These are the “official” year-end rankings for the WTA Tour, as its season ends with Ashleigh Barty defeating Elina Svitolina to win the final event in Shenzhen.
It caps off a season in which she won her first Grand Slam title at arguably the most unlikely of Slams on the unlikeliest of surfaces, at the French Open in Paris.
She became No. 1. She lost No. 1. And in the end, she finishes right at the top.
As far as the “year-end rankings” go, though, there are plenty of ITF and WTA 125 tournaments to play for before 2019 ends.
So even if the players at the top will stay put, opportunities remain for all the other players to move up in the rankings.
ON THE UPSWING
Simona Halep (ROU): No. 5 ========> No. 4 (The Romanian finishes the season at No. 4, having won a round-robin match at the Tour Finals, but no more, after a big chunk of time off leading in).
Elina Svitolina (UKR): No. 8 ========> No. 6 (Reaching the final, after winning it a year ago, gets Svitolina halfway back to where she was before all the points dropped off).
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR): No. 14 ========> No. 11 (Sabalenka’s win in Zhuhai gets added on so that she finishes the season strong. But there’s a big gap between the top 10 and the rest).
Karolina Muchova (CZE): No. 26 ========> No. 21 (A year-end finish just outside the top 20, after reaching the Zhuhai final).
Lin Zhu (CHN): No. 95 ========> No. 83 (A career high for the 25-year-old after winning the Liuzhou ITF, and a berth in the 2020 Australian Open main draw. This year, she had to qualify).
Nina Stojanovic (SRB): No. 101 ========> No. 86 (A career high for Stojanovic, who will be straight into Australia and make her Grand Slam main draw debut).
Danka Kovinic (MNE): No. 108 ========> No. 88 (A nice return to form for the former No. 46)
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL): No. 99 ========> No. 95 (Her trip to the final in Toronto gave her a little breathing room in terms of the Oz Open. She’s entered in both Las Vegas this week and the Houston 125K the following week).
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU): No. 111 ========> No. 99 (Begu should squeeze into Melbourne, with her final in Hungary two weeks ago).
Francesca Di Lorenzo (USA): No. 137 ========> No. 121 (a career high for the American, who is coached by former tour player Ann Grossman, with a title in Toronto).
Lizette Cabrera (AUS): No. 154 ========> No. 131 (A career high for the Aussie, who sees points from both a final in Playford and a title in Bendigo added on).
Maddison Inglis (AUS): No. 145 ========> No. 134 (A second 21-year-old Aussie rises to a career high, after a semi in Playford and a final in Bendigo).
Mandy Minella (LUX): No. 169 ========> No. 137 (A title in Tyler, Texas helps the Luxembourgian).
Cristina Bucsa (ESP): No. 205 ========> No. 164 (A career high for the 21-year-old from Spain, who had a good two weeks).
Shelby Rogers (USA): No. 217 ========> No. 174 (Having used a protected ranking for much of the year, Rogers is now trying to grow her ranking organically. A final in Macon and a second round in Tyler lead to a big jump).
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL): No. 214 ========> No. 186 (The 17-year-old reaches a career high for the second straight rankings period after a quarterfinal and a semifinal in ITFs in South America. This is the teenager who reached the quarterfinals of her home-country WTA event in Bogota back in the spring, won the US Open juniors, and has been posting excellent results on the ITF circuit all before she turns 18 next month).
Oceane Dodin (FRA): No. 232========> No. 192 (The Frenchwoman, who has struggled with vertigo, is at least back in action).
Sara Errani (ITA): No. 239 ========> No. 200 (A final in Asunción this week helps the 32-year-old veteran to at least make it into the Australian Open qualifying).
Leylah Fernandez (CAN): No. 242 ========> No. 209 (A career high in singles after the results from three tournaments come onto her chart. She didn’t make more headway in Toronto in singles. But she and Mélodie Collard reached their second straight final; her doubles ranking went from No. 474 to No. 296. Partner Mélodie Collard, in two tournaments, went from … infinity to No. 459).
Indy de Vroome (NED): No. 358 ========> No. 257 (The 23-year-old from the Netherlands completes a great trip to Canada, winning one tournament and reaching the quarterfinals in the second, for a leap of nearly 100 spots).
Katerina Stewart (USA): No. 471 ========> No. 282 (The American, who spent a year at the prep academy at West Point and six months earlier this year as a manager and tennis instructor at an academy in Florida, wins in Macon and helps her ranking immensely).
Rebecca Marino (CAN): No. 280 ========> No. 286
Alexa Glatch (USA): No. 423 ========> No. 322 (The 30-year-old, who is back after several years out with injury, reaches the Tyler final and leaps nearly 100 spots).
Coco Vandeweghe (USA): No. 387 ========> No. 332 (The 27-year-old American missed much of the season, and does have a No. 100 protected ranking to play with. But she’s using the USTA circuit not only to get her ranking back up, but also to try to earn the USTA Australian Open wild card. With two quarter-finals so far, that probably won’t be enough).
Francoise Abanda (CAN): No. 388 ========> No. 350 (A semifinal in Saguenay was followed by a retirement in the second round of Toronto).
Irina Falconi (USA): No. 9999 ========> No. 702 (A good start from a ranking of … infinity with a quarterfinal in Macon).
Stacey Fung (CAN): No. 9999 ========> No. 875 (The 22-year-old Canadian out of the University of Denver puts herself on the rankings chart with a quarterfinal and a final on the ITF circuit in Mexico).
Isabella Kruger (RSA): No. 9999 ========> No. 961 (Just 14, Kruger gets on the rankings list after qualifying and winning a round at an ITF in Nigeria. Her sister Zoe, now 17, is at No. 721. They are the daughters of former South African rugby star Ruben Kruger, who was part of that mythical 1995 World Cup championship team. He died of brain cancer when the girls were very young. The family has since relocated to Bradenton, Fla. Longtime Maria Sharapova coach Thomas Hogstedt has been looking after these two).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Bianca Andreescu (CAN): No. 4 ========> No. 5 (The Canadian fell a little short (just 275 points) of a rather lofty goal of finishing in the top 3 for the year. But her battered body – and an untimely knee injury – scuttled her first appearance at the Tour Finals, even if it did nothing to tarnish her incredible 2019 season. A top-five finish is impressive, when you begin the season ranked No. 152 – or any time).
Amanda Anisimova (USA): No. 21 ========> No. 24 (A top-25 finish for the 18-year-old, who gathers the team in Florida this coming week to begin preparing for 2020).
Monica Niculescu (ROU): No. 105 ========> No. 116 (Will she play any more this year, to try to get into the Australian Open?)
Varvara Lepchenko (USA): No. 135 ========> No. 170 (It’s not ending well for the 33-year-old American, who had to bow out because of injury in Macon).
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN): No. 220 ========> No. 224 (The former No. 5 is due to return this week in Las Vegas. There are 80 points available at this event to thewinner, which is only 20 points more than you would earn for winning a … $25,000 tournament. Still, it’s an opportunity. If Bouchard could somehow shake off the rust and win it, she would hoist herself from No. 224 to about No. 175, with a WTA 125K event the next week in Houston).
Katherine Sebov (CAN): No. 192 ========> No. 256 (The Canadian takes a steep drop after failing to defend her Saguenay title from a year ago. she will try again this week in Las Vegas).