Women's Tennis Power Ranking: Kim Clijsters Still the Queen
For most girls on the WTA tour, the two weeks following the conclusion of the US Open were eventless, except of course for the new face in our Top Ten, Shahar Peer. With most top players competing in Tokyo this week, the power rankings will see major shake-ups afterwards. But until then, here it is:
The Top 10
1. Kim Clijsters (Last Power Ranking: 1; WTA Ranking: 17)
Last Three Tournaments: US Open [Winner], Toronto [R16], Cincinnati [Quarterfinalist]
Power Ranking Points: 722
Kim Clijsters has only played three tournaments since her return to the women's tour. Yet her amazing title run at the US Open is enough to secure her the top spot in our power ranking. With Justine Henin also returning to the tour soon, women's tennis is surely on the upswing.
However, she is not playing in Tokyo this week. So her power ranking is for sure to drop next time...
2. Caroline Wozniacki (Last Power Ranking: 2; WTA Ranking: 5)
Last Four Tournaments: US Open [Finalist], New Haven [Winner], Toronto [R32], Cincinnati [Quarterfinalist]
Power Ranking Points: 630
With her break-through runner-up effort at the US Open, Caroline Wozniacki is enjoying her career best WTA ranking of No. 5. She is the No. 4 seed at Tokyo, and will play the winner between Alexandra Wozniak and Kimiko Date Krumm, after receiving a BYE for the first round. As the winner at Seoul last week and the home favorite, the seasoned Krumm could certainly provide big challenge for the youthful Wozniacki. And a match between two "Woznia"s could also be very interesting.
3. Shahar Peer (Last Power Ranking: NR; WTA Ranking: 34)
Last Four Tournaments: Tashkent [Winner], Guangzhou [Winner], US Open [R32], New Haven [Q-R32]
Power Ranking Points: 474
After enduring a three-year title drought, Shahar Peer won back-to-back titles at Guangzhou and Tashkent in the past two weeks. And she did so without dropping a single set! Amazing, isn't it? It is a magical tennis season indeed, with so many storybook endings.
She is taking a much deserved break this week.
4. Serena Williams (Last Power Ranking: 3; WTA Ranking: 2)
Last Four Tournaments: US Open [Semifinalist], Toronto [Semifinalist], Cincinnati [Quarterfinalist], Stanford [Quarterfinalist]
Power Ranking Points: 403
Since she failed to defend her US Open title, Serena Williams is still sitting at No. 2 after Dinara Safina in the WTA rankings. And as usual, she is not playing in this week's Tokyo Premier Five event. But since Dinara Safina is the defending champion at Tokyo, and she just crashed out in the first round, Serena Williams will soon reclaim WTA No. 1.
5. Yanina Wickmayer (Last Power Ranking: 4; WTA Ranking: 23)
Last Four Tournaments: US Open [Semifinalist], New Haven [R16+Q], Toronto [R64+Q], Cincinnati [R32]
Power Ranking Points: 341
Yanina Wickmayer's surprising run to the semi-final at the US Open seemed to come at just the right time for Belgian tennis. Now with the dynamic duo of Clijsters and Henin back on the tour, Wickmayer might be able to enjoy some quiet growth instead of being overwhelmed by the spotlight. Still a few weeks shy of being 20, she might just be the future of Belgian tennis.
6. Flavia Pennetta (Last Power Ranking: 5; WTA Ranking: 10)
Last Four Tournaments: US Open [Quarterfinalist], New Haven [Semifinalist], Toronto [R32], Cincinnati [Semifinalist]
Power Ranking Points: 287
Flavia Pennetta has enjoyed a very productive summer this year, cracking the WTA top 10 for the first time in her career. Her come-from-behind win over Vera Zvonareva in the US Open fourth round was simply amazing. However, being 27 already, it will become increasingly hard for her to stay at the top.
Unfortunately, she lost to countrywomen Roberta Vinci in the first round at Tokyo, winning only three games in total. Look for her power ranking to plunge next time.
7. Elena Dementieva (Last Power Ranking: 9; WTA Ranking: 4)
Last Four Tournaments: US Open [R64], Toronto [Winner], Cincinnati [Semifinalist], Stanford [Semifinalist]
Power Ranking Points: 277
After being more than 10 years on the tour, the question still remains: "Will Elena Dementieva ever win a Grand Slam?" The short answer is: NO. In front of her, there are the Williams sisters and the Belgian duo, and behind her there are the up-and-coming young talent like Wozniacki. Besides, she is turning 28 in October.
Her performance in non-Slam events has always been very solid. She is seeded No. 3 at Tokyo this week. Look for her to reach the semi-final, should she pass the Li Na test in the third round.
8. Jelena Jankovic (Last Power Ranking: OLI; WTA Ranking: 8)
Last Four Tournaments: US Open [R64], Toronto [Quarterfinalist], Cincinnati [Winner], Stanford [Quarterfinalist]
Power Ranking Points: 222
While the other half of the Serbian duo, Ana Ivanovic, is at the lowest point of her career (losing in the first round at Tokyo), Jelena Jankovic has somehow managed to being featured quite frequently in the power rankings.
Though a far cry from her best season in 2008, when she rose to WTA No. 1 for the first time, her performance of late has been respectable. But it remains to be seen whether she can find her top form again, and whether she will be able to capture a Grand Slam title.
She is seeded No. 7 at Tokyo and will meet Sabine Lisicki, who just turned 20 last week, in the second round.
9. Kateryna Bondarenko (Last Power Ranking: 6; WTA Ranking: 33)
Last Four Tournaments: US Open [Quarterfinalist], Toronto [R16+Q], Cincinnati [R32+Q], Prague [Quarterfinalist]
Power Ranking Points: 217
Kateryna Bondarenko's quarter-final showing at the US Open owned her the bragging right over her elder sister Alona for the first time. And in Tokyo, she outdid her sister again by reaching the second round. She has already won three matches there, win two more qualifying wins. She is scheduled to face the woman ranked two places above her here.
10. Maria Sharapova (Last Power Ranking: 10; WTA Ranking: 25)
Last Four Tournaments: US Open [R32], Toronto [Finalist], Los Angeles [Semifinalist], Stanford [Quarterfinalist]
Power Ranking Points: 207
It is always tough to come back from an injury, especially a serious one. Maria Sharapova's performance since her return from a shoulder injury has been very solid, though of course not by her pre-injury standard.
No one can question her fighting spirit, as she showed it once again in the Tokyo first round, coming from one set and a break down to win in three. However, if she wants to return to the top of the women's tour, she HAS to fix her erratic serves.
Outside Looking In
Li Na (Last Power Ranking: 7; WTA Ranking: 16)
Power Ranking Points: 189
Li Na enjoyed her best performance at the US Open this year, and she is currently ranked No. 16 in the world, matching her career high. She won her opening match in Tokyo convincingly. If she can sustain her top form, it is not out of the question for her to crack WTA top 10.
Melanie Oudin (Last Power Ranking: 8; WTA Ranking: 42)
Power Ranking Points: 183
Melanie Oudin's dream run at the US Open captivated many American's heart. She is currently world's No. 42, a career high for her so far. It will be interesting to see how she develops in the next few years. Unfortunately, she fell in the second round of qualifying at Tokyo.
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