As France’s Caroline Garcia failed to defend her title in Wuhan, there is major movement in the top 10.
And the three players who made moves didn’t even post a great result. In fact, one of them – an exhausted Naomi Osaka – didn’t even play.
Garcia defeated Ashleigh Barty in the Wuhan final last year. And on the roll of her career, she backed that up with a win over Simona Halep in the Beijing final. And then, she got to the semifinals at the Tour Finals in Singapore.
She dropped four spots within the top 10 with her second-round loss to qualifier Katerina Siniakova in Wuhan – an emotionally difficult match, to be sure. But she has another … 1,625 points to defend the rest of the season.
The Frenchwoman faces qualifier Polona Hercog in the first round of Beijing Tuesday.
If she loses, she would drop a quarter of her total points, likely some 10 spots in the rankings. And, ranked No. 19 in the most updated standings on the road to Singapore, those points are in danger as well given she’s very unlikely to qualify,. That would drop her out of the top 20.
That may not seem like major damage. But inside the top 20, it’s a lot harder to gain those spots than it is to lose them. That’s evidenced by the herculean effort Garcia put in at year’s end a year ago to get there.
ON THE UPSWING
Petra Kvitova (CZE): No. 5 ——–> No. 4
Elina Svitolina (UKR: No. 6 ——–> No. 5 (Svitolina moved up despite losing her first match in Wuhan to eventual champion Sabalenka. She has quarterfinal points to defend in Beijing, and lost in the first round there. So that’s unlikely to stick).
Naomi Osaka (JPN): No. 8 ——–> No. 6 (That’s a pretty nice leap to make when you don’t even play a Premier 5!)
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR): No. 20 ——–> No. 16 (The Wuhan champion is finishing the season strongly and opening a lot of eyes).
Anett Kontaveit (EST): No. 27 ——–> No. 21 (The Wuhan final gives Kontaveit a career-high ranking.
Qiang Wang (CHNX): No. 34 ——–> No. 28 (A semifinal effort in Wuhan ends in tears. But the Chinese No. 1 leaps into the top 30).
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS): No. 39 ——–> No. 34
Katerina Siniakova (CZE): No. 47 ——–> No. 40
Monica Puig (PUR): No. 51 ——–> No. 42
Sofia Kenin (USA: No. 62 ——–> No. 51 (The obscure American has been climbing the ranks this year. And there are no players younger than her who are ranked higher. Only 20-year-olds Sabalenka (to whom she lost in the third round in Wuhan after getting through qualifying) and Osaka come close. Kenin ended 2017 ranked No. 113).
Mona Barthel (GER): No. 94 ——–> No. 83
Anastasia Potapova (RUS): No. 132 ——–> No. 93 (The 17-year-old sits one spot behind American Amanda Anisimova and into the top 100 for the first time, after going from the qualifying to the final in Tashkent. She also reached the final at the Moscow clay event this summer. Potapova hit the pro trail early; she has played just one junior event – the 2017 junior French Open – since reaching the Orange Bowl final nearly two years ago at age 15).
Olga Danilovic (SRB): No. 101 ——–> No. 97 (Another 17-year-old, who beat Potapova in that Moscow final, also moves into the top 100 for the first time. Last January, she lost in the third round of the Australian Open juniors. A year later, she’ll earn her way into the main draw with the grownups.
Fanny Stollar (HUN): No. 158 ——–> No. 131
Margarita Gasparyan (RUS): No. 299 ——–> No. 161 (After working on a protected ranking after an oft-delayed comeback from injury, the Russian with the one-handed backhand finally get the rankings jump she was looking for by winning Tashkent).
Rebecca Marino (CAN): No. 216 ——–> No. 190 (The comebacking Canadian breaks into the top 200 after the points from her win in the $25K in Lubbock, Texas a week ago are added to her resumé. She gained no ground last week in Templeton, Calif., but has another chance this week at a $60K event in Stockton, Calif.
ON THE DOWNSWING
Caroline Garcia (FRA): No. 4 ——–> No. 8
Serena Williams (USA): No. 16 ——–> No. 17
Ashleigh Barty (AUS): No. 17 ——–> No. 19
Alizé Cornet (FRA): No. 35 ——–> No. 39
Maria Sakkari (GRE): No. 29 ——–> No. 43 The 23-year-old lost in the first round of Wuhan to Wang. That wasn’t a bad loss, in retrospect. But a year ago, she went from the qualifying to the semifinals. So her ranking took the requisite hit).
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS): No. 41 ——–> No. 56 (A quarterfinalist in Wuhan a year ago).
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL): No. 55 ——–> No. 65 (That number still shocks).
Timea Babos (HUN): No. 56 ——–> No. 68
Magda Linette (POL): No. 70 ——–> No. 84
Elena Vesnina (RUS): No. 83 ——–> No. 96
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN): No. 107 ——–> No. 108
Varvara Lepchenko (USA): No. 105——–> No. 132
Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR): No. 84 ——–> No. 134 (That’s a big drop for Bondarenko. She hasn’t played since the US Open, but won Tashkent a year ago).
Vera Zvonareva (RUS): No. 134 ——–> No. 166