WTA Rankings Updates March 20th 2023 – Huge Week for Muchova and Peterson

Following the completion of Indian Wells yesterday, the new WTA rankings have been released today – Monday, March 20th. And with Indian Wells being the only WTA-level event played last week, this is the only tournament that has influenced the rankings. However, while this is obviously a more condensed number of events than we see at other stages throughout the year, Indian Wells was a significant tournament. 

Indian Wells is a 1000-level tournament, meaning that 1000 points were obtained by the overall winner – Elena Rybakina. With that said, there were major rankings points available for those who made it into the latter stages of the tournament too. So even for those who might not have reached the semis or even the finals, there were still points galore to snap up. And the more points secured at Indian Wells, the more of an impact this has on an individual’s ranking, naturally.

WTA rankings update march 20th 2023

With that in mind, who has racked up the most points this week and who has failed to defend or increase their cumulative total? Let me take you through the new rankings right now.

WTA Rankings Updates – Week Commencing March 20th

It doesn’t matter if you look solely at the top 10 or at the top 100 this week, there have been rankings adjustments everywhere. This is quite different from other times of the year when the tournaments weren’t quite as significant as Indian Wells. And since there is another 1000-level tournament about to kick off, the opportunities for players to secure a boatload of points are far from finished. 

But coming back to those players who have secured plenty of points at the 2023 Indian Wells event, let me highlight the top performers right now.

The Week’s Biggest Climbers – Peterson, Muchova, and Rybakina Enjoy a Great Week

I should probably begin by focusing on the player that won Indian Wells this year – Elena Rybakina. This 23-year-old from Kazakhstan just keeps impressing with her dangerous game, and she blasted her way to the trophy in the desert. Along the way, she dispatched the world number one, Iga Swiatek, for the second time in the season. And she backed this up by avenging her loss to the world number 2 at the Australian Open. In case you missed it, Rybakina won the final by a score of 7-6 6-4, and this is her very first 1000-level trophy.

Because of this victory, Rybakina snapped up the full 1000 points and climbed the rankings by 3 spots to number 7. This means that out of the WTA top 10 players, she has progressed by the most positions in the last seven days. But while this is obviously fantastic for Rybakina, there were other players who enjoyed significantly greater rankings shifts this week. And one of them was a player that Rybakina actually beat in the quarter-finals – Karolina Muchova. This player got into the main draw of Indian Wells thanks to a protected ranking, and she definitely made it count.

In fact, she was the only player to take a set from the champion, interestingly enough. Furthermore, by reaching the quarter-final, Muchova has jumped by 21 places to take a new ranking of 55. But if you thought that was impressive enough, I haven’t introduced the official ‘climber of the week’ yet. This title goes to Rebecca Peterson, who made it through qualifying and into the 4th round before losing to Coco Gauff.

Thanks to this run, she has jumped 27 positions, moving from outside the top 100 to take the ranking of 76 in the world.

The Week’s Biggest Fallers – Rough Ride for Sakkari, Halep and Badosa

Given that there were so many points available this week, this also means that some players had plenty of points to defend! That’s just the nature of how the WTA rankings operate, and for an unfortunate few, the failure to defend points has caused quite a rankings shift. Starting with Maria Sakkari, despite making the semi-finals of Indian Wells, she dropped points and fell by 3 places from 7 to 10. This is because she made the final of the 2022 Indian Wells event, but also because she’s been leapfrogged by a couple of other players too.

However, this slide of 3 positions doesn’t look all that bad when we see how other top players have fared this week. As you may have anticipated, the other two players also had plenty of points to try and defend from this time last year. In the case of Simona Halep, her injury troubles prevented her from competing at the 2023 Indian Wells event. And since she made the semi-finals last year, she lost all of her Indian Wells points to produce a rankings drop of 6 places to number 25.

She is joined by Paula Badosa, who was also a semi-finalist at the 2022 Indian Wells event. And as far as top players go, this is the biggest drop since Badosa has fallen by 7 spots. Badosa is now ranked 29 in the world after failing to replicate the semi-final run of 2022. Then again, she didn’t have the best draw, as she lost to Rybakina, the tournament champion in the third round.

Top Rankings Stories – Rybakina Chasing for the Top Spot

I have to go with Elena Rybakina for the top WTA rankings story from the last seven days. As you’ve seen above, Rybakina won the tournament last week, taking all 1000 points and climbing to number 7 in the rankings. This takes her to a cumulative total of 3720 points, and with another 1000-level event in Miami next week, she’s got an opportunity to improve on this even further. However, she needs to really push for a good week in Miami if she is to overlap the players that are immediately ahead of her.

But given that she destroyed Iga Swiatek last week, while also beating Sabalenka in the final, I feel she really is a number-one ranking contender. Then again, she’d need to surpass Sabalenka’s total of 6740 and Swiatek’s total of 9975 if she is to capture these top positions. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but with the way she’s playing – I wouldn’t bet against it.

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