It was a great week for Karolina Pliskova, who survived the Rome draw and won a pretty big title.
She moves to No. 2 in the rankings with that effort, one spot below her career high (which was brief, but still at the top of the charts).
Is she a favorite for the French Open?
The way things are going, who really knows.
Pliskova defeated Jo Konta in the final. And the Brit’s appearance on Sunday was by far the bigger surprise. But she’s in good form, and there’s no reason she can’t try to do some damage in Paris – especially as she’s picked off a seed with the Rome results.
Meanwhile, after seeing her No. 1 ranking threatened over the last month, Naomi Osaka has put 800 points between herself and Pliskova at No. 2.
She’s only got a week to heal that hand/thumb issue, though. So you hope it’s nothing alarming.
(For the complete WTA Tour rankings, click here).
ON THE UPSWING
Karolina Pliskova (CZE): No. 7 ============> No. 2
Serena Williams (USA): No. 11 ============> No. 10 (Yes, she’s back in the top 10, after winning just one match in Rome before pulling out. She will see the effects of her lack of matches when it gets to Wimbledon, and the US Open, where she has so many of her points stockpiled).
Bianca Andreescu (CAN): No. 23============> No. 22 (She hasn’t played since Miami but hey, why not another career high?)
Johanna Konta (GBR): No. 42 ============> No. 26 (The Verdasco of the women’s side jumps into a seeded spot in Paris on the strength of a great week in Rome. Timing is everything!)
Maria Sakkari (GRE): No. 39 ============> No. 29 (The Greek star also is at a career high. And with her Rome effort she, too, will be seeded in Paris).
Sofia Kenin (USA): No. 37 ============> No. 34
Victoria Azarenka (BLR): No. 51 ============> No. 44 (The former No. 1 is getting her opportunities now. And she has taken some of them. But her body has let her down. On the plus side, she won the doubles in Rome with Ashleigh Barty; they will team up in Paris as well).
Amanda Anisimova (USA): No. 54 ============> No. 51
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA): No. 63============> No. 54 (The former top-10 player is getting a nice boost from the hiring of new coach Sascha Bajin. We just wish they could decide what language to use in those on-court consults).
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN): No. 78 ============> No. 77 (She hasn’t played since losing in the first round of Miami qualifying. But she’s due back for the French Open after skipping the clay-court swing).
Bernarda Pera (USA): No. 115 ============> No. 83 (The 24-year-old American didn’t drop a set in winning the $100K in Slovakia last week. And she made the semis in Prague last month. So she’s back on a bit of a roll. But she’ll need a couple of quick withdrawals to get straight into the French Open).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Angelique Kerber (GER): No. 3 ============> No. 5 (Being out of the top four seeds might hurt a little. But we’ll see).
Elina Svitolina (UKR): No. 6 ============> No. 9 (As with Kerber, Svitolina drops a tier in the rankings, out of the top 8. Which means if she gets to the fourth round, she could meet one of them).
Danielle Collins (USA): No. 30 ============> No. 33 (Looks like the American will find herself nine ranking points out of a French Open seed).
Jelena Ostapenko (LAT): No. 27 ============> No. 40 (The 2017 French Open champion will be unseeded in Paris, where she lost to Kateryna Kozlova in straight sets a year ago as she attempted to defend her title. At least, this year, the pressure will be off).
Maria Sharapova (RUS): No. 35 ============> No. 49 (The Russian was racing the clock to get her shoulder ready for Paris, but ran out of time. Hopefully she can play at Wimbledon. But it’s been a tough year).
Daria Gavrilova (AUS): No. 55 ============> No. 63 (The Aussie hit No. 20 just before the 2017 US Open. But there’s really not much good happening. And she drew younger countrywoman Barty, the No. 1 seed, in the first round in Strasbourg).
Vera Lapko (BLR): No. 86 ============> No. 101
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS): No. 89 ============> No. 102 (The Russian will try to make some of that up this week).
Johanna Larsson (SWE): No. 104 ============> No. 111 (The 30-year-old Swede is defending her Nürnberg title – and 280 points – this week. And she drew Kuznetsova in the first round. Without those points, she’s down around No. 185).