The top players are still on a break from the WTA – many will play Fed Cup next weekend – until the Stuttgart Premier and Madrid Premier Mandatory events.
So it was one of those “gap” weeks that allowed lower-ranked players to take advantage and go for some smaller titles.
Mission accomplished, as two more winners extended the streak of first-time 2019 champions to 18.
Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Elina Svitolina, Sloane Stephens, Serena Williams, and Caroline Wozniacki are among the players ranked in the top 15 who have yet to win a title this season.
So that definitely helps the streak, as these six boast more than 150 career titles between them – nearly half of them from Williams alone.
As a result, though, there are only a couple of tiny changes in the top 50.
ON THE UPSWING
Amanda Anisimova (USA): No. 74 ———> No. 54 (The 17-year-old’s first career title leaves her just 50 ranking points out of the top 50, and at a career high – even though only Venus and Serena have fewer tournaments on their 52-week ranking).
Polona Hercog (SLO): No. 89 ———> No. 64 (The 28-year-old from Slovenia wins her third career title in Lugano – her first since back-to-back trophies in Bastad in 2011 and 2012).
Vitalia Diatchenko (RUS): No. 95 ———> No. 73 (Another 28-year-old makes a big jump, and is just two off her career-best ranking from Nov. 2014. Diatchenko didn’t drop a set in winning a $60,000 ITF in Istanbul. After losing in the first round of qualifying in Miami, the Russian has gone on a 15-match win streak (with the loss of only two sets) through a pair of $60Ks and a $25K in the U.K.).
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS): No. 83———> No. 76 (The 21-year-old is at a career high both in singles, and in doubles at No. 42. She went from the final in Charleston with Anna-Lena Groenefeld all the way to Lugano, where she reached the final with Galina Voskoboeva. Before Charleston, her doubles ranking had been No. 98).
Kristyna Pliskova (CZE): No. 101 ———> No. 87 (The lefty twin gets back into the top 100 with her effort in Lugano).
Iga Swiatek (POL): No. 115 ———> No. 88 (The 17-year-old, who along with fellow 17-year-old Anisimova, makes a nice leap in the rankings, and also ensures herself direct entry into Roland Garros. A year ago, Swiatek was in the junior event, where she lost to Caty McNally in the singles semi-final. She teamed up with McNally to win the doubles).
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS): No. 109 ———> No. 100 (The former French Open champion does what she needed to do to get into the main draw this year on her ranking, after a successful return to action in Lugano).
Astra Sharma (AUS): No. 138———> No. 102 (The 23-year-old Vanderbilt grad also will check in to Paris in the main draw, after going from the qualifying to the final in Bogotá. It will be only the second Grand Slam main draw of Sharma’s career, after she qualified in Melbourne in January).
Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA): No. 165 ———> No. 124 (The 22-year-old makes a comforting leap in the rankings after a good effort in Bogotá).
Rebecca Marino (CAN): No. 204 ———> No. 184 (The Canadian’s Kashiwa final and Osaka quarterfinal both show up this week).
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL): No. 438 ———> No. 333 (The 17-year-old’s outstanding performance before her home-country fans means a big leap in the rankings).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL): No. 55 ———> No. 59
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA): No. 63 ———> No. 66
Vera Lapko (BLR): No. 65 ———> No. 70
Samantha Stosur (AUS): No. 73 ———> No. 77
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN): No. 77 ———> No. 81
Johanna Larsson (SWE): No. 87 ———> No. 95
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK): No. 66 ———> No. 105 (The Slovak, who was defending a title in Bogotá, tumbles down in the rankings. But she still should squeeze in at the French).
Caroline Dolehide (USA): No. 180 ———> No. 229
Francoise Abanda (USA): No. 232 ———> No. 244
ON THE PARIS BORDERLINE
This week’s events were the final ones that counted for direct entry into the French Open.
The deadline is Monday.
Sharma, obviously, got the job done just in time and will play her first Roland Garros.
Swiatek also put herself straight in, while the returning Svetlana Kuznetsova did enough to not have to worry about being on the borderline, with 108 direct entries.
(The French is the only remaining Slam that maintains a reduced 96-player qualifying draw for the women. If it were 128 only the top 104 would get into the main draw, with 16 qualifiers instead of 12).
Lara Arruabarrena didn’t do enough in Bogotá, and thus dropped from No. 106 to No. 117. She will be out of luck. The Spaniard made the semifinals, which is a great result. But she was a finalist a year ago.
Ekaterina Makarova hasn’t yet entered the French. But she has played just three singles matches this year, and none since Dubai. (She won the doubles in St. Petersburg and reached the final in Dubai). So you wouldn’t expect her to play.
The Russian’s spot in the top 108 would balanced out by Shelby Rogers, who’s entered with a injury protected ranking of No. 81.
Another question mark is Camila Giorgi.
(Screenshots from WTAtv. For the complete WTA Tour rankings picture, click here).