Women's Tennis Power Rankings Aug. 31: Elena Dementieva Peaking

Rob YorkSenior Writer IJanuary 17, 2017

1. Elena Dementieva

Toronto [Winner], Cincinnati [Semifinalist], Stanford [Semifinalist], Wimbledon [Semifinalist]. Total Points: 657

The buzz is building for the Russian veteran just ahead of the year's last major. After a series of runner-up appearances and disappointments, the word among many fans is that now is her time.

However, as her countrywoman Dinara Safina could probably tell her, this is when she's got to be careful. If Dementieva’s at the top of the next batch of women's power rankings, then we'll know she's learned from her past setbacks.

Last Power Ranking: No. 4

2. Caroline Wozniacki

New Haven [Winner], Toronto, [R32], Cincinnati [Quarterfinalist], Los Angeles [R32]. Total Points: 567

Caroline Wozniacki was one of the WTA’s hottest commodities this spring, but her results in the summer slams were lackluster. Now, with her New Haven win, the Dane appears back on the upswing. It now seems reasonable to expect a second-week appearance in New York.

Last Power Ranking: No. 9

3. Flavia Pennetta

New Haven [Semifinalist], Toronto [R32], Cincinnati [Semifinalist], Los Angeles [Winner]. Total Points: 464

The least-famous member of our top five, the 27-year-old Italian Pennetta is putting together a career-best year, with two titles and a career-high WTA ranking of No. 10. It so happens that her best-ever performance in a Grand Slam event was at last year’s Open, where she reached the quarters.

Whether or not she stays in the Power Rankings top-five will largely depend on her ability to duplicate that feat.

Last Power Ranking: No. 3 

4. Serena Williams

Toronto [Semifinalist], Cincinnati [R16], Stanford [Quarterfinalist], Wimbledon [Winner]. Total Points: 458

If you hadn’t read the name of our No. 4 player, here’s all you would need to know: this player only entered a few events after Wimbledon, the results she had in those few tournaments were middling, and yet she goes into the next major as the defending champion and the logical, if not sentimental (that would be Dementieva) favorite.

Really, who else could we be talking about?

Last Power Ranking: No. 5


5. Jelena Jankovic

Toronto [Quarterfinalist], Cincinnati [Winner], Stanford [Quarterfinalist], Wimbledon [R32]. Total Points:  408

Her quarterfinal upset at the hands of No. 36 Alisa Kleybanova in Toronto accounts for her loss of the top spot on our list. However, it would still appear that the diverted attention away from the former No. 1 has done her some good.

Just in time, too; she’s also No. 5 on the WTA rankings, but a lot of her points need defending based on her finals appearance at last year’s Open.

Last Power Ranking: No. 1

6. Maria Sharapova

Toronto [Finalist], Los Angeles [Semifinalist], Stanford [Quarterfinalist], Wimbledon [R64]. Total Points: 360

One can detect a steady progression in the most famous Russian's results. That’s a good sign for her on the eve of a major she’s won before, and good news for the women's tour. It remains to be seen if she can reach No. 1 again, but the women definitely need more players they can rely on to reach the last weekend.

Last Power Ranking: Not ranked

7. Samantha Stosur

New Haven, [R16], Toronto [Quarterfinalist], Los Angeles, [Finalist], Stanford [Semifinalist]. Total Points: 280

Like Pennetta, Stosur is also a veteran quietly putting up a solid year. Her semifinal appearance at Roland Garros was her best effort in a slam, and third round at Wimbledon was her best-ever showing there. She’s never been past the second round in New York, but has a good chance of surpassing that mark, too.

Last Power Ranking: No. 10

8. Venus Williams

Toronto [R32], Cincinnati [R16], Stanford [Finalist], Wimbledon [Finalist]. Total Points: 257

Like her younger sister, Venus has played sparingly since Wimbledon and won none of the events she has entered.

Unlike Serena, Venus has not won three of the last four majors, so her schedule is harder to justify.

Last Power Ranking: No. 6

9. Dinara Safina

Toronto [R32], Cincinnati [Finalist], Los Angeles [R16], Slovenia Open [Winner]. Total Points:  246

With her early loss in Canada, Safina has finally fallen out of the upper half of the Power Rankings. With attention and Grand Slam hopes now resting upon her compatriot Dementieva, one can only hope the pressure is now off WTA’s (still) No. 1.

Last Power Ranking: No. 2

10. Amelie Mauresmo

New Haven [Semifinalist], Toronto [R64], Wimbledon [R16], Eastbourne [R16]. Total Points:  237

Mauresmo is now 30, and it’s actually been all of 10 years since her breakthrough season. Her New Haven semi got her back on the Power Ranking radar, but one wonders what she expects from the Open, and what remaining tennis goals she can realistically have.

Last Power Ranking: Not ranked

Outside Looking In


Agnieszka Radwanska

New Haven [R16], Toronto [Quarterfinalist] Cincinnati [R32], Los Angeles [Quarterfinalist]. Total Points: 210

Not much has changed for Poland’s Radwanska in recent weeks. She’s still hovering just outside the Power Rankings and outside the top 10 on the WTA Tour. She’s been to the round of 16 at the last two U.S. Opens, so improving on that this year would certainly help.

Last Power Ranking: Outside looking in

Marion Bartoli

New Haven [R16], Toronto [R64], Stanford [Winner], Wimbledon [R32]. Total Points: 155

The good news for Seles-lite is that she’s beaten Jankovic, Stosur and Venus Williams this summer. The bad news is that all of those wins were at Stanford, and she’s only won one match since.

Last Power Ranking: Not ranked

Victoria Azarenka

Toronto [R32], Cincinnati [R16], Los Angeles [R32], Wimbledon [Quarterfinalist]. Total Points: 122

After her Miami win Azarenka looked like the future of women’s tennis. This summer, though, Sharapova (in Los Angeles), Jankovic (in Cincinnati) and Kim Clijsters (in Toronto) showed her that it’s still very much the present.

Last Power Ranking: Outside looking in


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