Ashleigh Barty’s dream summer of 2019 continued in Birmingham as she claimed the Nature Valley Classic and with it took the WTA World No.1 spot for the first time in her career.
Having already claimed the French Open, her first Grand Slam title, she admitted after taking top spot in the WTA Ranking: “I'm not really sure what's going on.”
Her run to glory in England was not an easy one, with Donna Vekic followed by Venus Williams, Barbora Strycova and doubles partner Julia Goerges in the final. Nevertheless, all were negotiated without the loss of a set as Barty moved up from the No.2 ranking, leapfrogging Naomi Osaka, who lost in the second round.
The biggest mover from within the Top 100, however, was Venus, who leapt up 11 places from WTA World No.55 to No.44.
The five-time Wimbledon champion overcame Aliaksandra Sasnovih in the first round in Birmingham before ousting No.6 seed Wang Qiang only to be stopped by Barty in the quarterfinals.
Sofia Kenin (+2, No.30 to No.28): By winning in Mallorca, where she defeated No.3 seed Belinda Bencic in a thrilling three-set final, the 20-year-old American has struck a new career-high ranking. She also defeated No.2 seed Anastasija Sevastova and No.4 seed Elise Mertens in three sets last week.
Yulia Putintseva (+4, No.43 to No.39): The Kazak’s reward for defeating Naomi Osaka in Birmingham before ultimately losing to Goerges in the quarterfinals was a healthy jump in ranking.
Iga Swiatek (+2, No.65 to No.63): Qualified for Birmingham but lost to Jelena Ostapenko in her opening main-draw match. Nevertheless, the 18-year-old is at a new career-best ranking.
Maria Sharapova (+5, No.85 to No.80): Overcame Viktoria Kuzmova in Mallorca before falling to No.1 seed Angelique Kerber. The Russian is back on an upward trajectory in the ranking.
Kristyna Pliskova (+17, No.112 to No.95): Stormed into the Top 100 off the back of a run to the quarterfinals in Birmingham, where she qualified before stunning her twin, Karolina, with a thrilling tiebreak victory in the deciding set.
Monica Niculescu (+29, No.142 to No.113): Did the hard yards to win an ITF event in Ilkley, Great Britain. Won four of her five matches in three sets, including a victory over Timea Babos in the final.
Barbora Krejcikova (+20, No.138 to No.118): The former WTA doubles World No.1 won a clay ITF tournament in Stare Splavy, Czech Republic. She is now at a new career-high singles ranking.
Jana Cepelova (+23, No.189 to No.166): Qualified for Ilkley and proceeded as far as the semifinals, where her challenge was finally ended by Niculescu.