MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - The quarterfinals are set at the Australian Open, which feature three of the Top 4 seeds. Three women have the chance to overtake World No.1 Simona Halep at the top spot after the Australian Open, but the Romanian's hard-fought progress to the quarterfinals has made the feat far more difficult than it appeared at the start of the tournament.
2018 Australian Open Quarterfinals:
No.1 Simona Halep vs. No.6 Karolina Pliskova
No.2 Caroline Wozniacki vs. No.39 Carla Suárez Navarro
No.4 Elina Svitolina vs. No.37 Elise Mertens
No.17 Madison Keys vs. No.21 Angelique Kerber
No.1 Ranking Watch
With Simona Halep advancing to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, here is an updated look at the battle for the World No.1 Ranking:
No.2 Caroline Wozniacki needs to reach the Final to have a chance at No.1. If Halep and Wozniacki both advance to the final, the champion would leave Melbourne with the World No.1 Ranking.
No.4 Elina Svitolina needs to reach the Final to have a chance at No.1. If Halep reaches the semifinals then Svitolina would need to win the title. If Halep reaches the Final she would eliminate Svitolina from No.1 contention.
UPDATE: Svitolina lost in the quarterfinals to Elise Mertens.
No.6 Karolina Pliskova needs to win the title to have a chance at No.1. If Halep reaches the semifinals then she would eliminate Pliskova from No.1 contention.
In doubles action, top-seeded Latisha Chan & Andrea Sestini Hlavackova will play No.5 seed Timea Babos & Kristina Mladenovic in the quarterfinals. Chan, who currently is ranked co-No.1 in the WTA Doubles Rankings, can take sole possession of the World No.1 Doubles Ranking with a win. Chan has been co-No.1 along with Martina Hingis since October 23, 2017 (14 consecutive weeks).
Quarterfinalists' Ranking Projections:
Halep will be ranked between No.1-3 after the Australian Open. Halep would drop to No.3 only if she loses in the quarterfinals AND Pliskova defeats Wozniacki or Svitolina in the final.
Wozniacki is projected to be ranked between No.1-4 after the Australian Open. The Dane has a chance to return to No.1 after the Australian Open on Monday, January 29, exactly six years after she last held the No.1 ranking. The six-year gap would be the longest gap between stints at No.1 in the WTA Rankings history (currently held by Serena Williams – 5 years, 29 days)
By advancing to the quarterfinals, Pliskova is projected to return to the Top 5 after the Australian Open. She will No.4 by making the semifinals, as high as No.3 by making the Final (No.4 if Svitolina reaches SF), and possibly No.1 if she wins the title. For Pliskova to move to No.1, she not only needs to win the title but also needs Wozniacki to not reach the final and Halep not to reach the semifinal.
By reaching the QF, Svitolina is projected to move to No.3 unless Pliskova reaches the final.
The winner of the quarterfinal between Angelique Kerber vs. Madison Keys will return to the Top 10 after the Australian Open. The winner will climb to No.9, the highest they can move (even with a title) unless Mertens or Suárez Navarro win the title. The loser of the quarterfinal match will be No.14 or No.15 (if Mertens reaches the final or Suárez Navarro wins the title).
Suárez Navarro entered the Australian Open ranked No.39 and is projected to move to No.32 by reaching the quarterfinals. She could move as high as No.22 if she defeats Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals (No.23 if Mertens advances to the semifinals), and to No.15 by reaching the final. If she the Spaniard wins the title she would return to the Top 10 for the first time since September 2016.
Mertens entered the Australian Open ranked No.37 and will move into the Top 25 after the Australian Open. She would make her Top 20 debut by reaching the semifinals, so long as Suárez Navarro does not reach the final. Mertens would crack the Top 15 by reaching the final and Top 10 by winning the title.