First-time titlists Elena Rybakina and Fiona Ferro hit new career highs after capturing the Bucharest and Lausanne trophies respectively, while Elise Mertens returns to the Top 20.
Alex Macpherson
July 22, 2019

For Elena Rybakina, milestones have come thick and fast in 2019 - and the latest and biggest, a maiden WTA Tour trophy in Bucharest last week, has vaulted her firmly into the Top 100 for the first time.

Prior to this year, the 20-year-old Kazakh had only competed in three WTA main draws - although the second of those, a quarterfinal finish at St. Petersburg last year that featured a stunning upset of Caroline Garcia, had signalled her promise to the world. This season, Rybakina's potential is coming to fruition. Having picked up three ITF trophies in the first three months of the year, a second WTA quarterfinal followed in Istanbul - swiftly followed by a Grand Slam main draw debut after qualifying for Roland Garros and a first semifinal in 's-Hertogenbosch.

Last week, Bucharest was just the seventh WTA main draw of Rybakina's career - and the first time she had received direct entry into one rather than having to qualify. The former junior World No.3 showed she belonged with a dominant title run that included a quarterfinal upset of No.2 seed Viktoria Kuzmova and ended with the most emphatic final of the year, a 6-2, 6-0 dismissal of home favorite Patricia Maria Tig. Rybakina became just the fourth player to win a title in 2019 without dropping a set, following Sofia Kenin in Hobart, Ashleigh Barty in Birmingham and Karolina Pliskova in Eastbourne - and rockets 41 places up to World No.65 as a result.

Here are the notable movers in the WTA Rankings for the week commencing 22 July, 2019.

Elise Mertens (+1, 21 to 20): Though the Belgian was inactive last week, Petra Martic's loss of her Bucharest final points from 2018 means that Mertens returns to the Top 20 for the first time since May.

Elena Rybakina (+41, 106 to 65): The Kazakh became the 10th first-time champion on the WTA Tour this season last week in Bucharest - a victory that also sees her become the 11th Top 100 debutante in 2019. Rybakina, who ended 2018 ranked World No.191, has compiled a 41-13 record this season so far - and with only 73 points to defend until the end of the year, looks set to rise even further in the coming months.

Bernarda Pera (+11, 85 to 74): Having begun 2019 ranked World No.69, just two spots beneath her career high, the American has spent the past few months yoyoing in and out of the Top 100 as she has sought to find consistent form. However, a second semifinal showing of the season in Lausanne last week sees Pera rise to her highest placement since January.

Fiona Ferro (+23, 98 to 75): Last week, Ferro was in danger of losing the Top 100 position she has held for most of this year, with her points from winning last year's Olomouc ITF W80 falling off. No matter: the 22-year-old Frenchwoman simply took her championship form up a level to capture her maiden WTA Tour title in Lausanne in a run that saw her overturn a 1-6, 2-5 deficit against Mihaela Buzarnescu in the second round, oust former US Open champion Samantha Stosur in the quarterfinals and finally triumph in the first all-French final since 2009 with a seesaw win over defending champion Alizé Cornet. Consequently, Ferro's reward is a brand new career high.

Marie Bouzkova (+12, 104 to 92): The 2014 US Open junior champion has been making steady inroads this year: runner-up at the Guadalajara 125K in March, Bouzkova went on to notch up her first Grand Slam main draw win at Wimbledon as a lucky loser, defeating Mona Barthel in the first round. Last week, the 21-year-old Czech captured the Nur-Sultan ITF W80 title without dropping a set, including a quarterfinal win over 2016 Istanbul champion Cagla Buyukakcay, and as a result breaks the Top 100 for the first time.

Irina-Camelia Begu (+12, 112 to 100): Five unbroken years inside the Top 100 came to an end in May for Begu when the Romanian dropped outside that echelon for the first time since May 2014. Just two months later, though, Begu is back, thanks to a quarterfinal run at her home tournament of Bucharest last week.

Barbora Krejcikova (+17, 132 to 115): The former doubles World No.1's singles schedule has often had to take second place behind her Grand Slam-winning exploits in tandem with partner Katerina Siniakova, but Krejcikova has been making a stellar case for her solo career this year when she has been able to focus on it. The Czech has compiled a 26-4 record in singles in 2019, with a quarterfinal run in Bucharest last week lifting her to a new career high.

Tamara Korpatsch (+17, 142 to 125): Once again, Switzerland proved a happy hunting ground for Korpatsch. Two of the German's previous three WTA quarterfinals had come in that country - Gstaad in 2017 and Lugano in 2018 - and she took to the inaugurual tournament venue of Lausanne in similar style. Saving a match point against Eugenie Bouchard in the first round, Korpatsch went on to reach her maiden WTA semifinal, and is now just seven places beneath her career high ranking of World No.117 set last November.

Martina Di Giuseppe (+62, 211 to 149): Late-blooming Italians are officially a trend in 2019: following 31-year-old Giulia Gatto-Monticone's Grand Slam breakthroughs this summer is 28-year-old Martina Di Giuseppe, also having a career-best season after years of plugging away on the ITF circuit. Di Giuseppe made her WTA qualifying debut in Rome in 2010, but only navigated through to a main draw for the first time last week in Bucharest - where she promptly made the semifinals, defeating Barbora Krejcikova en route, before falling to eventual champion Elena Rybakina. A new career high ranking is Di Giuseppe's reward.

Viktoriya Tomova (+71, 249 to 178): Just over a year ago, the Bulgarian seemed to be on the brink of a breakthrough after qualifying for Wimbledon and winning her first Grand Slam main draw match. But from a career high of World No.128 last July, Tomova had sunk back to World No.249 last week after compiling a 13-23 win-loss record this season. A title run at last week's Biarritz ITF W80 - the biggest trophy of her career to date that included back-to-back victories over former Top 100 players, Veronica Cepede Royg and Danka Kovinic, in the final two rounds - has turned Tomova's form around in style, though.

Patricia Maria Tig (unranked to 264): The Romanian's Cinderella run from qualifying all the way to the final at home in Bucharest last week was one of the tournament's feelgood narratives. Tig, the 2015 Baku runner-up who hit a career high of World No.83 in April 2017, had been sidelined for two years, first due to a back injury and then to maternity leave. Returning to action at a series of ITF W15 events in Cancun this April, the Romanian got off to a faltering start, retiring from four of her first six tournaments - but eventually found her groove, compiling a 25-6 win-loss record including two titles. A three-set loss to Paula Badosa in Wimbledon qualifying was the first sign that Tig was ready for Tour-level tennis again - and Bucharest was where she proved it magnificently. In a series of stunning upsets, Tig's scalps included No.1 seed and defending champion Anastasija Sevastova - the second Top 20 win of her career - followed by No.8 seed Kristyna Pliskova and No.6 seed Laura Siegemund.

Unranked due to the temporary change in ranking rules whereby ITF W15 tournaments have not awarded WTA ranking points this year - which is set to be reversed on 5 August, with points awarded retroactively for all 2019 events - Tig re-enters the official rankings inside the Top 300.