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Rankings Watch: Swiatek, Kontaveit move into Top 5; Stephens leaps 18 spots

Doha winner Iga Swiatek and runner-up Anett Kontaveit both moved into the Top 5 of this week’s WTA rankings, while Guadalajara champ Sloane Stephens is back inside the Top 50.

Last week, the WTA Tour wrapped up its Middle East swing with the staging of the year’s first WTA 1000 tournament, the Qatar TotalEnergies Open in Doha, while Mexico hosted the Abierto Akron Zapopan 250 event.

With a Top 5 shakeup, a pair of Top 100 debuts and more, here is a breakdown of this week’s WTA rankings movement:

Stephens captures Guadalajara title

American Sloane Stephens captured her first winner’s trophy since 2018 Miami, bringing her career tally to seven titles. Playing in her second tournament of 2022 season after losing in opening round at Australian Open, Stephens earned 280 ranking points. She moves up 18 spots (from No.57 to No.39), the largest jump this week among the Top 100.

Top 5 shakeup

Last week in Doha, Poland’s Iga Swiatek captured the first WTA 1000 tournament of the season. She has won 17 of her past 22 matches at WTA 1000 tournaments since the start of the 2021 season. Only Jessica Pegula (19) and Ashleigh Barty (18) have won more. During that stretch, Swiatek has won two WTA 1000 titles (2021 Rome). Swiatek returns to the Top 5 this week, climbing from No.8 to No.4.

In addition, Anett Kontaveit makes her Top 5 debut this week. Following strong results in February, which includes capturing her sixth title at St. Petersburg and reaching the final in Doha. Kontaveit has started her 2022 campaign by winning 13 of her first 16 matches. After starting February ranked No.9, the 26-year-old Estonian moves up to No.5 this week.

A No.2 in doubles … and now singles

Barbora Krejcikova replaces Aryna Sabalenka at No.2 in this week’s rankings. Krejcikova, who also holds the No.2 ranking in doubles, won her opening-round match in Doha last week before losing to Jelena Ostapenko in the Round of 16. Sabalenka, who had held the No.2 spot since Aug. 23 last year, reached the quarterfinals in Doha but was defending 900 points from her title at Doha in 2020. Sabalenka dips to No.3 this week.

Gauff makes doubles Top 10 debut

The American duo of Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff won the doubles title last week in Doha. For Gauff, it was her fourth career doubles title and boosts her doubles ranking to a career-high of No.10. She jumps 14 spots in the rankings. It was Pegula’s second doubles title of the 2022 season. She also won the title at Melbourne Summer Set 1 playing alongside Asia Muhammad. Pegula moves up 17 spots to a career-high of No.29 this week.

Top 100 debuts

A pair of Frenchwomen, Harmony Tan (at No.99) and Diane Parry (at No.100), make their respective Top 100 debuts this week. Tan reached the second round of Guadalajara last week after posting her first Top 50 win over Madison Keys in the first.

With Tan and Parry moving into the Top 100, France has a total of seven women in this week’s Top 100, the most French representatives in more than 10 years (since the week of Jan. 2, 2012).

Other notable rankings movement

For the third time in her career, Marie Bouzkova advanced to the singles final at a tour-level event. With her runner-up performance in Guadalajara last week, Bouzkova moves up 15 spots in this week’s rankings (from No.96 to No.81).

Anna Kalinskaya reached a WTA semifinal for the second time in her career last week in Guadalajara, losing via retirement to eventual champion Stephens. The 23-year-old Kalinskaya earned 100 ranking points and climbed 14 spots this week from No.100 to a new career-high of No.86.

Veronika Kudermetova reached back-to-back doubles finals in the Middle East, capturing the title in Dubai and finishing as runner-up in Doha, while playing with Elise Mertens. Kudermetova rises to a career-high doubles ranking of No.6.

Ana Konjuh, the top-ranked Croatian woman, climbed five spots after reaching the Doha second round, moving up to No.46. She returns to the Top 50 for the first time since Dec. 2017.

Former World No.12 Wang Qiang reached the last four in Guadalajara – her first semifinal since Parma last May. Having fallen out of the Top 100 in November, she rebounds up 28 places from No.144 to No.116.

Junior World No.3 Linda Fruhvirtova, 16, captured her first ITF W25 in Cancun a fortnight ago, defeating Rebecca Marino in the final. With those 50 points being added to her ranking this week, the Czech rises 51 places from No.327 to a career-high of No.276. She is the second-highest ranked 2005-born player following Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva at No.185.

Linda’s younger sister and junior World No.4 Brenda Fruhvirtova, 14, made waves this month after winning back-to-back ITF W25 titles in Tucuman in her third and fourth professional events respectively. After being granted a qualifying wildcard into Guadalajara, she defeated Sara Errani and Leonie Kung to make her WTA main draw debut, where she fell to eventual champion Stephens in the first round. She climbs another 40 places from No.435 to a new career-high of No.395.

Great Britain’s Sonay Kartal ended a two-year hiatus from professional tennis last October, and has been tearing through the ITF World Tour ever since. The 20-year-old has compiled a 27-2 win-loss record, including back-to-back ITF W25 titles in Birmingham and Glasgow this month. Unranked in October, this week Kartal rises 135 places from No.532 to No.397.

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