If it feels like the Laver Cup kind of sucked up all the tennis oxygen this past weekend, there was a whole lot else going on in that part of tennis that … you know … hands out ranking points and such.
Notably, Naomi Osaka returned to the city of her birth, having shed coach Jermaine Jenkins as her father Léonard Françoise took the reins.
And she won the tournament.
In Guangzhou, Sofia Kenin fought off wild card Samantha Stosur in a great effort for the American, and an encouraging one for the 35-year-old Aussie.
And finally, in Seoul, Korea, Karolina Muchova won her first career WTA Tour title with a 6-1, 6-1 mashing of a player who won her first title in the Bronx the week before the US Open: Magda Linette.
There were no moves in the top 10. But most of them (other than Serena and Andreescu) will be in action in Wuhan this week.
ON THE UPSWING
Angelique Kerber (GER): No. 15 ============> No. 12 (Kerber makes a jump in a tight section by making the Osaka semifinals)
Madison Keys (USA): No. 16 ============> No. 13 (Keys retired in the quarterfinals, but still jumps three spots – before pulling out of Wuhan with the foot injury).
Sofia Kenin (USA): No. 20 ============> No. 17 (A career high for the 20-year-old, who picked up her THIRD title of the season in Guangzhou).
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS): No. 41 ============> No. 36 (The 28-year-old reaches the Osaka final in her first tournament with coach Sam Sumyk).
Karolina Muchova (CZE): No. 45 ============> No. 37 (It’s been a breakthrough season for the 23-year-old, who can certainly aspire to a seeding in Australia because she has just 10 points to defend the rest of the way).
Magda Linette (POL): No. 48 ============> No. 42 (The 27-year-old hits another high, after the Seoul final).
Yafan Wang (CHN): No. 58 ============> No. 48 (Seoul semis – and a new career high as she jumps into the top 50 for the first time at age 25).
Anna Blinkova (SUI): No. 76 ============> No. 66 (Career best for the 20-year-old Guangzhou semifinalist).
Samantha Stosur (AUS): No. 129 ============> No. 92 (Getting back into the top 100 has to feel good, after a great effort to reach the Guangzhou final as a wild card).
Nina Stojanovic (SRB): No. 110 ============> No. 98 (Quietly, the 23-year-old Serb has jumped into the top 100 after going 10-2 in three events in China this month. She finished 2018 ranked No. 244).
Nicole Gibbs (USA): No. 137 ============> No. 121
Varvara Gracheva (RUS): No. 176 ============> No. 144 (Another teenager hits the top 150 as the Russian wins an ITF in St-Malo. At the end of 2018 she was No. 447).
Marta Kostyuk (UKR): No. 215 ============> No. 182 (Still just 17, the prospect from Ukraine dropped out of the top 200, but is on her way back after a two-month absence, with a final in St-Malo).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Qiang Wang (CHN): No. 12 ============> No. 16 (The 2018 Guangzhou champion lost in the first round this year. Coming up: 350 points for her semifinal in Wuhan, 390 for her semi in Beijing and 180 for her Hong Kong final – where she can’t even play this year because of the cancellation. She’ll face a more packed field in Tianjin. Wang also made the Zhuhai final. That’s 1560 more points to defend – she has 2,668 total right now).
Victoria Azarenka (BLR): No. 43 ============> No. 47 (A tough first round against Vekic in Wuhan – but she pulls out with a shoulder issue).
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS): No. 42 ============> No. 49
Camila Giorgi (ITA): No. 54 ============> No. 64 (The quarters in Japan weren’t enough, as she was a semifinalist a year ago after defeating Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka before falling to Osaka in the semis).
Bernarda Pera (USA): No. 71 ============> No. 81
Andrea Petkovic (GER): No. 77 ============> No. 85
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK): No. 96 ============> No. 109
Daria Gavrilova (AUS): No. 105 ============> No. 122 (The year to forget continues).
Maria Sharapova (RUS): No. 135 ============> No. 138
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN): No. 152 ============> No. 157 (Back in action at a $60,000 ITF tournament in Templeton, Calif. this week).
Mandy Minella (LUX): No. 154 ============> No. 174 (The 33-year-old got back into the top 100 this this summer. But she’s been dropping since).
The road to Shenzhen
A few small moves, as Osaka solidifies her likely spot.