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It’s been a feisty few weeks on the WTA Tour since our last rankings update. The last update covered the WTA rankings on May 8th. And much like the ATP Tour, the rankings updates this week cover a two-week period. However, unlike the ATP Tour, an additional two WTA tournaments were played and completed during the second week of the Italian Open. These were both WTA 125 events, and they were played in France and Italy, respectively.
Of course, any players who weren’t involved in the Italian Open flocked to these events in order to scoop up points ahead of Roland Garros. That’s why the WTA rankings updates have been quite interesting as you look beyond the top 50. I say that because the top 50 were primarily competing in the Italian Open. And with three tournaments impacting the rankings changes this week, I’ve got all kinds of intriguing updates to share with you.
WTA Rankings Updates – Week Commencing May 22nd
As I’ve mentioned above, a total of three tournaments have caused adjustments in the rankings for May 22nd. Adding to that, the rankings adjustments this week are more significant than they are for other weeks on the WTA Tour. That’s because the rankings that are in place for this week are then used for the seeds and subsequent draw at the French Open. So for the players that performed well last week and picked up points, they’ve given their French Open prospects a serious boost.
Naturally, the opposite is true for those players who didn’t perform as well as they’d hoped last week. Anyway, my intention here is to give you the exact WTA rankings changes for both sides of the coin. Therefore, let me kick things off with the players who have risen through the ranks this week.
The Week’s Biggest Climbers – Parry, Kalinina, and Rybakina
I feel it’s most appropriate to start by discussing the winner of the Italian Open last week – Elena Rybakina. This player is just going from strength to strength in 2023. As you may remember, she made the finals of the Australian Open, she won Indian Wells, and now she’s won the Italian Open. In winning this tournament last week, she has earned enough points to reach her highest ranking ever – number 4. And with the results she’s been producing throughout the 2023 season, she really does deserve this spot.
However, her 2-place rankings jump, as significant as it is, doesn’t come close to the rankings increases of the other two players. Focusing on the WTA top 100, it’s Diane Parry who has secured the biggest rise. Parry, who is a bit of a rising star, has jumped by 32 places this week to reach a new ranking of 77. This has been helped by reaching an ITF semi-final, followed by her Challenger victory last week. And since she’s done this right before the French Open, the timing of such results could not be better.
Parry is joined by another rising star when it comes to ‘rankings climbers’ this week. As you’ve seen already, Kalinina has entered the category of top climbers this week. She went all the way through to the finals of the Italian Open as the 30th seed, yet she sadly had to retire midway through the final against Rybakina. But regardless of this withdrawal, she has secured enough points to jump up the rankings by 25 spots. This takes her to a new ranking of 25 ahead of Roland Garros, which is high enough to guarantee a seeded spot in the draw.
The Week’s Biggest Fallers – Liu, Anisimova, and Teichmann
While it’s been a fantastic week for the three players mentioned above, the same isn’t true for these three. On that note, the player who has suffered the biggest slump is Liu, by quite some margin. The young American has dropped 44 spots in the rankings this week, which is one of the most extreme drops I’ve seen in the 2023 season. She now finds herself at 100 in the WTA rankings, which is obviously catastrophic ahead of Roland Garros.
Then again, she’s not alone concerning rather hefty rankings slides this week. Liu is followed by Anisimova in the double-digit fall, as this American has also dropped by 28 spots. This takes Anisimova down to 89 in the rankings, which puts her outside of main draw contention for the 2023 French Open. However, since she had to withdraw from the Italian Open due to injury, it’s unclear right now as to whether she will even play Roland Garros.
Finally, it’s been another poor week for Teichmann. She was the 26 seed for the Italian Open, yet she lost her opening match to Grabher. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in a loss of points, and a fall in the rankings too. Teichmann now finds herself down at 75 in the world following a slide of 17 positions. And given her relatively average clay court season, she has added pressure to perform well at Roland Garros.
Top Rankings Stories – Rybakina Enters Top Five
Despite all of the changes in the WTA rankings this week, the top story has to be Rybakina entering the top five. As mentioned earlier, since she has now earned a ranking of number 4, she’s secured a personal best in terms of her ranking. Since she’s done that ahead of Roland Garros, she will take the 4th seed position. Needless to say, with the way in which she’s playing, all of the three seeds above her won’t want to see Rybakina’s name on their side of the draw.
This is especially true for Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka, as Rybakina has gotten the better of both of them in recent months. Of course, her huge game has helped her to beat these kinds of players and win the titles that she has won in 2023. Then again, Rybakina has just one Grand Slam trophy to her name, which came at Wimbledon in 2022.
Therefore, despite the multiple 1000 titles she’s won in 2023, I’ve no doubt that she will be hungry to add Roland Garros to her trophy cabinet.
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