Simona Halep returned to her winning ways after a unique Monday final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, winning her first trophy in Rome to bring her total to 22 career singles titles. The World No.2 edged past Karolina Pliskova after the Czech was unfortunately forced to retire midway through the second set with an injury.
Read more: Champions Corner: Halep reminisces in Rome
Under the revised ranking system, a player’s ranking will be comprised of her best 16 results in singles and best 11 results in doubles based on the points earned between March 2019 through December 2020.
That means that Halep and Pliskova’s Top 5 ranking spots will stay the same this week, with the Czech sitting at World No.4. Both players have been to the top before, and now Halep’s victory in Rome means she could have a shot to return to World No.1 next week at Roland Garros.
Two-time Rome champion Elina Svitolina is back in the WTA’s Top 5 after reaching the quarterfinals by defeating back-to-back Russian opponents Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Svetlana Kuznetsova at her first tournament since the break. With the move, Svitolina inches closer to her career-high ranking of World No.3, achieved in 2017, and bumps out Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin out of the Top 5, landing at No.6.
The rest of the WTA’s Top 10 remained unchanged heading into the French Open in less than a week, led by World No.1 Ashleigh Barty. The Aussie won’t be defending her trophy in Paris after pulling out of the tournament due to COVID-19 concerns.
Here are the full rankings - and here we highlight some of the biggest rankings risers for Monday September 21.
Garbiñe Muguruza (+2, No.17 to No.15): Two-time Grand Slam winner Garbiñe Muguruza is still on the climb. After starting out the year ranked World No.36, the former World No.1 is closing in on return to the Top 10 after a run to the semifinals in Rome - beating US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka along the way. Earlier in the season, Muguruza had recorded the best start of her career after reaching the quarterfinals or better at five tournaments in a row - including the Australian Open, where she reached the final.
Svetlana Kuznetsova (+5, No.38 to No.33): 35-year-old Svetlana Kuznetsova won back-to-back three set marathons in Rome to reach the round of 16. The effort bumps the Russian up to No.33, building on the pre-lockdown momentum that saw her reach the semifinals at the Qatar Total Open in Doha earlier this year.
Coco Gauff (+2, No.53 to No.51): Teen phenom Coco Gauff claimed her first clay court victory at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, checking off another box in a list of firsts for the youngest member of the WTA’s Top 100. Gauff defeated Ons Jabeur for the second time in as many months to reach the second round, before falling to Garbine Muguruza in straight sets. She now sits two spots off of her career-high ranking of No.49.
Anna Blinkova (+6, No.65 to No.59): Anna Blinkova rises six spots to reach World No.59 after coming through the qualifying rounds to reach the third round in Rome. Along the way, Blinkova took down Jil Teichmann, defeating the Lexington finalist in straight sets to win a spot in the main draw.
Danka Kovinic (+13, No.86 to No.73): Another qualifier who made big ranking moves in Rome is Danka Kovinic, who took down Julia Goerges and No.6 seed Belinda Bencic on her way to the round of 16. It’s the second time Kovinic records back-to-back main draw match wins this season, after a run to the Istanbul quarterfinals last where she also took down No.6 seed Alison Van Uytvanck.
Sara Sorribes Tormo (+8, No.78 to 70): Meanwhile in France, Sara Sorribes Tormo keeps chipping away at her ranking after lifting an ITF 80K trophy in Cagnes-sur-Mer. The Spaniard now sits at World No.70, a few spots away from her career high ranking of No.64, achieved last year after reaching the final at the WTA 125K event in Bol.