After the Australian Open, with all the ranking points at stake, the rankings move quite a bit.
Notable on the women’s side is champion Sofia Kenin.
Kenin came into the tournament ranked a career-high No. 15, and was seeded No. 14.
A year ago, ranked No. 52, she won the small Hobart event the week before Melbourne. And then, she reached the second round in both Auckland and at the Australian Open, where she gave Simona Halep all she could handle.
That was 380 points in all – 280 of them from Hobart.
She left Australia 12 months ago ranked No. 37.
This year, she lost in the second round in Brisbane (to Naomi Osaka) and Adelaide (to a red-hot Danielle Collins). And she won in Melbourne. That’s a total of … 2,110 points.
The result is that, having arrived Down Under at No. 14, she cuts that in half and heads to Fed Cup in Washington ranked No. 7 – and as the No. 1 American woman. That, in theory, could allow Serena Williams to play No. 2 singles. Which is a heck of a No. 2 singles.
Meanwhile, Ashleigh Barty’s semifinal effort means she still has a pretty massive lead on the field; she’s more than 2,200 points ahead of No. 2 Simona Halep.
ON THE UPSWING
Simona Halep (ROU): No. 3=========> No. 2
Elina Svitolina (UKR): No. 5 =========> No. 4 (The Ukrainian lost badly in the third round, dropped 300 points over last year – and still rose a spot because of the Osaka drop).
Belinda Bencic (SUI): No. 7 =========> No. 5 (Bencic reaches the top five for the first time in her career, even with a third-round result – which was the same result as in 2019).
Sofia Kenin (USA): No. 15 =========> No. 7 (The champion leaps into the top 10 – and has a whole year before she has to worry about defending).
Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP): No. 32 =========> No. 16 (The finalist gets back closer to where she should be).
Maria Sakkari (GRE): No. 23=========> No. 21 (A career high, and just a couple hundred points out of the top 20).
Anett Kontaveit (EST): No. 31 =========> No. 22
Julia Goerges (GER): No. 39 =========> No. 31
Ons Jabeur (TUN): No. 78 =========> No. 45 (A top-50 debut and a career best for the first-time quarterfinalist).
Iga Swiatek (POL): No. 56 =========> No. 48 (Still just 18, Swiatek debuts in the top 50 and posts a career high).
Coco Gauff (USA): No. 67 =========> No. 51 (A fourth-round effort, and a career high).
Taylor Townsend (USA): No. 79 =========> No. 72
Arantxa Rus (NED): No. 93 =========> No. 77 (The queen of the Futures circuit in 2019 made the second round in Melbourne, and the final of Andrezieux-Boutheon last weekend).
Greet Minnen (BEL): No. 119 =========> No. 104 (A career high for the Belgian, who qualified in Melbourne but is close to not having to do that again).
Barbora Krejcikova (CZE): No. 128 =========> No. 112 (The Czech qualified and made the second round in singles, to reach a career high. Not only that, she’s talking home the big trophy in the mixed doubles).
Leylah Annie Fernandez (CAN): No. 207 =========> No. 185 (A career high after qualifying for the Australian Open main draw in her first attempt at making a Slam. She heads to Switzerland for Fed Cup as the No. 2 Canadian, still).
Coco Vandeweghe (USA): No. 226 =========> No. 189 (She’s slowly getting her ranking back up after missing much of 2019, with a quarterfinal effort in Newport Beach).
Catherine Bellis (USA): No. 600 =========> No. 297 (She can play with a protected ranking of No. 43 for awhile yet. But halving her “true” ranking with a third-round effort in Melbourne is a great start).
ON THE DOWNSWING
Naomi Osaka (USA): No. 4 =========> No. 10 (She’s still in the top 10, despite a third round loss to the teenaged Coco Gauff).
Petra Kvitova (CZE): No. 8 =========> No. 11 (The quarters isn’t a bad result, but it’s not a final).
Dayana Yastremska (UKR): No. 21=========> No. 26 (There was a lot of talk about her before Melbourne. But she lost in the second round)
Amanda Anisimova (USA): No. 24 =========> No. 29 (There will be better Slams to come for Anisimova, playing her first after the loss of her father and going down in the first round).
Sloane Stephens (USA): No. 27 =========> No. 35 (Stephens may find herself unseeded by the time the next major rolls around. But her first-round loss in Melbourne was desultory).
Anastasija Sevastova (LAT): No. 33 =========> No. 41
Danielle Collins (USA): No. 25 =========> No. 50 (Last year’s surprise semifinalist goes out in the second round, and just hangs on in the top 50. The computer is a cruel mistress, because it means she has work to do to get straight into the biggest non-Slam events).
Venus Williams (USA): No. 55 =========> No. 66 (Another first-round Slam exit to Gauff, and another drop in the rankings for the 39-year-old).
Urszula Radwanska (POL): No. 221 =========> No. 263 (She finally gets back to the Slam qualifying stage, but lost in the first round in Melbourne and the first round of the Burnie ITF).
Katherine Sebov (CAN): No. 254 =========> No. 264 (Drops 10 spots, but the No. 3-ranked Canadian woman in singles).
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN): No. 212 =========> No. 267 (Some numbers are still hard to get used to. But Bouchard lost in the final round of Australian Open qualifying, then went to Newport Beach and lost a shocker in the first round to Alexa Glatch).
Timea Bascinszky (SUI): No. 180 =========> No. 269 (The former top-10 player hasn’t been on the court since last September. She’s on the roster for Switzerland for Fed Cup next week. Bascinszky lost to Muguruza in the third round in Melbourne a year ago).
Maria Sharapova (RUS): No. 145 =========> No. 369 (It’s a shocking number, even if Sharapova can get lots of top-20 wild cards to play whenever the body will allow).
Françoise Abanda (CAN): No. 343 =========> No. 373 (The spirit is willing, but the body is less cooperative for the former No. 1 Canadian).
Katie Boulter (GBR): No. 315 =========> No. 441 (Boulter, too, can play with a protected ranking – No. 85 – after suffering back issues last year).