Simona Halep had an opportunity to take back the No. 1 ranking Saturday in Madrid.
But she needed to beat Kiki Bertens and win the tournament to do it.
Bertens (who moves up to a career high No. 4 with the title) was masterful.
And so the Japanese player Naomi Osaka keeps her No. 1 ranking through Stuttgart and Madrid. And she should be safe in Rome this week.
The droppers on the week were Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova, who didn’t defend their Madrid results from a year ago.
Halep was a finalist in Rome in 2018 (with 585 points), so it’s unlikely she’ll be able to mount a charge this week.
Osaka (who lost to Halep 6-1, 6-0 in Rome last year), defends only second-round points and has everything to gain.
ON THE UPSWING
Kiki Bertens (NED): No. 7 ==========> No. 4 (A career high for the low-profile Dutchwoman, who is one of the rare players on tour who keeps improving even at age 27, and won the biggest title of her career Saturday in Madrid).
Belinda Bencic (SUI): No. 18 ==========> No. 15 (Bencic, whose mastery of the top-five players has been impressive even with the loss to Halep in Madrid, moves up).
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT): No. 29 ==========> No. 27 (She’s not doing much, but at least the Latvian has kept herself within the seeds in Paris, where she won in 2017).
Petra Martic (CRO): No. 36 ==========> No. 28 (At 28, after coming back from injuries, the Croat is playing her best tennis and should be seeded at the French).
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ): No. 43 ==========> No. 38
Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK): No. 46 ==========> No. 43 (The Slovak with the fabulously loose arm hits a career high at age 21).
Kateryna Kozlova (UKR): No. 85 ==========> No. 66 (After qualifying in Madrid, the 25-year-old makes a nice move in the rankings – just a few off her career best of No. 62).
Vera Zvonareva (RUS): No. 82 ==========> No. 79 (It’s been a slow, steady climb back for the 34-year-old former No. 2, who reached the doubles semi in Madrid with Ostapenko).
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS): No. 101 ==========> No. 89 (With a wild card into Madrid, the Russian upset No. 10 Sabalenka in the first round and gave Bencic a tough time. With the effort, she should be just fine for Wimbledon).
Timea Bacsinszky (SUI): No. 108 ==========> No. 95 (It’s been a long road back from injury for the former top-10 player, who was outside the top 750 last August).
Stefanie Voegele (SUI): No. 113 ==========> No. 96 (the 29-year-old gets back into the top 100, but remains the No. 5 in Switzerland).
Heather Watson (GBR): No. 119 ==========> No. 110 (The former No. 38 has headed to the hinterlands to try to put things right with her sinking ranking. Perhaps winning singles and doubles at the $60K ITF in Fufuoka, Japan this week will help).
Lauren Davis (USA): No. 132 ==========> No. 112 (The former No. 26 – just two years ago – was down as far as No. 262 last October. But she’s coming back now. And a win in Bonita Springs Sunday earned her the French Open reciprocal wild card).
Whitney Osuigwe (USA): No. 124 ==========> No. 121 (The 17-year-old has made some hay on the spring ITF Har-Tru Circuit in the US and hits another career high. But she was edged out by Lauren Davis on the final day of qualifying for the USTA French Open wild card).
Ann Li (USA): No. 218 ==========> No. 167 (The 18-year-old wild card, a Wimbledon junior finalist in 2017, jumps into the top 200 and a career high after taking a wild card to the final in Bonita Springs, Fla.).
Rebecca Marino (CAN): No. 193 ==========> No. 178 (The comeback from retirement has had its fits and starts. But she was back in Japan this week on the ITF circuit after a trip back to Europe for Fed Cup. And a semifinal effort in Fukuoka helps the ranking).
Sara Errani (ITA): No. 260 ==========> No. 284 (The veteran Italian has a wild card into the main draw in Rome this week. But the ranking is quickly hitting a crisis point that’s been helped in no small part by a bad case of the serving yips).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Petra Kvitova (CZE): No. 2 ==========> No. 5
Karolina Pliskova (CZE): No. 5 ==========> No. 7
Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP): No. 27 ==========> No. 31 (It seems to be a bit of a mid-late career funk for the Spaniard, who turns 31 this year).
Maria Sharapova (RUS): No. 28 ==========> No. 35 (She intends to play both the French and Wimbledon. But she may well be unseeded in both).
Samantha Stosur(AUS): No. 83 ==========> No. 94 (The 35-year-old Aussie is hanging in there, but the ranking is definitely going in the wrong direction).
Kristyna Pliskova (CZE): No. 94 ==========> No. 108 (The lefty twin drops out of the top 100).
Katie Boulter (GBR): No. 92 ==========> No. 111 (The Brit is dealing with a back issue, and will be out for a bit).
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU): No. 97 ==========> No. 113 (The Romanian has had a rough go of it this year. But she just won two good matches in Rome qualifying this weekend, so perhaps things are looking up).
Bernarda Pera (USA): No. 84 ==========> No. 115 (The American drops a ton after losing in the first round of the ITF in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France last week. A year ago, she qualified and reached the third round in Madrid, beating Sabalenka and Konta on the way to a close loss to Suárez Navarro in the third round).
Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA): No. 365 ==========> No. 402 (The 34-year-old not only has undergone another knee surgery, she also has lost friend and doubles partner Lucie Safarova to retirement. She can still play on a protected singles ranking inside the top 100).