10 Things To Know: No.7 Halep & More

Simona Halep rises to No.7, tying her for highest-ranked Romanian in WTA history... with whom? Also find out who's in Acapulco and Florianopolis, and send your birthday messages in for the WTA stars!

Published February 23, 2014 12:15

10 Things To Know: No.7 Halep & More
Simona Halep

Every week on wtatennis.com we'll bring you 10 of the most important things to know - who's playing, where, upcoming milestones... this week the Road To Singapore stops in Acapulco and Florianopolis.

Simona Halep has tied the record for highest-ranked Romanian in WTA history. She rises from No.9 to No.7 on this week's rankings, jumping over one of the only two other Romanians who had been ranked higher than her - former World No.8 Virginia Ruzici - and tying former World No.7 Irina Spirlea.

Kurumi Nara was already Japan's No.1 and is now in the Top 50. By virtue of winning her first WTA title at the Rio Open Nara rises from what was already her career-high - No.62 - into the Top 50 this week at her new career-high of No.49. She has won 12 of her last 15 matches in WTA main draws.

Three Top 20 stars are in action this week. There may be no Premier events this week, but the two International tournaments on the calendar have drawn a trio of Top 20 players to their courts.

Dominika Cibulkova and Eugenie Bouchard headline the field in Acapulco. The Slovak No.1 and Canadian No.1 haven't won any WTA main draw matches since their breakthrough runs in Australia but are hoping to get back on track at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL. The other seeds are Kaia Kanepi, Magdalena Rybarikova, Yvonne Meusburger, Bojana Jovanovski, Stefanie Voegele and Zhang Shuai.

Carla Suárez Navarro headlines the field in Florianopolis. The Spanish No.1 usually plays in Acapulco but this year has opted to play the Brasil Tennis Cup, which is in its second year on the tour. Rounding out the seeds are Garbiñe Muguruza, Klara Zakopalova, Francesca Schiavone, Monica Niculescu, Alexandra Cadantu, María-Teresa Torró-Flor and finally Paula Ormaechea.

There are some very strong doubles teams in action. Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld are the No.1 seeds in Acapulco, with Kristina Mladenovic and Galina Voskoboeva the No.2 seeds. In Florianopolis, Vania King and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova are the No.1 seeds and Monica Niculescu and Klara Zakopalova No.2. Niculescu and Zakopalova have already won two titles this year.

A lot of big WTA stars have birthdays this week. Li Na, Jelena Jankovic, Eugenie Bouchard, Flavia Pennetta and Klara Zakopalova all have birthdays in a bizarrely-packed birthday week.

Teliana Pereira is embracing her Brazilian No.1 status. Last year in Bogotá, Pereira became the first Brazilian to reach a WTA semifinal in 23 years - and this past week at her brand new home event in Rio de Janeiro she repeated the feat. This week she's in Florianopolis, and though she was originally supposed to play the qualifying, she received a special exemption into the main draw (one Special Exempt spot is held at each International event for a player who is unable to compete in qualifying due to her continuing participation in a Grand Slam, Premier or International tournament the week prior).

WTA Trivia: Simona Halep has now tied Irina Spirlea for highest-ranked Romanian in WTA history at No.7. What was Spirlea's best Grand Slam result and which current player ended that run?

WTA Trivia: On the subject of Romanians, the champion at the inaugural Brasil Tennis Cup last year was Monica Niculescu. But who held triple match point on her in the first round of that title run?

Monica Niculescu

* The answers are... Spirlea's best Grand Slam result was the semifinals of the 1997 US Open, where she lost to Venus Williams, and Anabel Medina Garrigues had triple match point against Niculescu.

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