The big news is that for the first time in her career, Romania’s Simona Halep is ranked No. 1.
She’s the fifth WTA Tour player to hit the top spot this season after Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova and Garbiñe Muguruza.
With the top four separated by about 700 points, and with all the points on offer at the year-end championships in Singapore, there is every change the group may be shuffled a bit before the 2017 season is said and done.
She’s the first Romanian woman to hold the top spot, and the 25th in the history of the WTA Tour rankings.
In another milestone effort, France’s Caroline Garcia jumps into the top 10 for the first time in her career. And, according to many, it’s long overdue given her talent level.
Garcia put in yeoman’s work in winning the Premier 5 event in Wuhan two weeks ago, and backing it up with a win in the Premier Mandatory tournament in Beijing last week.
On the Upswing
Caroline Garcia (FRA): No. 15 —————> No. 9 (the best two weeks of her career, and a well-deserved jump into the top 10 for the first time)
Barbora Strycova (CZE): No. 29 —————> No. 26
Daria Kasatkina (RUS): No. 34 —————> No. 29
Sorana Cirstea (ROU): No. 44 —————> No. 37
Varvara Lepchenko (USA): No. 67 —————> No. 60
Christina Mchale (USA): No. 71 —————> No. 65
Lara Arruabarrena (ESP): No. 90 —————> No. 80
Maria Sharapova (RUS): No. 104 —————> No. 86 (no more discussion of Slam wild cards as she jumps back into the top 100)
Asia Muhammad (USA): No. 144 —————> No. 133
Vera Lapko (RUS): No. 199 —————> No. 167 (career high for the 19-year-old, who win the $25K ITF in Clermont-Ferrand).
On the Downswing
Johanna Konta (GBR): No. 7 —————> No. 10
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL): No. 11 —————> No. 18 (That’s an awfully low number for the perennial top-10 player)
Shuai Zhang (CHN): No. 26 —————> No. 31
Catherine Bellis (USA): No. 40 —————> No. 44
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ): No. 47 —————> No. 54
Roberta Vinci (ITA): No. 88 —————> No. 99
Road to Singapore rankings
There’s one spot left in the singles for Singapore. And it’s Caroline Garcia’s to win and Johanna Konta’s to lose. Garcia, due to play in Tianjin this week, begged off after her busy Asian swing. Konta, who pulled out of Hong Kong, has the Moscow Premier next week to try to nail it down.
The tournament has said it won’t give Garcia a wild card, preferring to dispense them to Russian players.
Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski and Chinese partner Yifan Xu, along with veteran duo Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic (who is 42!) qualify for Singapore.
There is spot left, which likely will go to Maria José Martínez Sánchez and Andreja Klepac.
Points to defend this week
Caroline Wozniacki – 280 points
Dominika Cibulkova – 280 points
Peng Shuai – 280 points
Kristina Mladenovic – 180 points
Alison Riske – 180 points
Viktorija Golubic – 180 points
Jelena Jankovic – 110 points
Danka Kovinic – 110 points
Svetlana Kuznetsova – 110 points
Madison Keys – 110 points