RTS Update: JJ Elite Eight Bound?
Published April 14, 2014 12:15
We may have had our first week without a Premier-level event in a while, but the two International-level events that took place this past week produced some crucial power shifts on the Road To Singapore leaderboard - a big singles shift from the heights of Bogotá and a doubles move from Katowice.
The most significant move in the singles leaderboard came from Jelena Jankovic, who went from ninth to eighth place, flip-flopping spots with Ana Ivanovic. Jankovic reached her first WTA final of the year in Bogotá, and though she wasn't able to go all the way - she fell to French upstart Caroline Garcia in the final - she got a step closer to the BNP Paribas WTA Championships presented by SC Global.
A further testament to her consistency this year is that she's one of just five players to win 20 or more matches at the WTA-level - Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska have 21 so far, while Jankovic, Dominika Cibulkova and Klara Koukalova have 20. Cibulkova could raise the bar in Kuala Lumpur this week.
Jankovic has qualified for the WTA Championships five times before and has reached the semifinals three times, in 2008 (falling to Venus Williams), 2009 (falling again to Venus Williams) and 2013 (falling to Serena Williams). She also qualified in 2007 and 2010 but didn't make it past the round robin.
This past week's WTA champions both made significant moves as well, with Bogotá winner Garcia jumping from 80th to 31st and Katowice winner Alizé Cornet making perhaps an even more significant move, going from 17th to 11th - just a few spots out of the elite eight that will go to Singapore.
Speaking of elite eights, this year's WTA Championships doubles competition was expanded from four to eight teams, and one team moved into the top eight in that leaderboard this week - Koukalova and Monica Niculescu, who won back-to-back WTA doubles titles at the start of the year in Shenzhen and Hobart and just reached their third final of the year together in Katowice, moved from ninth to eighth.
The top seven doubles teams are Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai, Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, Alla Kudryavtseva and Anastasia Rodionova and Cara Black and Sania Mirza.