the third round this year. This has caused a slide of 11 places, taking her from 13 to 24 – a significant change.

Top Rankings Stories – Sensational Sabalenka

Of all the movements witnessed in the WTA rankings over the past fortnight, I’ve got to discuss Aryna Sabalenka as the top story. It’s always a special moment when a player takes their first Grand Slam title. And we can probably all agree that Sabalenka deserved to take the title at the Australian Open. Prior to the event, Sabalenka won the Adelaide International warm-up tournament, which gave her plenty of confidence ahead of this slam.

Sabalenka then entered the tournament as the 5th seed, and she certainly lived up to the hype. Impressively, Sabalenka didn’t even drop a set until the final when she faced the big-hitting Rybakina. Yet despite losing the first set in the final, Sabalenka showed the tennis world once again why she is one of the dominant forces at the moment. She battled back like a true champion and took the win in three sets, earning her first Grand Slam title. 

She is now the number 2 player in the world too, and she could even take the top spot if this form continues.

Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!