Coming into the fourth quarter of the season, both Elina Svitolina and Aryna Sabalenka were up against it when it came to protecting their rankings: 2018 WTA Finals champion Svitolina faced falling to the lower reaches of the Top 10 if she did not qualify for this year's edition, while 2018 Wuhan champion Sabalenka could have plummeted out of the Top 20 after losing those points.
But both responded brilliantly under pressure. Svitolina made it to Shenzhen as the No.8 seed and once again showed some of her best tennis at the year-end finale, going undefeated in the group stages and reaching a second consecutive final, losing only to World No.1 Ashleigh Barty. Meanwhile, Sabalenka defended her Wuhan title in style before heading to Zhuhai to continue her stellar Chinese form, defeating Maria Sakkari, Elise Mertens, Karolina Muchova and Kiki Bertens to take the title - the tournament victory that had begun Barty's ascent to the summit this time last year.
Svitolina, who rises two places this week to finish the year at World No.6, has had a reversal of her usual pattern in 2019: previously, the Ukrainian had collected multiple trophies in 2017 and 2018, but failed to progress beyond the last eight of any major; this year, she posted stellar showings at three of the biggest tournaments of the season (including semifinals at Wimbledon and the US Open) to break that barrier, but went titleless for the first time since 2012. Sabalenka, by contrast, has bookended her season with Chinese titles, with Zhuhai her third of 2019 following Shenzhen and Wuhan, and moves up three spots for a year-end ranking of World No.11 - exactly where she ended 2018.
Here are the notable movers in the WTA Rankings for the week commencing 4 November, 2019.
Simona Halep (+1, 5 to 4): The Wimbledon champion did not get out of the group stages of the WTA Finals, but a brilliant comeback win over Bianca Andreescu in which she saved a match point was enough to ensure Halep's sixth consecutive season finish in the Top 4.
Elina Svitolina (+2, 8 to 6): The WTA Finals runner-up may have had an uncharacteristically bare trophy cabinet this year, but Svitolina will be heartened by the way she has begun to play her best tennis on the biggest stages - as well as her superb form in Shenzhen last week - after bouncing back from a knee injury that hindered the first half of her season. The Ukrainian's year-end ranking is her third consecutive Top 6 finish.
Aryna Sabalenka (+3, 14 to 11): The Belarusian experienced both ups and downs in 2019 as she sought to back up her breakthrough 2018, but ultimately it has been a solid consolidatory season for her after a strong final quarter: three titles have seen her match her 2018 year-end ranking exactly.
Karolina Muchova (+5, 26 to 21): One of the breakout stars of 2019 with an aesthetically pleasing style to match, a semifinal showing in Zhuhai as the lowest-ranked qualifier has boosted the Czech to a career-high ranking on the edge of the Top 20 - one that will see her make her debut as a Grand Slam seed at the Australian Open in January, having ended 2018 all the way down at World No.145.
Dayana Yastremska (+2, 24 to 22): The Ukrainian teenager may have missed out on getting out her Zhuhai group, but a solid win over Donna Vekic ensures that she finishes her first full WTA Tour season at a career high, up 38 places from her 2018 finish.
Zhu Lin (+12, 95 to 83): The Chinese No.6 began to make an impact on the WTA Tour in 2019 with results such as a defeat of Elise Mertens in Dubai and a quarterfinal finish in Nanchang, and last week the 25-year-old took the Liuzhou ITF W60 title, defeating Arina Rodionova in the final, to leap to a new career-high ranking.
Nina Stojanovic (+15, 101 to 86): Since July, the Serb's rise has been unstoppable: Stojanovic finishes the year having won 31 of her last 39 matches, picking up her third ITF title of 2019 - and biggest to date - at the Poitiers W80 a fortnight ago, defeating Vitalia Diatchenko and Liudmila Samsonova in the last two rounds. The 23-year-old, who has also posted three quarterfinal WTA Tour runs this year as well as her semifinal debut in Nanchang, hits a new career high as a result.
Danka Kovinic (+20, 108 to 88): Having hit a career high of World No.46 in February 2016, the first Montenegrin to reach the Top 100 was unable to sustain her progress and fell back out of that echelon in April 2017. But a year of steady grinding on the ITF World Tennis Tour, as well as reaching the final of the Bastad 125K in July and the Tashkent quarterfinals in September, has seen Kovinic slowly rebuild her ranking - culminating in a title run two weeks ago at the Szekesfehervar ITF W100 event, defeating Irina-Camelia Begu in the final, to mark her return to the Top 100.
Francesca Di Lorenzo (+16, 137 to 121): A former college tennis standout at Ohio State University, the American won her biggest title to date last week at the Toronto ITF W60 event, where she upset No.1 seed Kirsten Flipkens in the final. The result lifts 22-year-old Di Lorenzo, who also reached the second round of Toronto and the US Open this August, to a new career-high ranking.
Mandy Minella (+32, 169 to 137): This February, exactly one year after returning from maternity leave, former World No.66 Minella returned to the Top 100, having reached her maiden WTA final at the age of 32 at Gstaad 2018. Unable to sustain this progress, the Luxembourger fell back out in July - but last week saw her arrest her slide in style, snapping a five-match losing streak to capture the Tyler ITF W80 title, defeating Irina Falconi, Danielle Lao and Alexa Glatch en route to the trophy.
Cristina Bucsa (+41, 205 to 164): The Moldova-born Spaniard has largely flown under the radar to date - but after turning heads with an upset of Whitney Osuigwe in her Grand Slam qualifying debut at Wimbledon, Bucsa is continuing to rise rapidly. Having ended 2018 down at World No.346, the 21-year-old picked up the biggest title of her career last week at the Nantes W60 - defeating Tamara Korpatsch 6-2, 6-7(11), 7-6(6) in an epic final - to make her Top 200 debut in style.
Shelby Rogers (+43, 217 to 174): During a 13-month hiatus between March 2018 and April 2019 after rupturing her knee cartilage, the former World No.48's future in tennis was uncertain at times - and her return at WTA level was slow to pick up steam after Rogers won just three of her 12 Tour matches this year. But her comeback has gained momentum on the ITF World Tennis Tour in recent months, with a final run at the Macon W80 two weeks ago - including a 6-0, 6-0 quarterfinal victory over another returning player, CoCo Vandeweghe, but ending in defeat to Katerina Stewart - returning the American to the Top 200.
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (+28, 214 to 186): The US Open junior champion has begun turning her attention to the professional ranks - and the future continues to look bright. The Colombian, who reached her maiden WTA Tour quarterfinal as a wildcard in Bogota this April, posted a semifinal finish at last week's Asuncion ITF W60 event, losing to Sara Errani, to extend her win-loss record in the pros this season to 41-13 and crack the Top 200 for the first time - having ended last year at World No.723.
Oceane Dodin (+40, 232 to 192): Mysterious health problems, eventually diagnosed as medical vertigo, halted the Frenchwoman's career after she hit a career high of World No.46 in June 2017. As recently as this June, she was ranked as low as World No.509 - but, finally enjoying a sustained period of good health, the 23-year-old has been rocketing back up. Dodin has compiled a 35-13 record since Roland Garros, and a recent run of form including the Cherbourg ITF W25 title and a Poitiers ITF W80 semifinal has seen her return to the Top 200 for the first time since July 2018.
Sara Errani (+39, 239 to 200): The former World No.5's comeback has endured some torrid times this year, including losing nine of 11 matches between July and November. But last week, 2012 Roland Garros finalist Errani snapped out of that slump to reach the final of the Asuncion ITF W60 event, losing only to rapidly rising 18-year-old compatriot Elisabetta Cocciaretto, to return to the Top 200.