Can Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova storm their way back towards the No.1 ranking? Or will Sloane Stephens hit a career-high on Monday? WTA Insider breaks down the rankings scenarios at the Qatar Total Open.
WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen
February 12, 2019

Former No.1s Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova and reigning Miami Open champion Sloane Stephens are in line to overtake Petra Kvitova at World No.2 pending the results at this week's Qatar Total Open, a Premier event. 

After relinquishing her 48-week reign at No.1 to Naomi Osaka after the Australian Open, No.3 Halep looks prime for a charge for the top spot. Halep is the top seed in Doha, with No.5 Pliskova right behind her as the No.2 seed. 

READ: WTA Insider Doha Draw Preview

World No.2 Kvitova has chosen not to defend her title in Doha but will be back in action next week at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, a Premier 5 event. No.4 Stephens is skipping the Middle East swing and will resume competition at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL in Acapulco. 

Fewest Points to Defend in February (Among Current Top 10)

No.8 Kiki Bertens: 1 point
No.9 Aryna Sabalenka: 18 points
No.4 Sloane Stephens: 60 point
No.1 Naomi Osaka: 190 points
No.5 Karolina Pliskova: 205 points
No.3 Simona Halep: 350 points
No.10 Caroline Wozniacki: 350 points
No.6 Angelique Kerber: 375 points
No.7 Elina Svitolina: 575 points
No.2 Petra Kvitova: 900 points

Either Halep, Stephens, or Pliskova will leave Doha with the No.2 ranking, which would be a career-high for Stephens. 

- Halep, by winning her opening match in Doha to advance to the quarterfinals, can move to No.2, unless Pliskova wins the title. Halep has a bye into the second round and will face either Lesia Tsurenko or Lara Arruabarrena.

- Pliksova needs to win the title, coupled with Halep not advancing to the final, to move to No.2.

- If Halep does not reach the quarterfinals and Pliskova does not win the title, then Stephens will move to No.2.

World No.8 Kiki Bertens has a chance to make her Top 5 debut this week if she reaches the Doha final (depending on other results). Betty Stove is the only Dutchwoman to reach the WTA Top 5, making her debut on July 3, 1977 at a career-best No.5. Bertens can move as high as No.3 this week if Halep does not win a match.

READ: WTA Insider Hard Court Power Index

 Sevastova can make her Top 10 debut this week in Doha, but will need to reach the semifinals in order to have a chance.

If Sevastova does not reach the semifinals then Serena Williams would return to the Top 10 for the first time since her return from maternity leave. The last time Serena was in the Top 10 was the week of July 3, 2017. She is next scheduled to play the BNP Paribas Open in March.

This post was updated to reflect Caroline Wozniacki's withdrawal due to viral illness and Caroline Garcia's withdrawal due to leg injury.