Wimbledon champion Simona Halep is back in the Top 5 after winning her second Grand Slam trophy, while there are big ranking boosts for semifinalist Barbora Strycova and 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff.
Alex Macpherson
July 15, 2019

Wimbledon champion Simona Halep's second Grand Slam trophy has boosted the Romanian back into the Top 5 in the latest edition of the WTA Rankings.

Since first breaking the Top 5 in March 2014, Halep has maintained that status almost continuously. The 27-year-old has dipped out of it for just 14 weeks in total over the past half-decade - eight in 2016, one in 2017 and five this year following the loss of her 2018 Roland Garros champion's points - and each time bounced back in style.

Read more: Champions Corner: 'It hurt me' - How Halep's French Open nightmare fueled her Wimbledon dream

The former World No.1's accomplishment was a masterclass in raising her level at the business end of a major. Halep began the tournament with two shaky matches, needing to retrieve a 2-5 second-set deficit against Aliaksandra Sasnovich and dropping the second set to compatriot Mihaela Buzarnescu. But a third-round rout of two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and a fourth-round dismissal of 15-year-old prodigy Coco Gauff set the scene for a ruthless second week. From 1-4 down in the first set against previous nemesis Zhang Shuai, Halep buckled down - and won 36 of her final 47 games of Wimbledon, saving her best performances for the first two Top 10 players she faced, Elina Svitolina in the semifinal and Serena Williams in the final.

The first Romanian to win Wimbledon, Halep also becomes the 10th active multiple-Slam winner, equalling the two held by Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Petra Kvitova, Garbiñe Muguruza and Naomi Osaka. Only Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber have won more.

Here are the notable movers in the WTA Rankings for the week commencing 15 July, 2019.

Simona Halep (+3, 7 to 4): You can't keep Halep down for long: since first breaking the Top 5 in March 2014, the Romanian has only dipped out of it for eight weeks in April and May 2016, one week in May 2017 and the five weeks this year prior to winning her first Wimbledon title.

Serena Williams (+1, 10 to 9): Despite falling in the Wimbledon final for the second consecutive year, with Williams's 24th Grand Slam trophy still tantalizingly out of reach, the American nonetheless rises to her highest post-maternity leave ranking less than two years after giving birth to daughter Olympia - a remarkable achievement regardless of this weekend's result.

Johanna Konta (+3, 18 to 15): The Briton maintained her unexpected clay-court resurgence at Wimbledon, where she posted her fifth Grand Slam quarterfinal showing - and the first time she had reached that stage at consecutive majors. As a result, Konta moves to her highest ranking since March 2018.

Petra Martic (+4, 24 to 20): The 28-year-old Croat makes her Top 20 debut thanks to her fourth-round run at Wimbledon - Martic's fifth run to the second week in the last 10 Slams, and one that improved her win-loss record since April to 21-5.



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Barbora Strycova (+22, 54 to 32): A dream Wimbledon for the 33-year-old Czech saw Strycova upset Kiki Bertens, Elise Mertens and Johanna Konta to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal - and then cap it off by becoming doubles champion alongside Hsieh Su-Wei, and the brand new doubles World No.1.

Read more: Barbora Strycova captures WTA World No.1 Doubles ranking

Zhang Shuai (+15, 50 to 35): The Chinese No.2 knows how to overturn fruitless past history in style. Famously, Zhang had been 0-14 in Grand Slam tournaments before overturning that record at the 2016 Australian Open with a first-round upset of Simona Halep and subsequent quarterfinal run. Prior to this year, the 30-year-old had still never won a match at Wimbledon in five previous appearances - so made up for it by winning four in a row, including upsets of Caroline Garcia and Caroline Wozniacki, to reach her second major quarterfinal.

Alison Riske (+18, 55 to 37): Remarkably, for a player whose first 13 WTA-level wins all came on grass, the American's only second-week showing at a major before this fortnight had come at the 2013 US Open. But Surbiton and 's-Hertogenbosch champion Riske delivered one of the most dramatic runs Wimbledon has seen to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal, becoming the first player in the Open Era to play five three-set matches in her first five rounds. That included comebacks from third-set deficits against Donna Vekic and Belinda Bencic, a 9-7 overtime final set against Ivana Jorovic, and a career-best first win over a World No.1 when Riske stunned Ashleigh Barty in the fourth round. 

Gallery: Riske management: Alison Riske's battling streak of three-set success

Karolina Muchova (+25, 68 to 43): Since announcing herself to the world by upsetting Garbiñe Muguruza at last year's US Open, the 22-year-old Czech has continued to soar. Ten weeks after cracking the Top 100 with her maiden WTA final in Prague, Muchova breaks the Top 50 after becoming the first Wimbledon debutante to reach the quarterfinals since Li Na in 2006 - a run that included a classic 4-6, 7-5, 13-11 marathon fourth-round upset of compatriot Karolina Pliskova.

Polona Hercog (+10, 60 to 50): The most compelling match of the first week of Wimbledon was a heartbreaker for the Slovenian, who squandered two match points and a 6-3, 5-2 lead to 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff as she fell to 0-4 in Grand Slam third rounds. However, Hercog - who herself stunned Madison Keys one round previously - can comfort herself with a return to the Top 50 for the first time since June 2012.

Lauren Davis (+24, 95 to 71): The American had to save a match point in the first round of Wimbledon qualifying against Bibiane Schoofs, and lost in the third round of qualifying to Kristie Ahn. Yet a week later, Davis became the first lucky loser in the Open Era to oust a Grand Slam defending champion when she stunned Angelique Kerber 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 - and the former World No.26 moves to her highest ranking since February 2018 as a result.

Misaki Doi (+35, 117 to 82): Since hitting a career high of World No.30 in October 2016, the Japanese player's extended slump saw her sink to a low of World No.328 last June. But just 13 months later, Doi continued her determined comeback by lifting the trophy at last week's Bastad WTA 125K - her biggest title since winning the 2016 San Antonio 125K.

Beatriz Haddad Maia (+25, 121 to 96): Sidelined due to back surgery, the injury-beleaguered Brazilian fell out of the Top 100 in June 2018 and sank to World No.235 last October. But her comeback has been steady this season - and already has a pair of notable scalps. Haddad Maia is the lowest-ranked player with a Top 5 win in 2019 thanks to her Acapulco defeat of Sloane Stephens, and having qualified for Wimbledon she garnered another big-name upset by beating Garbiñe Muguruza in the first round.

Kaja Juvan (+22, 133 to 111): The 18-year-old Slovenian was one of several new talents to announce themselves at Wimbledon. The Youth Olympic Games gold medallist came through qualifying and captured her first Grand Slam main draw win over Kristyna Pliskova before pushing Serena Williams all the way in a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 second-round loss. A new career high finds Juvan knocking on the door of the Top 100.

Read more: Philosophy, painting and friendship: Getting to know Kaja Juvan

Katarina Zavatska (+63, 196 to 133): Ukrainian tennis was on a roll at Wimbledon, with Elina Svitolina becoming the first Grand Slam semifinalist from her country and Daria Snigur picking up the girls' singles trophy. Elsewhere, rising teenager Zavatska - who reached her first WTA quarterfinal in Rabat last year - has also been making moves. The 19-year-old has compiled a 10-match winning streak in the past fortnight, collecting ITF trophies in Biella and Contrexéville - the latter her biggest title yet and first at W100 level.

Gallery: Coco Motion! How Gauff transitioned from teenage qualifier to Centre Court star

Coco Gauff (+172, 313 to 141): Few players in recent memory have captured the public imagination like 15-year-old Gauff at Wimbledon this fortnight. The qualifying wildcard smashed records on an almost daily basis - youngest player to qualify for Wimbledon in the Open Era, youngest player to win a match and reach the second week of The Championships in 28 years - but it was the manner of her fourth-round run that was so magical. The American took to the biggest stages in tennis with remarkable composure to upset the legendary Venus Williams, to back that up against former semifinalist Magdalena Rybarikova and then to show real guts in a riveting comeback against Polona Hercog. Consequently, she rockets up to a new career high inside the Top 150.

Usue Maitane Arconada (+31, 214 to 183): The 20-year-old former junior World No.5 has been quietly soaring up the rankings in the past few months. Arconada, who began 2019 ranked World No.337, has now won 17 of her last 18 matches on the ITF World Tour, picking up the biggest title of her career in last week's Honolulu ITF W60 event by defeating Nicole Gibbs in the final. The American breaks the Top 100 for the first time as a result.

Olga Govortsova (+60, 262 to 202): The former World No.35 left the Tour to take maternity leave in June 2017, returning in April 2018 after giving birth to son Dominic. Ranked World No.896 this time last year, Govortsova's comeback has been clicking recently: an ITF W25 title in Darmstadt was followed by a final in Vaihingen this month for the Belarusian to return to the brink of the Top 200.
last in top 200 Sep 2017, 896 this time last year, mat leave Jun 2017 to April 2018

Wang Xinyu (+27, 230 to 203): The 17-year-old former junior World No.2 turned heads in January when she took a set lead over Maria Sharapova in Shenzhen - before being forced to retire due to cramping. The 2018 Wimbledon girls' doubles champion (alongside Wang Xiyu) has hit a purple patch of form on the ITF World Tour in the past two months, though: a 15-match winning streak has seen Wang pick up ITF W25 titles in Shenzhen, Hengyang and Tianjin to hit a new career high this week.