Here's the weekend wrap:
- Angelique Kerber adds to her Premier haul: Two important stats to keep in mind when evaluating Kerber's season so far. Prior to 2015 she won just one Premier title and last year she was 0-4 in finals. On top of that, she started her season with an 8-9 record through March. Then somewhere in Charleston, she found her game. Kerber has been on an absolute tear over the last five months, tallying 30 wins to just five losses and notching four Premier titles. On Sunday she kept her perfect record in finals this season with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 win over Karolina Pliskova to win the Bank of the West Classic. The win moves Kerber up to No.11 and puts her at No.6 on the Road to Singapore.
- The Care Bear Slam: With titles on the green clay in Charleston, red clay in Stuttgart, grass in Birmingham, and now hard court at Stanford, Kerber has won four different titles on four different surfaces this year. (H/t to @4AllSurfaces for that moniker.)
- Sloane Stephens finally gets her first WTA title: Prior to the Citi Open, Stephens was the only woman in the Top 40 yet to make a WTA final. She went one further and tallied her first WTA title. She snapped Sam Stosur's eight-match winning streak in the semifinals with a 7-6(4), 6-0 win and then rolled past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Sunday, winning 6-1, 6-2.
turn the tuna into lobster. pic.twitter.com/4Pi14BeASa
- Karolina Pliskova moves up to No.5 in the RTS: She fell to 1-4 in finals this season, but she still leads in the tour in the number of finals contested this year (Serena Williams and Kerber are tied for second at four finals apiece). Pliskova makes her Top 10 debut on Monday at No.8, but she told reporters her Top 10 debut wasn't as significant of a milestone for her. She has bigger goals. The first is to make the second week at the US Open. The second is to qualify for Singapore.
- In addition to Pliskova, Elina Svitolina and Belinda Bencic move up: Svitolina did well in Stanford to make her fourth semifinal of the season, where she lost to Kerber. The 20-year-old Ukrainian cracks the Top 15 for the first time in her career at No.15. Meanwhile, Bencic became the first woman born after 1996 to break into the Top 20, landing at No.20.
- Agnieszka Radwanska and Kerber put on a show: If you missed the quarterfinal between these two friends in Stanford on Friday night, cue up a replay. Kerber rallied to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, but this incredible display of shot-making made for a two hour highlight reel. It was one of the most entertaining matches of the season and definitely one of the most high-quality from start to finish.
- Other notable results from last week: Top seed Ekaterina Makaraova was forced to retire in the semifinals to Pavlyuchenkova with a right leg injury.... 44-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm rallied from 6-1, 4-1 down to beat Sabine Lisicki 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 in the first round in Stanford.... Louisa Chirico, 19, earned her first career WTA win at the Citi Open and went on to make the quarterfinals.... Christina McHale, still on the comeback trail, scored her first quarterfinal of the season in Washington.... Alison Riske earned her second win over a Top 10 player, beating Carla Suárez Navarro en route to the Stanford quarterfinals.
- Stat of the week: Stephens' maiden title run made it four consecutive weeks in which a first-time titleist has been crowned (Larsson - Bastad; Tsurenko - Istanbul; Gasparyan - Baku; Stephens - Washington).
- Photo of the week:
- Video of the week:
? WTA (@WTA) August 8, 2015
- Quote of the week: Pliskova told reporters she did not have much time to explore Stanford during her week. One thing she really wanted to do was hang out at the hotel pool, but she would leave Stanford without even that small indulgence. Said Pliskova: "It's better to be in the final than in the pool."