WTA Rankings Updates November 14th – Zheng takes riser of the year, Swiatek ends on top

We are certainly getting to the latter stages of the 2022 WTA season right now. And the higher-level tournaments are whittling down to just a handful still to go to close out the year. However, despite there being fewer tournaments at this point in the season, the points accumulated still have an impact on the WTA rankings. And I should also point out that the WTA rankings updates for this week take into account the WTA Finals. 

Swiatek WTA Rankings

This event concluded in Fort Worth on November 7th. So the actual rankings points that were gained or lost for that event have only been reflected in this week’s update. At the same time, the 125-level WTA event in Chile was also concluded on November 13th. So the results of this tournament, as well as other Challenger events have had an impact on the rankings this week.

Therefore, we’ve seen some movement in the WTA rankings because of the last seven days. And I’ve discussed these changes throughout.

Week Commencing November 14th – WTA Rankings Changes

As usual, I like to split the review of the WTA rankings updates into sections that are easy to link together and comprehend. For example, the movement inside the top 10 is pretty much solely based on the results of the WTA Finals. Whereas updates that have materialized elsewhere in the rankings have sprung from other sources. But regardless of the reasons behind the changes, there is still exciting information to share across the board. 

Movement Inside the Top 10

Just to remind you once again, the WTA Finals reached their conclusion on November 7th, so the results narrowly missed out on last week’s rankings update. However, the points have now been adjusted for each of the participants, which has led to some intriguing changes. Before the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, the top five were structured as Swiatek, Jabeur, Pegula, Gauff, and then Sakkari. However, the new top five as of November 14th is the same top three followed by Garcia at 4 and Sabalenka at 5.

As you may recall, it was Caroline Garcia who won the WTA Finals, beating Sabalenka in the final. And interestingly, because the tournament ended this way, they have both climbed by two spots in the WTA rankings. Garcia has gone from 6th to 4th, and Sabalenka has jumped from 7th to 5th. Of course, this means that certain players from last week’s top five have slid out of such a position. Specifically, Gauff has dropped from a career-high of number 4 to a new ranking of 7. And Sakkari has dropped from number 5 to number 6.

The remaining positions inside the top 10 include Kasatkina, Kudermetova, and Halep, taking spots 8-10, respectively. Both Kasatkina and Kudermetova picked up points thanks to their participation in the WTA Finals, whereas Halep has climbed due to points falling off from players ahead of her.

The Week’s Biggest Climbers

For our WTA climber of the week, this week’s award goes to Mayar Sherif. The 26-year-old Egyptian player has climbed 13 spots to her new position of number 50. This is a great achievement for her, as entering the WTA’s top 50 is no easy feat. And as you may have guessed, this leap in the rankings has sprung from the fact that she won the 125-level event in Chile last week. Sherif was indeed the number one seed at the event, but hey – you’ve still got to beat the players that are in front of you. 

Following on from Sherif, we have Danka Kovinic as the second biggest climber of the week. This player from Montenegro has risen by 8 spots in the rankings to her new position of number 71. She managed to achieve this by reaching the semi-finals at the LP Open in Chile last week – the same event that was won by Mayar Sherif. These two players will no doubt be competing in the remaining tournaments for the 2022 season too, unlike some of the bigger names.

So there could easily be more movement concerning these two over the coming weeks.

The Week’s Biggest Losers

There haven’t been any catastrophic drops in the WTA rankings this week, not as far as the top 100 go anyway. However, there has still been some movement down the ladder that I can report. And sadly, the week’s biggest loser goes to the Hungarian, Anna Bondar. She has fallen from number 71 in the rankings to number 78 – a drop of 7 spots. This drop hasn’t come from poor performances in any event last week. In fact, it’s come from the absence of competition.

Bondar hasn’t actually competed since the Transylvania Open back in October. She actually made the quarter-final of this tournament, which was a good result. But she hasn’t played in a single tournament since. Of course, this has meant that she has lost points based on her activity in the 2021 season. And the players surrounding her have picked up points by playing in various events, hence the 7-place drop witnessed in this week’s updates. 

Major Rankings Stories

Here’s a fun fact for you – the WTA Finals marks the conclusion of the official WTA rankings run for the 2022 reason. This may be the official end, but there are still tournaments to play where lower-ranked players can scoop up points. However, since this marks the end of the line for 2022 regarding the top players, we can actually identify the biggest movers of the season. And there is one player that tops the list in 2022 – Qinwen Zheng. 

At the beginning of the 2022 season, the Chinese player was ranked all the way down at number 143 in the WTA rankings. But thanks to a string of stellar performances throughout the year, Zheng has managed to become the official riser of the year. She’s gone from 143 in the rankings to number 25 within the space of 12 months – a huge leap by anyone’s standards. This meteoric rise of +118 spots in one year puts her at 33 more than the second biggest riser of the year, Martina Trevisan. 

So well done Zheng, and I will certainly be staying tuned to see how she performs in 2023.

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