WTA Rankings: Swiatek stays top, Kontaveit’s drop

There are few changes in this week’s WTA rankings, with Iga Swiatek still reigning supreme

Iga Swiatek February 11, 2023, DOHA, QATAR: Iga Swiatek of Poland during practice ahead of the 2023 Qatar Totalenergies Open WTA 500 tennis tournament (Zuma/Panoramic)

Iga Swiatek continues on top of the world in this week’s WTA rankings – with no moves in the top 10 at all.

The 21-year-old has been absent from tour since the Australian Open, but will return to action this week in Doha amidst huge interest in her off-court ventures.

The Pole currently holds a lead of over 4,000 points from second-ranked Aryna Sabalenka – although less than 3,000 points separate No 3 Ons Jabeur and No 9 Belinda Bencic, the new Abu Dhabi champion.

Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia is, however, knocking on the door, rising two places to world No 12 – her career-high ranking.

It follows her impressive run to the semi-final in Abu Dhabi, knocking out third seed Elena Rybakina en route.

Her campaign there epitomised her fighting spirit – three out of her four matches went to a deciding set.

Big week for Chinese tennis

In a big week for Chinese tennis, Shuai Zhang and Qinwen Zheng are impressing on the WTA Tour. Both are at their career-high rankings, Zhang climbing one place to No 22, and Zheng up five to No 24.

Zheng was unseeded in Abu Dhabi but put together a great run to reach the semi-final, knocking out top seed Daria Kasatkina on the way.

She does, however, have a tough start to her campaign in Doha, drawn against fifth seed Maria Sakkari in the round of 32.

Zhang, on the other hand, has drawn former Grand Slam champion Petra Kvitova in the opening round there.

Kontaveit’s fall

The most notable drop is Anett Kontaveit. The former world No 2 has already fallen nine places, to No 27, and will fall even further during her absence.

The Estonian picked up a lower back injury during her second-round match in Abu Dhabi, forcing her to retire from her match against Shelby Rogers.

It also means that she will be absent from her next two scheduled events, in Doha and Dubai, and she will soon drop out of the top 50 as she will be unable to defend the 470 points she won in St Petersburg on this week last year, and the 585 she won for reaching last year’s Dubai final.

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