The Insider Wrap is a recap of everything you need to know from the week that was. This week, WTA Insider looks back at the San Diego Open and Transylvania Open. World No.1 Iga Swiatek surfed away with the title in San Diego, while Donna Vekic found herself back to her best.
Performance of the Week: Iga Swiatek
"Pressure is a privilege," might be Billie Jean King's most iconic catchphrase but "Champions adjust" is her most instructive. Iga Swiatek has taken on both concepts. After a physical week in Ostrava, where she lost her first final since 2019, the 21-year-old No.1 bounced back. She managed the fatigue, jet lag and tough draw to defeat Zheng Qinwen, Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula and Donna Vekic to win her eighth title of the year. She cracked the 10,000-point milestone on the rankings, at 10,085.
Surprise of the Week: Donna Vekic
A difficult season ended on the best of notes for Donna Vekic, who put together three Top 30 seasons only to plummet outside the Top 100 this year after injuries. The 26-year-old underwent knee surgery in February and has been scrapping her way back slowly, and it's finally coming together this fall. After making the Tallinn quarterfinals, Vekic came through as a qualifier to tally two wins against Top 10 players in San Diego, against Maria Sakkari and Aryna Sabalenka, before taking Swiatek to three sets in the final.
Vekic came into San Diego ranked No.77 and will leave back in the Top 50 for the first time since July 2021.
Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff: Neither could solve Swiatek in San Diego, with Gauff and Pegula bowing out to the No.1 in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. But the week was a successful one. Pegula sealed her qualifying debut at the WTA Finals in singles, the duo qualified in doubles, and they captured their third doubles title of the year, defeating No.2 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos, 1-6, 7-5, 10-4.
Danielle Collins: In an up-and-down season in which Collins hit career-highs in January after making her first major final and then struggle with health and injury issues, she was back to her dangerous best in San Diego.
She kept her chances of qualifying for the WTA Finals alive by scoring two Top 10 wins, over Caroline Garcia and Paula Badosa, and looked on the verge of her first final since Melbourne before rain suspended her semifinal against Donna Vekic when she lead 4-2 in the third set.
Anna Blinkova: Ranked No.138, Blinkova became the fifth qualifier to win a title this season, capturing her first WTA title at the Translyvania Open in Cluj-Napoca. The 24-year-old will return to the Top 100 for the first time in more than a year.
Jasmine Paolini: The Italian was edged out in the final by Blinkova, but her week in Cluj-Napoca was outstanding. Paolini advanced to her third WTA final by defeating Marta Kostyuk, Dayana Yastremska, Jule Niemeier, and Wang Xinyu.
5: Players since 2000 to win eight or more titles in a single season -- Iga Swiatek, Martina Hingis (2000), Serena Williams (2002 and 2013), Kim Clijsters (2003 and 2005) and Justine Henin (2003 and 2007).
2015: The last time an All-American team qualified for the WTA Finals. Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula become the first team to do so since Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears.
2: 6-0 sets served up by Iga Swiatek in San Diego, taking her season tally to 21. That's the second-most this century behind Serena Williams' mark of 25 in 2013.
Coco Gauff (+1): By making the San Diego quarterfinals, Gauff boosted her ranking up one spot to a new career-high at No.7.
Wang Xiyu (+8): Wang made her second semifinal of the season at the Transylvania Open to rise to a new career-high at No.51.
Jule Niemeier (+8): After making her third quarterfinal of the season in Cluj-Napoca, the German hit a new career-high at No.66.
Yuan Yue (+19): The 24-year-old has followed up her surprise run to the third round at the US Open by making two ITF finals, including a win last weekend at the ITF W60 Las Vegas. With the title, Yuan makes her Top 100 debut at No.83.
Five Biggest Movers
Anna Blinkova (+59): The Cluj-Napoca champion jumped to No.79, her highest ranking since May 2021.
Louisa Chirico (+41): The American won her first WTA tour-level match in five years, defeating Alison Riske-Amritraj in the first round of San Diego after coming through qualifying. Chirico moved up to No.155.
Donna Vekic (+30): The Croatian is back in the Top 50 at No.47 after her great week in San Diego, where she came through as a qualifier to make the final.
Diana Shnaider (+25): The 18-year-old North Carolina State commit made the final of the ITF W60 Las Vegas. She makes her Top 200 debut at No.184.
Eva Lys (+22): The 20-year-old German is up to a career-high No.134 after taking the ITF W60 Trnava.
Kayla Day (+22): The 23-year-old American won the ITF W60 Charleston to return to the Top 200 at No.194.
Next up: Guadalajara Open 1000
- Everything you need to know about Guadalajara
- Draw analysis: Gauff, Garcia lead pack of WTA Finals hopefuls
- Bubble watch: 17 players have a chance to qualify for the WTA Finals