World No.2 Simona Halep can return to the No.1 ranking for the first time since January of 2019 and overtake Ashleigh Barty if she wins her second Roland Garros title over the next fortnight. World No.1 Barty, the defending champion in Paris, has chosen to skip the event.
The 28-year-old Romanian comes into Roland Garros after winning the title at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, her first title in Rome and third consecutive title of the shutdown-interrupted season. Having followed up her semifinal run at the Australian Open with a title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February, Halep resumed her winning ways after the restart with titles in Prague and Rome. She is now on a 14-match win-streak as she readies for Paris, where she will be a favorite for the title. A quarterfinalist last year, Halep lifted the title in 2018 and was a finalist in 2014 and 2017.
By winning the title in Rome last weekend, Halep’s ranking points increased to 7,255. A title run at Roland Garros would allow Halep to add 1,570 ranking points (2,000 points for the title, replacing 430 points for 2019 QF run), pushing her total to 8,825 to overtake Barty.
Under the revised ranking system, as Barty is not playing at Roland Garros, her ranking point total will stay at 8,717.
"Of course is gonna be beautiful to finish again No. 1, to get the place No. 1, but it's too far," Halep said. "I cannot think about winning the title in Roland Garros, because the tournament didn't start yet. But I am there. I will give my best. I will dream for it, for sure."
Halep has touched the No.2 or No.1 ranking in each of the last seven years, the longest streak since Stefanie Graf's incredible 11-season span.
Halep last held the No.1 ranking going into the 2019 Australian Open, where eventual champion Naomi Osaka ended the Romanian's 48-week reign atop the rankings by winning her second major title. Halep has held the No.1 ranking for a total of 64 weeks in her career, the 10th most all-time.
Total Weeks at No.1:
1. Stefanie Graf: 377
2. Martina Navratilova: 332
3. Serena Williams: 319
4. Chris Evert: 260
5. Martina Hingis: 209
6. Monica Seles: 178
7. Justine Henin: 117
8. Lindsay Davenport: 98
9. Caroline Wozniacki: 71
10. Simona Halep: 64
11. Victoria Azarenka: 51
12. Ashleigh Barty: 42
13. Amelie Mauresmo: 39
14. Angelique Kerber: 34
15. Dinara Safina: 26
Halep is set to play Spain's Sara Sorribes Tormo in the first round at Roland Garros.
Main draw play begins on Sunday, September 27th.