Elena Rybakina keeps closing in on the Top 5. By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday March 21, 2023
Elena Rybakina ticks off a new – and well-deserved – career-high ranking, while Aryna Sabalenka closes the gap on Iga Swiatek ever so slightly in this week’s WTA rankings.
Rybakina, who would be ranked fifth if she was carrying the 2000 Wimbledon points she would have won in 2022 (had the tour allowed rankings points), is proving that she is an elite force on tour these days.
She rises from No.10 to No.17 thanks to her title at the BNP Paribas Open, where she became the first woman to ever win the title by defeating the No.1 and No.2-ranked players on tour.
CX: Lot of questions about what Wimbledon champ Elena Rybakina would be ranked if Wimbledon hadn’t been stripped of points in 2022
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) March 19, 2023
Aryna Sabalenka, currently the World No.2, closes the gap between herself and Iga Swiatek to 3,235 points. The Belarusian talent will have another chance to gain on Swiatek this week, as the Pole is defending the full 1,000 points from winning last year’s title. Sabalenka, who list in the round of 16 last year, is defending only 10 points.
Also rising in the Top 20 in this week’s rankings are a pair of Czechs, Petra Kvitova and Barbor Krejcikova. Kvitova and Krejcikova each jump three spots to No.12 and No.13, respectively, while Donna Vekic climbs three spots to No.20, making her return to the Top 20 for the first time since January of 2020.
Elsewhere in the ranking, 17-year-old Czech Linda Fruhvirtova rises three spots to make her Top 50 debut at No.50. The teen has had a solid start to 2023, reaching the second week at the Australian Open, and winning six of 11 matches on tour thus far.
Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk also reaches a career-high – at No.38 – as does Russia’s Varvara Gracheva, at No.54.
Gracheva jumped 12 spots thanks to a round of 16 run at Indian Wells.
The biggest jump inside the Top 100 was made by another Czech – Karolina Muchova – who powered up 21 spots to No.55 thanks to a quarterfinal run at Indian Wells. The former No.19 took eventual champion Elena Rybakina to three sets at Indian Wells.