The Insider Wrap is a weekly recap of everything you need to know from the week that was. This week, WTA Insider looks back at at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma and the Serbia Ladies Open in Belgrade, where a Coco Gauff and Paula Badosa continued to sizzle and slide on clay.
Performance of the Week: Coco Gauff
The 17-year-old followed up her outstanding run to her first WTA 1000 semifinal in Rome by sweeping the singles and doubles titles at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma. The singles title was her first of the season, her second career-title (2019 Linz) and vaulted her up to a career-high No.25.
While Gauff's tournaments have generally been highlighted by gritty, protracted three-set grinds, Gauff lost just one set all week, beating Kaia Kanepi, Camila Giorgi, Amanda Anisimova, Katerina Siniakova and Wang Qiang in the final. That's a strong run of wins at a WTA 250 event.
Surprise of the Week: Reka Luca Jani
Resilience, thy name is Reka Luca Jani. The 29-year-old Hungarian was ranked No.220 heading into qualifying at the Serbia Ladies Open and had not played a WTA main draw since 2019 Lugano or notched a WTA main draw win since 2018 Strasbourg. She proceeded to notch three-set win after three-set win to make the first WTA quarterfinal of her career.
En route, Jani defeated Aleksandra Krunic and Jaqueline Cristian to qualify, then knocked off Tereza Martincova and Anna Kalinskaya before falling to Viktoriya Tomova, 7-5 in the third. Her win over Martincova was her first Top 100 win in three years and just the third WTA main-draw win of her career.
The 23-year-old Spaniard continued her stellar run through the clay season by capturing her first WTA title at the Serbia Ladies Open. Badosa has now won 13 of her past 15 matches, all on clay. During that stretch, she has advanced to the semifinals in Charleston and Madrid and won Belgrade.
A year ago, Badosa went into the Covid break hovering just inside the Top 100 at No.94. A year on, she has her first WTA title, her first WTA 1000 semifinal (Madrid) and is into the Top 40 and on the bubble to be seeded at Roland Garros.
Playing in just her fourth WTA main draw since returning to the tour after surgery, the Croatian advanced to her first final since 2017 Auckland. She was forced to retire with a hip injury to Badosa in the final and will have a quick turnaround for Roland Garros, where she is set to play her first qualifying match Tuesday.
From her win over Iga Swiatek en route to the Round of 16 in Miami, to wins over Yulia Putintseva, Nadia Podoroska and Maria Camila Osorio Serrano in Belgrade, it's been impressive to see just how quickly Konjuh has been able to make an impact on tour.
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano
It took the 19-year-old Colombian just six WTA events to make her Top 100 debut, becoming the fourth Colombian to break that barrier and the first since Mariana Duque Marino last did so in 2018.
19yo Maria Camila Osorio Serrano has played 6 WTA main draws in her career:— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 21, 2021
2018 Bogota: 1R
2019 Bogota: QF
2021 Monterrey: 1R
2021 Bogota: 🏆
2021 Charleston 250: SF
2021 Belgrade: SF (+?)
The 2019 US Open junior champion will make her Top 100 debut on Monday.
The Chinese star came into Parma having yet to win back-to-back matches since the tour restarted last summer. She leaves Italy having made her first clay-court final and her first final on any surface outside of China. It was a gritty week for Wang, who scored a 7-6, 3-6, 7-5 win over No.2 seed Petra Martic in the quarterfinals and rallied from 1-5 down in the second set to seal a 6-2, 7-6 win over Sloane Stephens in the semifinals.
There's just something about Katerina Siniakova when she faces top opponents. The Czech has struggled to find her singles game, having been in the Top 40 in 2019 but landing just inside the Top 70 as Parma began last week. Everything clicked for the Czech in her second-round encounter against top seed Serena Williams, as she pulled off the upset with a 7-6, 6-2 win. In all, the 26-year-old did not lose a set en route to her first WTA semifinal since 2019, beating Clara Tauson, Serena and Caroline Garcia. She was also the only player to get a set off Gauff during the week.
The 26-year-old Bulgarian made good on her lucky loser spot in Belgrade, marching all the way to her second WTA semifinal of the year, having done so in Bogota. Now up to a career-high No.108, Tomova looks primed to make her Top 100 debut soon.
2: Players who have swept singles and doubles at a tournament this season: Ashleigh Barty in Stuttgart and Coco Gauff in Parma.
2: WTA main-draw wins on Reka Luca Jani's record before winning two in Belgrade.
7: Maiden title winners so far in 2021.
7 players have now won their 1st WTA titles in 2021:— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 22, 2021
🇩🇰 Clara Tauson: Lyon
🇪🇸 Sara Sorribes Tormo: Guadalajara
🇨🇦 Leylah Fernandez: Monterrey
🇨🇴 Maria Camila Osorio Serrano: Bogotá
🇷🇺 Veronika Kudermetova: Charleston 500
🇦🇺 Astra Sharma: Charleston 250
🇪🇸 Paula Badosa: Belgrade
3: 2019 Junior Slam singles champions who have won their maiden titles this season: Clara Tauson (2019 Australian Open), Leylah Fernandez (2019 Roland Garros), Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (2019 US Open).
3: Junior Slam singles champions who won titles over the past two weeks: Iga Swiatek (2018 Wimbledon), Coco Gauff (2018 Roland Garros), Paula Badosa (2015 Roland Garros).
3: Main-draw appearances for Maria Camila Osorio Serrano in 2021. She has made the semifinals or better each time (Bogota champion, Charleston 250 SF, Belgrade SF).
6: Number of Top 10 wins for Katerina Siniakova in her career. Before defeating No.8 Serena Williams in Parma, Siniakova's last Top 10 win came over then No.1 Naomi Osaka at 2019 Roland Garros.
13: Wins on clay for Paula Badosa in 2021. She is tied with No.1 Ashleigh Barty and Charleston champion Veronika Kudermetova for the most on tour.
Most wins on clay in 2021:— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) May 24, 2021
13: Barty (13-3, Stuttgart 🏆)
13: Kudermetova (13-3, Charleston 500 🏆)
13: Badosa (13-2, Belgrade 🏆)
12: Gauff (12-3, Parma 🏆)
11: Sabalenka (11-2, Madrid 🏆)
11: Osorio Serrano (11-2, Bogota 🏆)
23: Years since Serena Williams made her Top 25 debut on June 8, 1998. Gauff is the youngest American to make her Top 25 debut since Serena and the youngest overall since a 16-year-old Nicole Vaidisova did so in September 2005.
44: Ranking-spot jump for Ana Konjuh, who is up to No.144. This was the biggest rankings move of the week amongst the Top 200.
92: Days. That's how old Coco Gauff was when a 17-year-old Maria Sharapova swept the titles at 2004 Birmingham. Gauff is the youngest since Sharapova to complete the feat.
Pic of the Week:
Italy's Lisa Pigato, 17, made her WTA main-draw debut against Serena Williams and got the photo to prove it.
Quote of the Week: Coco Gauff
"Clay shows you a little extra love than the other surfaces do. It's just going home, taking a shower, and I have clay coming out of me from all different places, or clay still in my clothes from weeks later."