Last week the WTA Tour grass-court swing visited Berlin, Germany, for the bett1open, a WTA 500 level event, and Birmingham for the Viking Classic, a WTA 250 tournament, with two players capturing their first career WTA singles titles.
Samsonova makes Top 100 debut
Playing in only the second grass-court main draw of her career, Liudmila Samsonova won her first career title last week in Berlin, paving the way to a new career-high ranking of No.63. The 22-year-old Russian makes her Top 100 debut this week with a 43-spot improvement entering the event.
Earning her spot in the main draw as a qualifier, Samsonova defeated five Top 50 ranked opponents en route to the title – she had three Top 50 wins entering the event – and became the first qualifier to win a WTA 500 level tournament since Tsvetana Pironkova at Hobart 2014.
With two players capturing their first WTA singles title last week (Samsonova, Ons Jabeur), 10 players have won their first WTA singles title winners this year.
2021’s 10 Maiden @WTA Champions:— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) June 20, 2021
Sorribes Tormo (Guadalajara)
Sharma (Charleston 250)
Osorio Serrano (Bogotá)
Vandeweghe finds grass-court success
American CoCo Vandeweghe won her first tour-level, main-draw match since 2019 last week in Birmingham with a run to the semifinals. For Vandeweghe, it was her 11th semifinal appearance overall and fifth time reaching that stage on grass. As a result, the 29-year-old American’s ranking jumped 38 spots (from No.203 to No.165).
More Monday movers & shakers
--A finalist in Berlin last week, Belinda Bencic came within one win of returning to the Top 10. As runner-up, Bencic bumped up one spot to No.11 this week.
--Frenchwoman Alizé Cornet improved seven spots on her ranking, moving from No.56 (from No.64) by reaching the semifinals in Berlin.
--In Birmingham, Heather Watson reached her first grass-court semifinal since 2017 Eastbourne as her ranking improved five spots (from No.70 to No.65).
--The Belarusian doubles team of Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka emerged victorious last week in Berlin. As a result, Azarenka’s doubles ranking improved 13 spots (from No.55 to No.42) while Sabalenka climbed to No.6 (from No.4).
--After reaching the quarterfinals last week in at the WTA 250 level tournament in Nottingham, Alison Van Uytvanck won the title at the ITF W100 tournament on the same site. Her ranking jumped seven spots (from No.64 to No.57).
--The biggest ranking improvement among this week’s Top 200 belongs to China’s Zheng Qinwen, 18, who won her second ITF Circuit singles title of the year at the W60 in Stare Splavy, Czech Republic. Last week’s title boosted her ranking 55 spots (from No.245 to No.190).
--Playing in the 83rd main draw of her career, Ons Jabeur became the first Arab woman to win a WTA singles title. She achieved yet another milestone in her trailblazing career. Already playing with a career-high ranking at No.24, Jabeur added 280 ranking points.
Ons Jabeur: History Maker— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) June 20, 2021
The Tunisian trailblazer is the 1st Arab woman to:
- Win a junior Slam (2011 RG)
- Make a Slam 3R (2017 RG)
- Make a Slam QF (2020 AO)
- Win a WTA singles title (2021 Birmingham)
- Rank inside the Top 70 - Currently highest-ranked ever at No.24. pic.twitter.com/gRvu05P9nr